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New questions after double inspection

Hi guys,
So, we’ve done an inspection on both hives.

Blue hive is going great. It’s the primary swarm from the yellow hive that we caught and rehoused, and the queen continues to lay like a legend. Eggs and brood on all but the outside frames. Textbook. All good there.

Yellow hive, which has thrown off TWO swarms despite our best efforts, has an ok number of bees left in there. There’s no brood, no larvae, and no eggs that I know of, but my eyes aren’t good enough to see eggs anyway.
There have been two hatched looking queen cells over the last couple of weeks, and one where a queen emerged as i was looking at it.
There are no queen cells at the moment.
The primary swarm was 17 days ago and the secondary was 8 days ago.

Questions
Do we give a possible queen another week to mate etc and start laying?
How long do we give a virgin queen, if there is one?
If/when we move a frame from the strong hive, I assume we shake the bees off, and move one that has eggs and larvae?
What’s the oldest brood that they can make a new queen out of?
Why would the bees be trying to drag a stick and leaf into the hive? They’ve succeeded in getting 1 leaf in there. (blue hive)
Is this (photo) a normal number of dead bees in front of the hive? We’re re-turfing so they might always be that many, but just can’t see them in the grass. This is in front of the string hive.
I think that’s it. We’re a little concerned about the yellow hive.
Cheers
Ron

This forum isn’t what it used to be. Once upon a time folks would be all over this topic within minutes. It’s been over 15 hours!!!, with no reply.

Q1. Definitely give the queen another week. No longer though, you want to get in before laying workers start.
Q2. I’d give a virgin queen at least 2 weeks to start laying.
Q3.The oldest brood is 3 days, as long as it hasn’t been fed on bee bread. Basically 6 days after the egg’s laid.
Q4. I have no idea.
Q5. That looks normal to me.

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Hi Jeff,
I was thinking the same thing this morning.
Thanks very much for the reply.
Good to see that our instincts are on.
Well give her another week and then move a frame over from the other give.
Cheers
Ron

Hi Ron, you’re most welcome. It wont do any harm to add that frame with the minimum of disturbance to the bees because young queens are vulnerable to getting balled & killed. I’ll gently look at just one frame. If no eggs or larvae are in that frame, I’ll find an easy to access frame of brood to slip in. Mind you, I always check out a frame from within the most bee activity.

It’s is a Friday long weekend in Victoria and a Monday long weekend in WA… Can’t find an excuse for other regions :wink:

I’ll agree with @jeffh on the first 3 answers.

For the 4th qu, are they perhaps trying to restrict the entrance size? I’ve got no clue so just trying to think laterally.

I also agree with the 5th answer - looks normal to me. Put your hive on a paved area and you get to see alot more dead bees accumulate before they are eaten by something else or decompose or are swept up.

1 Like

In the first year or so, it was a competition to see who could get the first reply in. People in the U.K. were missing out on valuable beauty sleep. Especially when fake flow hives came on the market. Seeing as GMT is 10.am my time. It was easy for me to work out who was missing out on beauty sleep :slight_smile:

3 Likes

Hello

8am here. Late start. On holiday!

The leaf. I would assume the bees find the leaf beneficial in some way. As they have done it before did they strip the leaves off and just leave the stem

One previous contributor from northern state I think, grew artemisia absinthe around his hives. He strongly believed that the bees benefited. He reported putting sprigs of the plant in his hive under roof I think. Sometimes it was left sometimes stripped.

Other than that I assume the bees know what they are doing.

Thanks for the reply guys.
I was surprised how long it took. This is my go to advise.
Hope it doesn’t die off.
We’re going to give our Queen until the weekend to punch out some eggs, if there still isn’t any by then we’ll take a frame out of the other hive.
Cheers
Ron