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What am I looking at?


#1

Hi everybody, just got home after a fortnight away super keen to have a good look at the hive. Here’s our scenario:

Got nuc in mid-Jan.
In the SW of WA - Bunbury.
Brand new-bee’s to keeping.
Haven’t met local keepers as yet; the apiarist who supplied the nuc is great but can’t keep bothering him to come over and explain whats going on.
Haven’t got books yet (I know, I know, it’s on the list).
Curious to get some quick feed back on what our hive is doing.

When we have opened it we always seem to see a couple or three cockroaches. Normal? (Saw some beetles last time but darling wife squashed them before identifying.)

Couldn’t recognise SHB this time but did see a couple of these beetles.
This one I think is SHB.

What’s this one?

What are the different colours on the frame? I recognise the capped honey but why are some of the brood(?) yellow and others brown? Maybe it’s not brood, maybe its pollen and nectar?!

Here’s a close up. It looks like the pollen they bring in on their legs. Is it? Why is the wax so dark?

What are these raised capped cells?

And lastly (for now) What are these two doing to this other one? She seems all wet!

Wait! One more! Why is this frame completely untouched in all this time? Northern-most. (Southern most is looking full).

Thanks so much and apologies to you experienced mob for who these questions are below basic.

Cheers! Nick


#2

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#3

Hi Nick,

Lots of photos and Qs!! Might be easier if you post one or two and wait for direct answers…

The two live bees are carrying off a dead bee (the wet one - probably squashed into honey comb when you were manipulating frames). They will eject it from the hive.

The empty frame, just foundation, has just been ignored for now. No biggie.

We don’t have SHB, so don’t know about the beetles.

The full frame has lots of pollen, not much brood. Can you post photos of other frames with some capped brood, some uncapped brood and most likely honey in the top corners?

Good luck and have fun.


#4

Thanks Paul! I hear you about too much on one post (sheepish grin).

The wet bee was moving around and the other two were licking and grooming at it. We thought it might have been a new hatching.


#5

They were probably licking her because she was covered in honey. Bees don’t pop out of a wet sack!! They come out all ready to go - nice n dry. You can usually see bees ‘hatching’ - chewing their way out through the capping. It is really interesting to watch and happening all the time while you are in the hive.


#6

Hi Jarmo,

  • 8 frame brood box
  • 7 are covered
  • ummm, I think 4 may have been covered when we got the nuc (?)
  • don’t know what eegs look like but I have definitely seen larvae.

This one is one of the middle frames.

Next one along:

Couldn’t tell you with certainty how many raised cells. Maybe 20 (?)


#7

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#8

Hi again Nick,

When you were in the hive did you see plenty of brood? Like three to six or more frames full of eggs through to capped and hatching bees. I presume you have two brood boxes going by now… that busy frame you photographed today looks to be mostly pollen with a bit of honey and a bit of capped brood, tho hard to tell without a close up.

I am in ChCh NZ, but lived in Rockingham for five years and visited Bunbury many times for work and had friends there that I use to go fishing and scuba diving with regularly. Great spot! Should be wonderful for bee keeping - esp the climate.


#9

Whoops. Wrote that while you were posting the other shots!


#10

We got rellos in Napier and Auk and my boss lives around ChCh!

Only one brood box. Are the capped brood to the full level of the cell and the pollen a bit sunken?


#11

Ooops! Must have shoved her head into the honey when I was lifting out the frame!


#12

This one I think is SHB.

Not SHB. SBH have “ping pong paddle” antennae and are round and hard and almost black with no markings.

What are the different colours on the frame? I recognise the capped honey but why are some of the brood(?) yellow and others brown? Maybe it’s not brood, maybe its pollen and nectar?!

When a swarm or package first starts there is no old brood comb from which to get bits of cocoon. Brood cells have to have a breathable cap. So at first they mix pollen with wax to make it breathable. This wax is almost white or yellow. As they get more cocoons available they start mixing chewed out bits of cocoon with the caps. As this happens the caps get darker and darker. The comb also gets darker and darker as cocoons accumulate.

What are these raised capped cells?

Drone brood.

And lastly (for now) What are these two doing to this other one? She seems all wet!

She is covered in honey and they are cleaning her up. You broke open some comb when you opened the hive and this one got covered.

Wait! One more! Why is this frame completely untouched in all this time? Northern-most. (Southern most is looking full).

Bees do whatever they want. But typically they work the warm side of the colony first. Working wax takes heat. Assuming you are in the Northern Hemisphere, the warm side would be the south side. In the Southern Hemisphere the warm side would be the north side.


#13

The first pic looks like a cockroach nymph to me probably a Turkestan Roach (blatta lateralis).
The second pic looks like a wood louse/rolly polly)


#14

Hiya Nick.
Firstly if that was small hive beetle you should have reported it immediately to the Ag dept… Have you registered your hive yet?
Currently we are free of this scourge however we need everyone to be able to recognise and report to keep it out.
Fortunately it’s not shb, looks like a small stink beetle or immature green shield bug, got veggies somewhere?
I’m only new to beekeeping too and have found enough reading, on the inter web, on everything about bees and keeping to keep me busy for the next three years…
We, in the West, all need to act together as a bee community to help keep our important asset beetle and varroa free.


#15

Hi Michael, thank you very much for your help. I was especially wondering about the different colours of the comb. Very relieved about the beetle identification too. Cheers mate!


#16

Hi Skeggley, the hive is smack bang in the middle of the missus abundant edible garden. Got it registered before we got the bees. NA1. Thanks for your comments. I’m actually going to have to buy some books, if I go on the web to research something I invariably end up hours later watching videos of kittens dressed up as unicorns or something.


#17

that’s not a shb if you need some I’ll send you all of mine. here is a picture https://www.google.com.au/search?q=small+hive+beetle+images&tbm=isch&imgil=M2vil9m2i-CCqM%


#18

Here’s a tip that will help both the poster and those trying to help:

When taking a photo of frames, tap the bees off of the frame into the hive,
so you photograph the frame, not the bees !