end of august, no eggs, no queen

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Guba, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. Guba

    Guba New Member

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    I'm a first year beekeeper, or at least trying to be. :( I started out with one queen. She apparently didn't read the book that I did. Everythging was going great until the hot weather hit in the middle of june. Unbeknownst to me, your supposed to remove the white plastic sheet at the bottom of the hive when the weather turns fair. :confused: It must have gotten too hot for her and she left. I let the bees make their own queen. I kept just one cell, but apparently I missed another so two queens were made. How do i know this. I caught two swarms on a nearby bush. Having the wooden ware on hand for another hive I set up a second hive. And the next day I bought yet a third hive and got it going. I thought I was doing everything okay and I just got two more queens for the price of one. Gee, Isn't ignorance bliss! :thumbsup:

    Hive #1 had a queen, but only for a short time. She laid a few eggs and left also. This is where I learned the term "honeybound". This hive was taken apart and added to the others.

    Hive #2 is doing great! She isn't laying a whole bunch of eggs, but from what I've read that's normal for late august. I'm glad she read the book! Thinking that hive #1 was queenless, I made a window screen frame and took the top of hive #1 and put it on top of hive #2. I left it that way for 7 days. It's been over a week now and everything is hunky dory. Still saw a queen to boot.

    Hive #3 was doing great until last week. Again, not finding a queen or eggs but a few larva from hive #1, I took the bottom of hive #1 and put it on top of hive #3 using the window screen method. Hive #3 is made up as follows. A deep super on the bottom with an empty frame and plenty of open cells. A medium super on top that still needs to be drawn into comb. The deep super from hive #1 on top that. I have been wedging some wood peices between the second and third supers to give more ventilation, but since I was combining a hive I left the wedges out and instead left the hive top wedged wide open.

    So today I'm inspecting hive #3 and I don't find a queen, not a big deal, just look for eggs. The problem is, I didn't find any eggs either! But on the top deep super that I just tried to combine I found a number of queen cells, one supercedure cell and maybe half a dozen swarm cells. Thinking that I still had a queen becouse it was rare for a queen to leave at the end of august I removed all the queen cells. Now I think I may have just killed my hive.

    So the million dollar question is... now what do I do with hive #3?

    Should I be clipping the wings of queeny #2?
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    not sure of your conditions for the last 30 days???? but....

    I think someone should put up a warning sign for ALL new beekeepers that you do want to be careful as you are going into the late summer and most especially if you have had excessively hot weather and no flow. Going into a hive after a hot spell and looking for the evidence of 'the queen' can be a bit like flipping a coin. That is to say some hives/queens have just ambled along laying down brood and some may have halted brooding entirely.

    even a bit of feed encourages the non brooding queens to lay up... but this or course need to be scheduled 10 days or so ahead of any serious look see.

    just a head up!
     

  3. Walt B

    Walt B New Member

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    Guba, I'm not experienced at all, so take this in that light.

    I wouldn't clip the queen, I'd leave her alone. I wouldn't be popping in to see how things are going, I'd let the bees take care of that. If you have bees coming and going, fine.

    Hive 3 I'd leave alone for 2-3 weeks also and let the bees figure out where they are. I think maybe there's too much invasion. NOTE: Experienced beekeepers please react if I'm off base. Thanks.

    I think I'd just make sure they have ventilation and water and let them do what they do. Again, I probably don't know what I'm talking about, just what I'd do. If I'm wrong, we'll both learn something. :|

    Walt
     
  4. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    walt couldnt have said it better myself. you gave some good solid advise.
     
  5. Guba

    Guba New Member

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    So what are some rules of thumb for getting into a hive? My book said check every week when the weather starts turning warm until june. Then it kind of goes into a grey area, so I took that as stop checking until september. But someone told me to check every 7-10 days! So I have been.

    My area has goldenrod going into bloom right now. Doesn't that mean honey flow? Is that when I start checking again?

    By the way, I usually don't rely on just one book source. But every time I'm at a book store I keep forgetting to look for another one, and when I do remember they are out of stock.

    Thanks for the advice so far. And yeah, if I'd have let my hives go and peaked in less often, I'd probably still have three hives.
     
  6. samo's beekeeping

    samo's beekeeping New Member

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    if i understand wright yoy have 2 beehives and 1 queen. check the beehive no 3 very carefully. it was wrong to destroy the queenshells. before the population live the beehive the workers stop the queen from making eggs. so is very easy to confuse or make a wrong act. in this case search the queen. if you don't find her add in this beehive a frame from another beehive with fresh eggs 1-2 days. put it in the midle, where was the frame with the queen shells. feed the beehive with water and sugar 50-50. put sirop enaugh for 3-4 days. don't open it for at least 6-7 days. dont move it.open the beehive for a fast look at the 5th day look if there is one or two queen shells. if there are more destroy the most of them. keep 2 of the bigests and one of the smallests. feed again. and wait.
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    guba writes:
    So what are some rules of thumb for getting into a hive?

    tecumseh:
    being new you need to get in there and learn something but perhaps once every two weeks should be enough. if there is a rule actually it involves minimizing manipulation during the honey flow... the thinking here is that during an active flow you want to disturb the bees as little as possible.

    there is of course the risk of killing the queen during each and every inspection so this alone should somewhat discourage you from looking too often.

    if the bees are working something and bringing in pollen then you likely have a flow. flowers (of whatever kind) don't necessarily mean you are having a flow and you need to determine this for yourself on a location by location bases (meaning if you have multiple location a flow in one place doesn't mean you are having a flow just down the road).
     
  8. indypartridge

    indypartridge New Member

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    Exactly.

    If your weather in Ohio has been similar to ours in Indiana, the queens have probably slowed way down. They're saying this is the driest August on record. Really hoping for some rain and a good goldenrod bloom to get them ready for winter.
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    if your conditions are at all similar to indypartridge??? then again I would suggest you feed any hive that poses a question and then look back in 10 days or so.
     
  10. Guba

    Guba New Member

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    Okay, I'll limit my peeks to every 2 weeks or so. Saves me some time! :thumbsup:

    If I don't see any queen cells in hive #3, I'll move a frame with eggs into it from #2. Being that I've missed queen cells in the past, it might still have some though. Would it be too late in the season for this? Don't they get rid of the drones around september?
     
  11. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Drones are normally kicked out around the first frost.

    Watching the bees at the entrance will tell you many things about the condition of the hive. Watching it for 10 minutes 3 or more times a week will often tell you when you need to go inside. My rule is "Go in when I have a reason". That reason may be something I see on the outside. It may be because it has been a while and I want an update to satisfy my own curiosity. I never go into a hive on a calender schedule. I always have a reason to go in, or I don't go.
     
  12. Guba

    Guba New Member

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    :D The light bulb you just turned on made things very bright for me. Thanks. :D

    I go out watch the hives every day for a few minutes. So now I can relate!
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I often times tell the new beekeepers here the same message as Iddee has related only I use the word 'purpose' where Iddee used the word reason. I am glad you captured the importance of recognizing 'the signs' of what is happening at the front door. Although quite often overlooked, this is the intersection of the internal and the external world for the bees. Reading the signs of what is taking place at the highly traveled intersection is actually the first thing a new beekeeper should set about coming to understand.

    good luck...
     
  14. samo's beekeeping

    samo's beekeeping New Member

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    dear tecumseh and Guba
    i agree that you can understand the condition of a beehive with a look in the front door.
    but please dont make the same mistake with me. i had the same opinion. until i found 3 beehives with waxmoth. and the next year 5 beehives with no queen inside. i know that if you want to bee a good beekeper you must be one with the bees, think like them, feel like them, feel their needs. and you can do this if you open the beehive. you must be one with the beehive. forgive my advices, i am not a bee teacher , just a beekeper's opinion.
     
  15. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I think Samo what Iddee, Walt and I are trying to suggest to the new beekeeper is that they not become to wound up and inspect a hive a bit too frequently. There is (I would assume almost all beekeepers come to this mental state of mind fairly quickly) a lot of stuff to be learned in order to make yourself a better beekeeper, but one often times over looked source of information doesn't require you to even light a smoker or put on a bee veil. This reading the signs outside the hives is however only the first step in the adventure.
     
  16. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

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    One thing I learned the hard way a couple of years ago is to not go into a hive during a dearth just to check things out. It will start a robbing frenzy. So this year, I have just been watching the entrances, and if things look "normal" I leave them alone.

    One reason, too, it has been HOT here in Arkansas and I don't want to disturb their air-conditioning system. So the first decent temp. day, I will take a peek inside and see what's going on. I have not pulled any honey yet, and the last time I checked them, I had lots of honey - so I hope they are still OK. If we get a good fall flow, I will pull honey later.

    I have put a feeder out - a Boardman - and placed it a good 100 ft away from the hives and they are out there every morning when I put out a new jar of sugar water and they will have it drained in no time because there is NOTHING for them here right now. Those bees buzz me when I go out there like my cats wait at the back door to be fed!

    So I learn something new all the time - thanks to these guys on the forum - they have a wealth of knowledge.
     
  17. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    The " rule " , I was raised with is be as LEAST INTRUSIVE AS POSSIBLE, every time you open up a colony and do and meaningful inspection, you distrupt the order of the colonf for days, or longer, you want to absolutely minimize this disruption as much as possible one check emphasis of quickly to check for some brood and honey/ pollen is all required anything after that is too invasive particularly in the fall as they are starting to prepare thier winter nesting area.
    Barry