Please support Friends of the Bees to keep this forum free to use.

Natural Beekeeping International Forum
low-cost, low-impact, balanced beekeeping for everyone

 Forum FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileYour Profile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Please Read The Rules before posting.



(country selected automatically - UK/USA/CA/AU)
New Hive Appears Queenless

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> URGENT Help needed now!
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
SueBee
Foraging Bee


Joined: 24 May 2013
Posts: 115
Location: United States, Pacific Northwest, Camas

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:18 am    Post subject: New Hive Appears Queenless Reply with quote

Hello folks: I purchased a swarm from a respected source 8 days ago. When I brought them home, they had been "poured" into a box from my Warre' hive, and I simply, gently mounted that box on two others and watched. For the first two days, they simply milled around at the entrance. Not much fanning, not much of anything. They sounded "concerned"---nothing like the industrious sound of the swarm I'd brought home a few weeks earlier.

I was gone out of state for five days, and I looked at them when I got home tonight. No pollen coming in, just about maybe five bees or so milling at the entrance, a few bees coming and going. I peeked into the hive boxes and can see no drawn comb, but still numerous bees.

So, my other hive is going very strong now after the first few weeks of drawing comb and laying eggs. There are new bees flying, and the numbers of bees from this small (probably secondary swarm) are coming up fast.

My question: Should I try and take a brood comb from my strong hive and put it into the new hive? And---if so---HOW?? I have Warre's. How do I know what to look for on that brood comb so I can be certain of putting in eggs young enough to be turned into queens?

And---this is the big one---how to I be sure I would not accidentally transfer my queen into the new hive? My experience is that brood comb is covered so thickly in bees, you can't be sure of what you are seeing at all.

I am afraid I am in danger of losing my new hive, and quick, if I don't manage to do something to save them. I also have a call into the fellow who sold me this swarm. Thanks for your help on this!

Bee well,
Sue
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 307
Location: Grays, Essex, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:03 am    Post subject: Re: New Hive Appears Queenless Reply with quote

[ADMIN NOTE: Please don't quote entire posts. It is unnecessary and annoying for people on smaller screens. Thanks.]

firstly, I cant believe you paid for a swarm!!!! here you would pay for a nuc, but swarms are free,
I'm a bit confused here, as you say they were poursed from YOUR warre into a box????
so not a swarm then??
the boxes that you mounted them on, did they have any drawn comb in them??
swarms if placed in hives with no drawn out comb, would be fed a 1;1 mix of sugar syrup to aid them with building the first combs, I normally feed on the 2nd day of capture for 5 days then stop feeding

if you "peeked" in, were they clustering??
I suspect they are starving, so get some sugar water on asap

a virgin queen can take upto 4 weeks to come into lay, so you need more patience, but of course, she needs comb to lay in, which they have not got so you say, so rather than thinking you need to add brood, I think you'd be better off adding stores,

I think you really need to find yourself a mentor, to teach you some hands on stuff, as when transferring frames, you dont transfer bees too, they would be brushed off/shaken off, therefore no chance of giving away your queen??

can you ID a queen??
holding a frame of bees close to your face and gently blowing on them, makes them move out of the way
eggs standing on end are 1 day old, laying down are 2 days plus, so that's how you tell ages of eggs, these are very basic things that I would expect anyone keeping bees to know, BEFORE THEY GET BEES?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mannanin
Scout Bee


Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 259
Location: Essex. UK.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we are very fortunate in the UK that there are plenty of free swarms waiting to be collected. I interpret your post as a swarm being introduced into an empty Warre box and then placed on top of two other empty Warre boxes to make a three box stack without any combs. If it were mine, I would remove the bottom box to reduce down to two boxes. My own view is that your swarm should not require feeding. The cluster that you mention, how sure are you that they were not producing any comb? Only it’s not always easy to see in amongst that cluster. They are only 8 days in and I think its way too early to even think about disturbing your other Warre to rob combs. You have not been able to observe for 5 of those days as you have been away so don’t go worrying too much. I am guessing you are running your Warres as intended with more of a hands off approach that does not require all of the manipulations that you are worrying about. Therefore, don’t do anything yet. Relax, sit, down, watch and wait a while before you do anything. The worst that can happen is the swarm absconds, it happens some times. However, it’s a lot easier to accept when your bees are free. Out of interest how much do swarms cost in the US and when you buy, do you always get prime swarms?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SueBee
Foraging Bee


Joined: 24 May 2013
Posts: 115
Location: United States, Pacific Northwest, Camas

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I wrote this too quickly last night. Dex, the swarm was collected a month ago into a Langstroth hive. They were collected off a pole at a business site. And yes, they charge for swarms here, too. Unless---of course, you are the one who collected it, or you have friends who give one to you. My friends are all trying to build up their own apiaries right now, and are keeping their swarms.

The fellow told me that if I brought my Warre' box over, he would brush the bees into that box from the nuc he had them in for me, which I did, and he did. I brought the one box home, mounted it onto two other Warre's boxes, careful not to squish a single bee.

I fed these bees honey on the comb in a top-box feeder. I left plenty of food for them when I left for travel. Unlike with a swarm that is fresh and honey loaded in their bellies, I realized these bees would have no stores at all. Also, I put two bars of empty comb into the hive to start.

My experience with moving comb around is that bees really stick to brood comb. I brush them off, they fly right back on. So, my question is, how do you keep the bees off the comb to transfer it?

Also, I imagine this will be a slow process, as I will have to cut the comb loose from the sides of the hive before I can even get a look at it. Then, if I find what I am looking for, do I cut a piece of the correctly aged brood off the comb and just transfer a piece to my new hive, or do I move the whole comb?

Yes, I can identify a queen, but I've never had to identify the age of eggs. I have put in calls to two experienced beekeeping friends to help with this.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SueBee
Foraging Bee


Joined: 24 May 2013
Posts: 115
Location: United States, Pacific Northwest, Camas

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mannanin, thank you for your reply. This year has been a very slow swarm year. We had a very hard and unusual winter in the Northwest. Much colder than normal, and a very wet spring. I purchased this swarm for $160, and there is no way of knowing if it was prime. It was top dollar. Many go for more like $120. It seems to be a fairly large bunch of bees, much larger than the first swarm I collected off a rose bush a month ago. Many hives died this winter/spring, and folks are snapping up swarms the minute they land.

I had three empty hives to fill, and we typically have a dearth in the end of June. I was eager to get at least two hives filled. Even so, the odds of bringing two little hives through the winter are not very good!

I will do a closer look at my struggling hive today, as I rearrange the feeder box. I peeked into the boxes last evening by shifting one box slightly over, and there are bees in all three boxes, but perhaps not well consolidated. I will look more closely today, and perhaps remove a bottom box.

I am just concerned for their lack of activity by the entrance. My past swarms were busy and settled within a week. It's hard to be a new beek!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 307
Location: Grays, Essex, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

holding the bar with comb over the warre box that you have just pulled it from, you would brush the bees into the box, some may fly back up, but one or two goes should see them ok, that's the beauty of using hives with frames, much easier to remove bees, as below

http://youtu.be/fz5SXeJ7L7c
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 307
Location: Grays, Essex, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got into bee-keeping around 3yrs ago, after finding this forum, and started off with caught swarms into top bar nucs and top bar hives, as this hands free approach appealed to me, I was not too worried about getting honey for myself, my first year or so was a complete disaster, from me and the bees, the trouble I found, was that whilst learning, these types of hives are harder for the newbie to deal with, they don't allow for much manipulation, most other keepers if you were to need help, keep bees in standard type hives, and transferring combs and or brood are harder, in my second year I purchased a national hive, that opened up my world to becoming a better bee keeper, I could inspect inside hives without fear of breaking stuff, adding combs was as simple as 1,2,3 and everything became clear, now I have more hands on experience, I run hives the way I want, but incorporating the "friends of the bees" approach, using standard box hives, national,commercial and rose
the use of these types of hives are easy, readily available, and rather than using full wax sheets of foundation, can be just as good with wax starter strips

I would urge you to do the same, I'm not trying to put you off using the warre, but having a standard type frame, you'll be able to get more hands on,

this prime swarm I housed 10 days ago are doing so well, I will be adding two more supers too, they will build the comb and fill with stores, I can then transfer those supers to two smaller nucs that I have as stores to see them through winter, it'll take the bees a couple of weeks to fill, and me a couple of minutes to move, see how simpler that sounds

http://youtu.be/xIsTgD6SQHU
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SueBee
Foraging Bee


Joined: 24 May 2013
Posts: 115
Location: United States, Pacific Northwest, Camas

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I opened up the hive this morning. The main cluster is working on one very large comb and a slightly smaller comb that they have built this past week. I have to peek up into the hive box from beneath and guestimate what I am seeing. As best I could, I brushed bees aside and saw what seemed to be lots of nectar, but possibly some brood? The liquid seemed quite dark, but it is hard to see from beneath, even with a flashlight. I could see no pollen.

In the second box, a couple of small combs were in the works. The bees had not yet finished off the honey I left for them.

Is the nectar coming in and the new comb building any evidence of a queen in residence?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 307
Location: Grays, Essex, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SueBee wrote:
.

Is the nectar coming in and the new comb building any evidence of a queen in residence?


none what-so-ever, collecting pollen and building comb is what bees do, with or without a queen, you need to see preferably worker brood or the queen herself,
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
stevecook172001
Site Admin


Joined: 19 Jul 2013
Posts: 443
Location: Loftus, Cleveland

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sue.

It's very much a hands-off approach with the Warre to be sure. Have you got observation windows with yours? I built them into mine precisely because of the lack of capacity to intervene at the level of individual combs and they have proved invaluable. Nevertheless, they have their limitations and it's still very much a case of leaving the bees to it.

If you want to be able to more easily get in and inspect/manipulate at the level of the comb, then building some Warre-sized frames might be an option. I've been considering this myself for any future boxes I nadir, if only for the purpose of doing things like splits etc. A few links to how these look and may be constructed are below:

http://www.eccentricbeekeeper.com/hives/framewarre.html

http://wasatchwarre.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/warre-hive-moveable-frams-dr-heaf-translator.pdf

http://beekeeperlinda.blogspot.co.uk/2008/03/how-to-build-frame.html
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SueBee
Foraging Bee


Joined: 24 May 2013
Posts: 115
Location: United States, Pacific Northwest, Camas

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I'm going over to the Warre' posting site and ask them how I look for brood in a Warre' box, short of chopping up the hive.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> URGENT Help needed now! All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

SPECIAL OFFER FOR UK FORUM MEMBERS - Buy your protective clothing here and get a special 15% discount! (use the code BAREFOOTBEEKEEPER at checkout and be sure to 'update basket')



Are the big energy companies bleeding you dry?


Is way too much of your hard-earned family income going up in smoke?

Are you worried about what could happen if the ageing grid system fails?

You need to watch this short video NOW to find out how YOU can cut your energy bills TO THE BONE within 30 days!

WATCH THE VIDEO NOW



(country selected automatically - UK/USA/CA/AU)

Conserving wild bees

Research suggests that bumble bee boxes have a very low success rate in actually attracting bees into them. We find that if you create an environment where first of all you can attract mice inside, such as a pile of stones, a drystone wall, paving slabs with intentionally made cavities underneath, this will increase the success rate.

Most bumble bee species need a dry space about the size a football, with a narrow entrance tunnel approximately 2cm in diameter and 20 cm long. Most species nest underground along the base of a linear feature such as a hedge or wall. Sites need to be sheltered and out of direct sunlight.

There is a spectacular display of wild bee hotels here

More about bumblebees and solitary bees here

Information about the Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum)

Barefoot Beekeeper Podcast



Now available from Lulu.com


Now available from Lulu.com


Now available from Lulu.com


4th Edition paperback now available from Lulu.com

See beekeeping books for details and links to ebook versions.
site map
php. BB © 2001, 2005 php. BB Group

View topic - New Hive Appears Queenless - Natural Beekeeping Network Forum