I'VE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE??

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by arkiebee, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

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    Today - Second day of my spring break - 70 degree plus - (we got SNOW Sunday) and I thought I finally had a day to reverse my hives. Everything went great - textbook perfect - till I got to HIVE 4:

    I still had the shim on it from the sugar because I knew I was taking them all off today - we have still had bitterly cold weather even this weekend. Anyway these Russian ladies built a comb - attached it to the inner cover and there were about 5 rows all about the length of an innercover and about 3 inches long. Now if you were out our place today and saw me at a distance, you would literally seen a big question mark over my head because I literally did not know what to do??? I couldn't leave it because there was no place for it, so I went ahead and reversed the hives and then I just thought I would take my hive tool and take all the comb off. I was so scared because I saw larvae, and upon a close look - see, I saw it full of eggs. I was so careful to look for the queen, but I never saw her. I was going to do away with the comb with the eggs, larvae, etc, but I thought I just couldn't do that, so I took the pieces and tied them to a sheet of foundation from a new hive body and tried to place them close to the center of the hive. I don't know if any will survive/ I just hope my queen is ok. My question is: How much did I hurt this hive, and if my queen was in that mess and I didn't see her would she go back into the hive with the other bees?

    This is a HUGE hive - I mean a monster - I even went ahead and put that new hive body on top thinking if they are that busy, they will have it full quick. I know this is one I am going to have to split, and I thought a 3rd hive body would make the split easier later on??? Don't know if that was right to do either> These Russians were MAD too! This has always been my more aggressive hive, but I have peeped in on them and feed them without any bee suit, but today they meant business. I am GLAD I was suited up. And I discovered that they still had A LOT of honey.

    When can I go back in that hive to check and see if my queen is still there? I know if I just see eggs I am happy and I go no further.

    All I know is my back is killing me and I want to cry. :cry:

    But I did do that one time spring cleaning/check and all is well with my bees. I am going to have to do some splits and I think I will just let them raise a queen because she is the bees-knees~

    THANKS FOR YOUR WISE INPUT!!
     
  2. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Sounds like you have a good strong hive and if you want some splits that would be the one.If you seen eggs she was either there or had been in the last three days, She should have been easy to see on the strips of comb on the inner cover, so your probably alright.The comb you scraped off was probably drone eggs and cells, time will tell if they were damaged or not when you attached them to the frame and the nurse bees found them. Myself i'd wait a week and check them if the weather is right. Good luck. Jack
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I would have likely looked as close as possible for the queen, knocked the bees off the burr comb and then cut the burr comb off and into a bucket. at the earliest stages of development (eggs and larvae) the bees are quite robust. the are most fragile in the earliest stages of the pupae stage,

    if the hive was well populated and contrary then I would place this hive on my must split first list.
     
  4. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Like tec said, i wouldn't of tried to saved the brood in the burr comb, except for fish bait :thumbsup: . Bluegill love it. Jack
     
  5. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I would have done the scrape and toss also. You will have a bigger mess with the burr comb in the new frame now.

    It is good to experiment also, one of the best ways to learn and never forget.

    G3
     
  6. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    Uh Oh, now the boys will be dying to try that one too! Just kidding, it will be great to see how they do with it :)

    The rule here is always get rid of the burr comb....otherwise it gets to be a big mess in there.
     
  7. rast

    rast New Member

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    Just about all the burr I cut out of my spacers were drone. That's where I found mites when I went into them.
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    well to somewhat reinforce contrary thinking and Rast's last statement. at one time burr comb was just considered to be a large head ache for the beekeeper. now it is perhaps the most reliable" sampling tool for monitoring varroa populations.

    "just to keep everyone informed almost all the standard processes for sampling of varroa infestation has such large error terms that you are much more likely to obtain an incorrect impression of the problem than to ever obtain an accurate estimate of a hive's individual level of infestation.
     
  9. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

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    THANKS so much for your comments. I feel better now because I was afraid that I had lost some worker bees, but I did take a good look at the larvae and I figured it was drone larvae because it was bigger and I did not see any mites on them. :D

    I will get back in that hive one day next week after school and see how much of a mess they may have made with the comb I tried to save. I just thought that they would rework that comb and use it?? Guess I'll find out later. I will also check for new eggs down in the next hive body to see if my queen is still going ok.

    and G3 you are right! I have learned more from my own mistakes in raising bees, and it is also amazing that you don't forget your mistakes either. I also always write everything down and double check what I need or should NOT do again before I go in with a major job.

    You guys are wonderful - I wonder just how many "years" of experience we have on this forum? :thumbsup:

    I'll keep you posted.
     
  10. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Info wanted,for years i just scraped the burr comb off and threw it on the ground beside the hive or put it in the top feeder. My 84 yr. old beekeeper buddy said i shouldn't throw it on the ground, that he has read it would draw SHB's ? We have just been seeing hive beetles in our area for about 2 yrs. now, i've only seen them in two hives of mine and only 10 to 15 of them. For you that have them, will burr comb on the ground bring them in? Jack
     
  11. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I have heard the same thing. What the truth is, I don't know. The way I see it, it can't help anything, and those bits of wax add up. I throw them in a bucket and keep them most times.
     
  12. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    put it in the solar wax melter.

    G3
     
  13. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

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    I have heard that as well, so I always pick up all the old wax that I may scrape off and I just keep it in the fridge we have out in the garage. There was a man at our last bee meeting that said he sent in 1500 lbs of wax to Kellys, but it had been years since he was collecting it! He said that he stored it in barrels, etc.
     
  14. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    After he told me that i've been putting it in the top feeder (i leave them on year round) i always done this if the burr comb had honey in it because it would draw ants. If the burr comb with drone brood in it draws shb, i sure don't want that. Back in the 60's, 70's and 80's we didn't have to worry about all the things we have now. I miss those days :( . Jack
     
  15. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

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    OK - it has been one week since I reversed the hives. This afternoon I peeked inside Hive 4 and some bees were up in that 3rd hive body, but no building going on yet. I took it off and I had bees all over the frames on the second hive body and they were really calm and not paying attention to me at all. Now one of the guard bees was trying to tell me to leave, but it wasn't like the other day when I reversed it and took the burr comb off.
    SO I am assuming that all is well with my queen since those bees were really calm and even across those top bars ? :confused:
    I didn't take any frames out because even though it was 70 degrees plus today, it was really WINDY! I'll wait for another day on that one. I have always heard that if a hive is queenless the bees will be grumpy and just "not normal" I was just so afraid that I might have harmed my queen when I was in them last week even though I didn't see her.