Apparently, I got a little cocky

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Piebaker, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. Piebaker

    Piebaker New Member

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    First, I want to thank all of you who helped with advice on my spring queen disappearance. I got a new queen for that hive and she is laying like a champ. So now I have two hives - one really strong and thriving and one well on its way.

    I attended the NC state beeks meeting in Southern Pines in July and came away with this message flashing in my brain. Optimum configuration is two hives and a nuc. Cool. I can do this.

    I have this thoroughbred queen now so I pull two frames of capped brood and larvae from that hive and one of bee food from my other. I installed these on the 3rd in their new 5 frame home. I took the bees on the brood frames and knocked them off at the front door as instructed, hoping the nurse bees would go in and anyone else would go home. I must say - it caused quite a stir in the bee yard. There were quite a few hundred pissed off insects everywhere. They even came up to the garage.

    I checked on the nuc in about three days and everything seemed just ducky. Bees were there, even activity at the front door. Mi stalled half a pollen patty on the top and went on my merry way.

    Today, I went to just take a look see again and everyone is gone. Only tiny little wormy things coming from the capped cells.

    What happened? I'm sure I zigged when I should have zagged but am too ignorant to know what I did or do.

    sigh.

    robin
     
  2. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    Sounds like hive beetles to me. I understand they love pollen patties.
     

  3. Yote Shooter

    Yote Shooter New Member

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    I'm not all that experienced with what you were intending....
    However in the splitting process, you leave the bees on the brood frames. They have to provide coverage and care even if they are capped. You likely didn't have anywhere near the population of bees to protect what was there. They then needed pollen and honey on additional frames. From your post, I assume that you placed 2 additional empty frames to complete the nuc. Just providing a patty is not enough.
    You also needed to provide a frame with the right age larvae for them to pull queen cells (at a minimum). Many times this small colony (nuc) is not equipped to adequately produce a quality queen. Can't say most, but alot take the queen to use in the nuc and allow the main hive to produce the new queen. I'm sure others will reply !
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    First, transfer bees on frames. The foragers will go home on their own.

    Second, was the queen released and in the nuc on day 3?

    Third, never feed pollen patties more than can be consumed in about 3 days. You are only feeding SHB after 3 days.

    Fourth, to make up for foragers returning home, always shake a couple of extra frames of bees into a nuc
     
  5. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    Like Yote Shooter said, a nuc does not necessarily have the resources to raise a quality queen. Best process is to transfer the queen along with 3 frames of brood and all attendant bees and some stores. At this time of year the mother hive will not suffer much from an interruption in brood rearing, because the young bees will be foragers 3 through 9 weeks from now and the brood interruption will coincide with fall slowdown anyway.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    just another bit of data to suggest that 'walk away splits' might not be the best idea for a new beekeeper to consider. foolish, foolish advise as far as I am concerned. <imho this approach is much more likely to lead to exactly the results you now see than anything they might look like a success and the intermediate consequence is it also doesn't build a new bee keepers confidence.

    and as someone suggest pollen patties are not something to randomly toss unto hives. these are something that MAY have value at certain time of the year but at any other time are almost an assured way of attracting small hive beetles.

    what does connect these two things is appropriate timing.