New Beekeeper-Questions About Queen/Hive

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Novastella, Jul 9, 2017.

  1. Novastella

    Novastella New Member

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    Hi! New beekeeper here :)

    My husband and I just set up a hive in April and everything seems to be going ok, but have some novice questions.

    1. We haven't seen our Queen in a month. Is this something usual or a concern?
    (We can see new bees emerging and larvae, but aren't able to determine if there were eggs.)

    2. We found some odd cells, during today's hive inspection. What exactly are the bees making?

    A week ago, there were no Supercedure cells or queen cells.
    A new super was added 2 weeks ago, so nothing has changed besides that.

    3. Do we need to re-queen, if we still can't find our original?

    4. The bees are making a pink colored honey, is this from a specific type of pollen?

    5. We check the hive weekly or bi-weekly. Is this too much?

    (Photos show what we found today in the hive)

    2017-07-09 16.48.02.jpg 2017-07-09 16.47.34.jpg 2017-07-09 16.47.04.jpg 2017-07-09 16.52.06.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2017
  2. ccjersey

    ccjersey Member

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    Those are queen cells. Looks like they were capped, but I can't really see in the pictures.

    They may be superceeding your queen or could be preparing to/already have swarmed. Bees commonly make queen cups on brood frames that never get eggs laid in them, but those are drawn far longer than cups from what I can see.

    The danger is that they have swarmed or the queen is gone and the hive is queenless. Have you noticed any change in attitude? I am dealing with similar problems and have had some hives that really get aggressive. One was interesting.....put some supers off another weak hive that I thought was queenless onto a strong hive by using a sheet of newspaper between. The resulting stack was 2 deeps for the brood, queen excluder and then 4 or 5 mediums, an inner cover with the upper entrance open and finally a telescoping top. Couple weeks later I went back in and was going through the honey supers starting at the top and hit some scattered frames of brood! When I got down to the excluder and lifted it, it was like taking the top off the proverbial can of "whup ass"! The bees below the queen excluder erupted out of the hive and attacked!

    Further inspection of the lower boxes revealed no brood, no eggs no queen and no queen cells. Not sure where she went, but even though the bees were only separated from the queen in the upper supers by an excluder, they acted queenless. I am dealing with a small hive beetle outbreak after more than a month of rainy weather and I wanted to reduce the excess "real estate" in that stack. So I sorted all the frames with brood into a single medium and put a deep on it, then a queen excluder and a couple mediums for honey and set the mostly empty boxes out in front of the hive to allow the bees in them to move any stores and themselves into the hive over several days. I haven't been back in yet to see how the queen is progressing, but the bees made the move without any problems. Didn't see any robbing behavior, but there was really little to no honey in the boxes i moved them out of.

    Where were the queen cells on the frame? How many? How much drone brood have you been seeing? How many drones are in the hive? If your bees have swarmed and you have removed their "swarm cells" you will need to find a queen soon! If its a superceedure, they can maybe try again or you can requeen.

    I think hives that aren't doing anything unusual don't need opening up that often, but as new keepers, better to go in too often and learn than to miss something important like the queen stopping laying etc.
     

  3. ccjersey

    ccjersey Member

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    Those are queen cells. Looks like they were capped, but I can't really see in the pictures.

    They may be superceeding your queen or could be preparing to/already have swarmed. Bees commonly make queen cups on brood frames that never get eggs laid in them, but those are drawn far longer than cups from what I can see.

    The danger is that they have swarmed or the queen is gone and the hive is queenless. Have you noticed any change in attitude? I am dealing with similar problems and have had some hives that really get aggressive. One was interesting.....put some supers off another weak hive that I thought was queenless onto a strong hive by using a sheet of newspaper between. The resulting stack was 2 deeps for the brood, queen excluder and then 4 or 5 mediums, an inner cover with the upper entrance open and finally a telescoping top. Couple weeks later I went back in and was going through the honey supers starting at the top and hit some scattered frames of brood! When I got down to the excluder and lifted it, it was like taking the top off the proverbial can of "whup ass"! The bees below the queen excluder erupted out of the hive and attacked!

    Further inspection of the lower boxes revealed no brood, no eggs no queen and no queen cells. Not sure where she went, but even though the bees were only separated from the queen in the upper supers by an excluder, they acted queenless. I am dealing with a small hive beetle outbreak after more than a month of rainy weather and I wanted to reduce the excess "real estate" in that stack. So I sorted all the frames with brood into a single medium and put a deep on it, then a queen excluder and a couple mediums for honey and set the mostly empty boxes out in front of the hive to allow the bees in them to move any stores and themselves into the hive over several days. I haven't been back in yet to see how the queen is progressing, but the bees made the move without any problems. Didn't see any robbing behavior, but there was really little to no honey in the boxes i moved them out of.

    Where were the queen cells on the frame? How many? How much drone brood have you been seeing? How many drones are in the hive? If your bees have swarmed and you have removed their "swarm cells" you will need to find a queen soon! If its a superceedure, they can maybe try again or you can requeen.

    I think hives that aren't doing anything unusual don't need opening up that often, but as new keepers, better to go in too often and learn than to miss something important like the queen stopping laying etc.
     
  4. Novastella

    Novastella New Member

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    Thank you for replying.

    The bees attitude hasn't changed. They are still docile and aren't bothered too much when we do our inspections. There are baby bees emerging from frames and larvae in the brood box. The two queen cells we found were capped/empty. One was on the bottom corner of the frame and one was located towards the center. We removed the cells, but now realize we didn't need to. The bees were checked last week and the cells weren't present at that time.
    No swarming has happened and we are hoping they aren't queenless and no extra drone brood is being laid or an increase in drones. The bees are doing great filling frames and seem to be how they were, since getting established. So the new queen cells in such a short time frame is a bit of a concern for us.

     
  5. ccjersey

    ccjersey Member

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    Sounds good!

    You should review the "bee math" post in the stickies at the top of the forum. If you are seeing uncapped brood your queen was laying pretty recently. I also have trouble seeing eggs and I find that when I work my hives should be morning to mid-day unless I want to walk a ways with each frame to get out of the late afternoon shade and have direct sunshine into the bottom of the cells. Also I am considering a pair of drugstore "cheaters" to get some more magnification instead of my trifocals.

    Unfortunately I have had several hives go queenless so some of my problem seeing eggs is that they are not there!
     
  6. Novastella

    Novastella New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I will check out the bee math and read a bit more articles posted on the forum.

     
  7. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Sounds like both of you are doing very well! and welcome to the forum.