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Prominent Wax Flakes on Bee in Observation Beehive


I’m thrilled to be able to show you my Classic Wax Flakes Video. cheers & Merry Christmas everyone.


Love your videos jeff and wilma, thanks very much, Merry Christmas cheers Tim.


Hi & thank YOU Tim:)


Jeff, I’m wondering if newly swarmed bees might be primed and ready to produce lots of wax. I’ve seen videos of swarms on places like car mudguards. After the bees have been removed, there are spots of beeswax all over the paintwork. I imagine building wax is one of the first things a newly hived colony of bees will need to do.

I have to confess I somehow managed to lose that beautiful queen bee I got from you. My Julie thinks I fiddle with the hives too much and she’s probably right. I merged the two colonies and I now have a really strong one. I’m buying in a queen bee and when she comes I will split the hive so I have two colonies again.


Hi Bob, yes that frequently happens with swarms like you say, you remove a swarm from anywhere & you’ll often find wax deposits left behind.

Are you sure you lost her? Sometimes I’ll check every frame only to find the queen with some bees on the inside of the hive body. A good way to tell if you’ve lost the queen is you’ll see the bees making emergency queen cells. In that case, in my opinion it’s best to leave them to make a new queen. Unless you want to get some fresh genes into your apiary. If your hive has new eggs & young larvae & no emergency queen cells, chances are your queen is there somewhere. I never look for the queen unless I have to. The state of the brood is enough for me. Feel free to phone me any time with any queries. Say hi to Julie, take care, bye


Of course they are :smile:
What’s the first thing they have to do in their new home?
That’s why so many very young bees go with a swarm…though older bees can revert to wax making.
I have caught Primes in a cardboard box and had cells with eggs in before the evening when I hived them.

When she comes make up a small nuc for her. Wait till she has laid up some brood then combine her with the rest of the bees. That way you are less likely to have her attacked by the bees.


OK, this sounds really interesting, but I don’t quite understand what you are proposing. Would you be willing to give a few more details? I understand the making up a small nuc for her - now she has a family without a queen which needs to grow. They will accept her readily - usually… “Then combine her with the rest of the bees” - this is where I am lost. What rest? I think Bob is proposing a split, so are you suggesting a multistage split? I mean, first set up a 3 or 5-frame nuc, get the queen comfy in it, then split the established hive with maybe another 3 to 5 frames from the established hive (and no queen)? Sorry, I don’t have a good picture, but I would love to understand, because I have never tried to split, or create nucs. We haven’t needed to do that in the past, but I would love to learn more.




He has two hives which are now one?
If he split them equally he would have lots of bees in each.
Queens often get balled, even after introduction in a queen cage, in large hives in my experience and I do re-queen every couple of years with bought in Buckfast.
So a two stage split is what I would do in this instance.

Actually, what I would have done in the first place is wait till the hive with the disappeared queen was hopelessly queen-less and introduced the new queen to them in a push-in cage.
He can still do that if he splits the hive before he gets his new queen, rather than doing the split when he gets her.
The other option, with much less interference is to wait till the new super hive produces swarm cells and split then.
Lots of choices.
What I wouldn’t do is split the hive and put an expensive new laying queen in straight away.


Hmm, the way I read it was that he had one hive, but wanted two… :confused:

So confused.




I presumed he had two colonies, one headed by a queen from Jeff…which he lost so he combined the two hives to make one really string (strong?) one and he now wants to get another queen so that he can have two colonies again.
Sorry…I’m confused now…back to Star Trek on the tele…bye


@Dee Thank you for your patience, I think I understand now. Probably had too much Christmas dinner last night - still fogging my brain! :smile:

Buckfast queens - we would love to have had those when we were in the UK, but we never could find a source. Was she artificially inseminated?

Enjoy Star Trek, i used to love the Next Generation series.


Yes strong, I did an edit on the original when I noticed the mistype. Perhaps merging the two colonies was a mistake but they are really settled now. It’s all part of the learning experience for me.

I’m building nuc boxes among other things at the moment. I will introduce the new queen ingto a queenless nuc as you suggest.


I have an excellent source :smile:
My buckfast are open mated but in isolated area. The chap that breeds them does have II queens but they are far too expensive.
I like to re-queen after two generations because F3 Buckies, (and Carnies) have a reputation for becoming far too defensive and that takes the enjoyment out of beekeeping for me.


Do you mark your queens to help keep track of them? We used to requeen in the UK for the same reason - default bees were no fun at all. They would happily chase us 100 feet from the hive. Opening the hive would start instant black rain on the veil. They could even sting through our suits. New Zealand Yellows were much nicer :smile:


Sorry I drifted the thread so much, but it has helped me to learn a lot. To get back on track, I loved seeing the wax flakes in Jeff’s video too - very hard to see them without an observation window like that. Thanks to all!


All my queens are marked white which I find the easiest to spot.
I keep sufficiently detailed notes to remind me of queens’ ages.
I am within flying distance, just, of my local BKA training apiary. I had to give them a fluorescent orange marker and insist on them using it as I was getting white spotted drones in my hives!!!

Have you noticed how absolutely perfect the dropped wax scales are?


Hey Jeff, I’m in Caboolture and looking for a nuc o package. Can you help or suggest someone. Congrats on another brill video. Bruce


Hi Bruce, many thanks. Would you believe I just drove home with your nuc on the back of my truck:) Yes I can help you out with a colony with a young queen. I should have one ready in a week or two, I’m just waiting to see if the young queens have successfully mated.


WOW thanks Jeff. Not sure about protocol on here so I will await instructions from you. Thanks again.


No worries, I sent you a PM with my ph no.