New Hive with no drawn comb

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by wesben, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. wesben

    wesben New Member

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    A quick question needing quick answer as I am installing bee package later today. This is a new hive with no drawn comb in the main body. I do have some drawn comb from a shallow honey super. Would it be beneficial to add a frame or 2 of the shallow comb to get the queen started laying or would this not be necesary? Would she be miffed with the odd size and ignore?

    Thanks,
    Wes
     
  2. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I say put the shorter drawn comb in if it is healthy. They will likely draw out some drone comb below the bottom bar but that can be an advantage or dealt with later. The drawn comb will let the queen get to work immediately.
     

  3. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    Either way...
    Sure put it in the middle if you want, they might draw below it but it will help them get started.
     
  4. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    feed, feed, feed, this will help stimulate wax production to get them to draw out the foundation.

    the bees will build comb as zulu said from the bottoms of those shorter frames to fill in the space, and will probably start on those short frames first. as crofter said you can deal with this later, but at some point, they will be removed, so keep in mind you will also be removing any brood, honey or pollen stored in those frames, and the bees will have to start all over, later in the season, drawing out foundation, and filling those frames with brood and food stores, so think of the trade off to get the queen started, taking away from the population and food stores, and drawing new frames later on.

    what type of deep frames are you using and how many frames are you using in the deep?
     
  5. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    Later on, after the bees draw some comb from the bottom of the frame. Couldn't you take that out, cut the extra comb off, tie it into another small frame and use it in a small nuke, or would that even be worth the trouble?
     
  6. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Greetings Weshen. :hi:
    You got us so involved with your first question of immediacy that we forgot to welcome you "officially". Congrats. You're off to a running start.:thumbsup:
    All the advice you've been given is solid. Feed and let the queen lay in the built shallows. As deep combs are built on foundation, move them to the middle and work the shallows to the sides. Eventually they'll be at the walls. After the first wave of brood has hatched out you can move them up above to a second box. If the combs have been extended beneath their bottoms, now is the time to cut off the extra comb and assign them for use as shallows.
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    ""Would it be beneficial to add a frame or 2 of the shallow comb to get the queen started laying or would this not be necessary?""

    Would it be beneficial?? YES

    Would it be necessary? NO

    You will leave the queen caged for two or more days when you install the package. By then the bees will have comb drawn for her to lay in.
     
  8. wesben

    wesben New Member

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    Guys,

    Thanks for the greetings and responses. Iv'e had bees before but never started from a package. So I did put in two shallow frames with drawn comb in the middle part of the hive. I'm using 10 frames in a deep super for the main body. I have a medium and some shallows to add to that as things grow. I'm feeding the bees and will check in a few days to see if things are progressing and lady is working. I'll move the shallow frames as suggested and eventually back up to the shallow super to let whatever brood remains there to hatch.
     
  9. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    wesben,

    don’t stop feeding them until the foundation is drawn even during a nectar flow, or until they stop taking the syrup.
    also, give us an update and let us know your 'adventures' with any bridge or brace comb built on those short frames, or found that the bees built comb and attached a portion of it to the bottom board, or when you move them up, to the frames below….:lol:
     
  10. wesben

    wesben New Member

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    OK, so I made my 5 day inspection since installing this bee package and am slightly encouraged and slightly bummed. On the good side I see lots of comb drawing and comb being filled with honey looking goo and watery looking goo. Lots of bees and some with big yellow leggings. On the down side I see no Queen. She was marked but didn't see her anywhere. I saw no egg laying signs but it may be too early for that. Also I apparently had too much space between the frames where the queen cage was as they started building up comb from the top of the frame but not attached to the foundation much like being discussed in another recent posting on the forum. There are areas beneath this new comb and the foundation that I can't see, so it is possible that the queen was under there somewhere. I moved this frame out to the end to encourge them to abandon the mutated comb and move back towards the center. I also ended up after the inspection with one less frame in the hive than I started with. I found the bees were so bunchced up on the frames there was no way to get all 10 frames back in there again with out a big masacare of bees. It was also difficult to butt the frames against one another again with all the bees between the frames. How often do you guys crunch bees when doing inspection? I always seem to get one everytime I remove and insert the entrance feeder. As far as the 2 shallow frames I put in with drawn comb, I have to admit being too disctracted by the other business and didn't pay much attention but I think the comb I saw being filled were likely these. Back to the queen, if they had killed her, would they drag her out and dump on the ground in front of the hive? I meant to do a search and forgot until I took off my gear. I plan to inspect again in a few more days to see if there is a queen or evidence of one, but is difficult so far for this newbee to determine from the bee if "all is well" or "help us we are queenless".
     
  11. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Get back in there and get 10 frames in that box. Then press them tightly together with any empty space divided equally next to the outer walls. You will have a mess if you don't. The bees will move if you push the frames together. You do NOT want open space in the hive.
     
  12. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Queenless? I doubt it. From your description they sounded too calm and busy doing what they are supposed to do.
    How to get that tenth, crorwded frame in---slow and easy. As you move it into place the bees will move away and find another place to crowd into. A puff or two of smoke into the space you want to fill, before you try to put it in, should help.
     
  13. wesben

    wesben New Member

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    Smoker? Duh, I should have thought of that. I had the thing with me, but it went out and the bees didn't seem to need it and I forgot it could move them out of the way. OK, I'll go back in there and put back the tenth frame. Thanks for the comment on a calm hive as evidence of a queen, Everything did seem quite calm in there.
     
  14. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Give it a few years--the smoker and the hive tool will become extensions of your fingers. While you'll always have to put the smoker down, you'll get used to doing just about everything while your hive tool is resting in your hand, always ready for action.
     
  15. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    Practice lighting and stuffing that smoker to the point that it stays lit and continues smoking. Nothing like reaching for it, then backing out to fill and relight.
    Another note on using smoke, DON'T overdue it. You don't need a lot, and you don't need huge puffs of smoke. Just light puffs or if the wind is in your favor simply wave it around. Another ALSO... don't hold it too close to the bees like your trying to herd them with the nozzle, you'll burn their little butts, wings etc.

    Remember, when you smoke them, it's not calming, you'll here buzzing get louder because they think they woods are on fire, when they dive into the hive, they're heading to food stores to gorge themselves before taking flight from danger. That's the BIG reason you don't want to use too much, waste of groceries.

    good luck

    no expert here, JMHO, on my feelings of smoke usage. Others a whole lot smarter than me can chime in more spot on info.
     
  16. wesben

    wesben New Member

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    Melrose, An interesting dilema I had already thought of. With a new hive and few groceries to gorge on I guess the smoke sends them searching without really finding?
     
  17. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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  18. wesben

    wesben New Member

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    OK, so I got a good burn going in the smoker and went back in. I alread had several frames with comb pieces not attached to the foundation just since yesterday. So I scraped that off and smoked away enough bees to get the 10 frame back in. Still no sight of the queen. Guess I'll leave well enough alone for several days and check again.
     
  19. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    lol yeah a few puffs are all thats required to get the girls moving, as the smoke thins out you won't really need it unless you are blessed with miserablebees, then you had better make darn sure you have it both lit and readily available. I have also found that a puff of smoke seems to act as a covering odor for when you get stung--need not allow alarm pheromone levels to elevate lol.
    Barry
     
  20. wesben

    wesben New Member

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    I left them alone for a week and checked on progress yesterday. Things seem to be going fine. Found the queen and she seems to be puttering along good laying eggs and stuff. Already one mostly all capped frame of honey on one of the drawn shallow frames I placed in the hive. I did notice two formations of what seemed to be queen cells on another frame. I removed these but wondering why they are there. Would a freshly installed hive like this want to superseed or swarm already?