My First Real Inspection

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by blueblood, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Hi friends, I completed my first real inspection today of both hives frame by frame. I took some pics front and back mostly of the old drawn comb frames I traded with my mentor. I would be honored and grateful for some of experienced keepers to give me an analysis of what you see. I have a little idea of what I am looking for but still not quite where I want to be with identifying things. I took pretty good photos so you can get a decent look. The pic with the very visible yellow pollen pouch is my favorite...allot going on in that and the other pics...pretty cool. The only thing that concerned me was a few white white cocoon like objects one of them very clearly seen on first pick on photobucket album just right of center and three inches from the top. I think I saw one on a frame with a bee hind end hanging out of it. Strange? Moth activity? It was very interesting and exciting to see the first drawing of new foundation in the second hive. Finding the queen and other things is like those "where in the world is waldo" books, ha! My reflection in most of the cells unfortunately. Both queens to my relief were found. Here are the variables: introduced on April 3rd, four frames old drawn comb in each hive, hives were smoked, 50's temp, sunny/no wind. Here is link to my photobucket album so that you can get a better, more zoomed in look. http://s267.photobucket.com/albums/ii307/jossenbella/1st Hive Inspections Spring 2012/
    The first and second hives are separated by a picture of all the frames in the deep. On a side note today, the bees were actually more defensive than I have seen them since introductions. Further, I saw something I read here somewhere. The bees actually started lining up and looking at me...it was very interesting and cool but oh crap in the same thought, ha! Puff of the smoke dismissed the gang though... Thanks, Dave
    DSCF5444.jpg
     
  2. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Looks pretty good to me. You can tell the bees were a bit chilly, they remained rather huddled on the frames and did not appear to crawl around much while you were inspecting. Now that you know the queens are there, I'd leave them alone for maybe 10 days and go back to check for brood on a warmer day in the 60's. Just my opinion. :)
    Those old comb frames your mentor gave you are great to help them get started, but you might want to rotate them out of hive use once you have all drawn brood frames, and use them for baiting swarm boxes with...they are a bit 'long in the tooth'.
    I can't see the 'white things' well enough to give an opinion but if there are only one or two of them i wouldn't worry. Great going!
     

  3. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Thanks for taking a look Omie...I have so much to learn. Thanks for the advice..It does appear the heat will be returning to our area to get spring rolling better...I am still waiting for the ground to maintain 55 degrees for planting..I'm itching to plant...
     
  4. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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    Everything looks OK to me, they may be more defensive because of low temperature.
    I know I need new glasses, but am I seeing the queen in the picture at the end of your post? (right corner):smile:
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    what Omie said... fairly new frames mostly in good condition with a bit of wax month damage on some (I would knock this stuff out and start again with new foundation).

    the queen is very visible.. I think it was picture number 7 and 8 and oddly enough hangin' out on one of those not so good frames. a very nice queen which appears to be Italian.

    squish the cocoons and if they are still soft this could be a problem although I would guess given your location and time of year they are simple the shells remaining from a prior seasons wax moth infestation (and were likely what damaged some of the comb in your pictures).
     
  6. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    @marbees: yeap, that is the queen of hive two...

    @tecumseh: I was surprised she was on one of those bad frames too. That first hive queen was bigger than the second...she should be Italian or at least the packages I purchased were described as so. Well, good to know what the cocoons are. I will check it again in a couple of weeks like Omie suggested and knock those off and see about changing out that really bad frame. Seems like my mentor said he stuck some of his frames in the freezer to kill some moths last season but not sure if any of these were them.
     
  7. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Don't worry too much about those old frames right now. The bees don't think they are 'bad frames'- in fact, they prefer them! They provide instant places to store nectar, and the old comb smells good and provides warm places for them. No wonder they are clustered over it, rather than on bare foundation. The old comb gives the queen a place to play before the new frames get drawn. You can cycle them out later. Some folks feel that old frames slowly accumulate toxic stuff like pesticides in their wax, which is why some people say to phase out old frames after 3-5 years. Your bees will clean out any old moth webbing or old chalkbrood 'mummies' etc from those dark frames and use them right away. Old combs are GREAT in swarm lure boxes- their aroma is powerfully attractive to swarms. Just don't leave them out once the weather gets hot or the wax moths will move in and make a disgusting mess of them.
     
  8. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    frame #4 at the top left corner on the top bar, the little divots in the wood are where wax moth had made their cocoons

    frame #6 & 7 & 8 nice queen

    frame #9 & 10 good candidate for the swarm trap, they are starting to build wild comb on the side of it, would rotate it to the outside.

    frame #12 wax moth larva damage, that is the silk trails they leave through the combs, I try to help out by pulling them off of the comb, if too much damage and filth remove.

    frame #23 old queen cup, nothing to worry about, always around.
     
  9. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    @Omie: thanks for the info, that makes since about the warmth factor of the drawn comb...

    @G3, wow, thanks for the info...That queen was bigger than the queen in my second hive. I thought she looked pretty divine. Could I remove the swarm candidates mid-season when I am ready for a swarm without disrupting things? I never noticed those divots on the wood...I had not read about that anywhere yet so that's good to know. I wondered if someone would catch what I was focusing on there in frame 23. When you say rotate out in frame 9 and 10, do you mean to outer edge of deep or out to a swarm deep?