Third failed hive?

Gday all. This is my first post and I’m hoping to learn much as I start my bee keeping journey.
I seem to be failing at the moment however. This is my third swarm and this is the third colony that has failed. I get my swarm from a local beekeeper here in Adelaide south (he has been keeping for 60 years) so I assume he knows what he is doing but I’m at a loss as to why they keep failing?? The hive is in a great location, the weather here in ADL has been very mild so far (including the summer) so any help or direction would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers Matt

You like to get more queen’s and Nucs?

In what way are they failing? Do they die out, abscond or any other reason? Is your supplier well known as a bee supplier? More information is needed to help with your question. Do you have photos of the failed hive frames? They would be very helpful.

Do you ask questions to your bee guy or does he just palm off bees to you?

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Hey Karby.
Yeah I thought you would need more info but wasn’t sure what exactly, so thanks for the info. They just seem to slowly disappear in numbers. over a month or so. Yeah, he’s pretty well known and loves to chat but not a whole lot of after sales service if you know what I mean. He took my hive back after the first fail to get it going again with a new one and said that he hasn’t seen a box so tricky to get started, he even replaced my flowhive frames that came with the setup with his own to see if it wasn’t the frames and stiil had trouble. After about 7 weeks he said he finally had a colony established but alas, it looks like this one is losing numbers rapidly as well. they were going strong for about 3 months I’d say. I will take some pics tomorrow if I can. Thanks again for your help.

…Also, on my inspections, I’m not really seeing a lot of capped brood, just bees being busy on empty combs. I do see, what I believe are queen cells but I am very new to this so I’m not all that sure. As I said, I’m learning.

Hi Matt, with your nuc you should be seeing, apart from the queen, frames of brood displaying a good laying pattern with lots of brood in all stages, especially sealed & emerging brood The frames should be covered with bees. It would be good if you could be there while the bloke transfers the bees into your hive, so you can ask questions about what you’re seeing.

You did the right thing by reaching out here. We love questions & photos. However do a lot of reading in the meantime, so that you understand some of the basics.

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This guy sounds a bit dodgy. He should not have taken your flow frames as a colony not well established does not need a super. Make sure you get yours back.

If they are slowly dwindling it sounds like a queen problem. You said you got swarms off of him, are they proper swarms or five frames in a box? Is he charging you every time?

Also keep in mind that it is autumn now and numbers will dwindle anyway. Join a local bee club and try to find a mentor.

Do they have enough honey? There are plenty of pictures online to help id queen cells.

Edit. Sorry, I read that as flow frames and not as the frames supplied with the hive. The frames shouldn’t make a difference but it would be easier for a beginner to put foundation in them(foundation is not supplied with the flow package)

Hey Karby.

He may be getting a little long in the tooth for the business of hive restocking, he does love a drink…and I mean a big drink, so perhaps he is a bit off these days. As I am new to this, I am having trouble actually finding the queen when I do an inspection and are yet to spot one after 3 colonies, not great I know! There are plenty of other places and people I can source a colony from but as you said, it’s Autumn now so should I just wait until Winter is over before restocking? It was way to windy a nd yuck here today to do an inspection to get photos< so I’ll try later this week. Thanks heaps for your help.

Cheers Matt

Thanks Jeff.
Yep, doing lots of reading and my wife bought me a fantastic book for my birthday which is super helpful. I might try another place for my next colony perhaps and go from there but as it is nearly Winter, I might wait until Spring?

Cheers Matt

I have 3 colonies and one of them I have never seen the queen, so I know how it is. Look around the local bee supply places and order a nuc for next spring, that would be your best bet for a reliable colony, although, it would be nice to work out what is going on in your current hive.

Good luck!

Hi Matt, I think that’s a good plan. Because you are in Adelaide, I’ll tag @Semaphore . He might be able to supply you with a nuc next spring. I’m pretty sure that he’ll show you what you’re buying & give you plenty of tips. The only down side is that he falls well shout of 60 years experience :slight_smile:

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Gday all, just checked my hive and as thought, no more bees…except 1 lonely bee moving around inspecting the honeycomb, really heart breaking :frowning: Poor little guy. Here are some pics of what’s left, queen cells? Also, I see the cockroaches have moved in so should I clean up and put away till the spring? Or just leave it out there. Thanks for all your help and here’s hoping for a better result in spring! Sorry, also do I remove the old comb? New frames?