Please Help! Newbie here

Ok, this is my first week beekeeping and I’m watching everything. I saw this large black bee repeatedly trying to enter the hive and was alarmed. Maybe it was an invader?!! Then, about 20 mins later I hear angry buzzing outside. 100 bees were flying around. I read about possible invasion and advice was to smoke the hive. So, I put on my bee suit and smoked the hive to investigate. This is what I saw. Please tell me what you think. I just installed this nuc last Sunday. Is this big black bee the queen? Is it a drone they are trying to expel?

Two more pics

It looks like a drone to me. A queen is the middle bee in @Dawn_SD & my profile photos. As you can see, they have long pointy abdomens.

There’s a bit of chalk brood in the inspection tray.


Thank you so much. I will read up on chalk brood. Does this look normal?

That looks like some wax that you can scrape off to keep for use down the track.

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Yes, but I meant the comb below. Does it seem normal? Thank you :relieved:

I agree with @JeffH - your black bee is a recalcitrant drone. What does that mean? He refused to leave, and kept re-entering the hive. As a result, the housekeeping bees kept tugging him out and stripped off all of his yellow hairs. Bees are black underneath their yellow fuzz. So he is an old drone that just won’t be thrown out willingly… :wink:

The comb looks OK to me from what I can see in your photos


Thank you so much. :two_hearts:

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The lack of hair threw me a bit. I like @Dawn_SD 's explanation.

It’s not a very good image of the comb to be able to say one way or the other. Keep the photos coming, as well as questions.

I wondered about your frame spacing, for the bees to be able to build that cluster of drones in the photo. If your frames are built with comb that sits within the confines of the frames, & the frames are sitting close together, there will be nowhere for the bees to build those clusters like in your photo.

Thank you. This was a nuc of plastic frames so I have a combination of empty wooden frames and plastic right now. The queen was in a cage in the center, so maybe that allowed space for the bur comb? The cage must have fallen to the floor because it was gone when I took a look yesterday. I was grateful that there wasn’t an invasion or even ants (I’ve been battling them) in the brood box. Once I saw that, I removed some bur comb from the top and put everything back together. I will inspect again in about 10 days unless I need to sooner. This one stubborn drone really upset the whole hive. :face_with_spiral_eyes: