Time to be concerned? (total noob)

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Loptr, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. Loptr

    Loptr New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    So after reading a few books I took the plunge.

    I installed two nucs into 8 frame Langstroth boxes on Sun. It was a beautiful spring day in the high 50's to low 60's. I have left some syrup for them to forage on and on Monday I put a roughly 6" by 1/2" patty of pollen substitue and powdered sugar on the top of the frames in each box.
    Hive A appeared to have fewer bees and less active from the start.
    Hive B is behaving as I would consider normal.
    The very next day it dropped to the low 40's and the bees caught an hour or two of foraging. Yesterday was a repeat mid 40's only hive B showed an real activity. Hive A was almost completly dormant based on viewing from the outside.
    I am reluctant to keep opening the hive and losing the heat they generate. So I am telling myself to relax be patient and wait for a warmer day. Todays high should be 49 and tomorrows 61.
    Soo....
    Am I doing the right thing by relaxing (trying to) not worrying and having a homebrew? Or do I need to take some kind of action?
    Loptr
     
  2. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

    Messages:
    2,056
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Welcome Loptr! You are doing fine. I truly understand how tempting it is to be concerned and want to open them up. I probably opened mine up too much last year, my first year. But, they are amazing little creatures and will do just fine. Let them stay warm. It is good that you left syrup and pollen with them for the colder days. I would only be concerned if it is in the high 40's and above and you see gang buster activity from one and nearly nothing on the other. On the other hand, you will find yourself in your hives more this year than subsequent years. And, some books you will read on keeping will indicate this is beneficial for the new keeper to be in the hive more to learn the process of the hive. I would just caution that TOO much time can retard their efforts. Fun stuff though right! And, like your avatar. Oh, one more thing. The powdered sugar may be overkill. Plus, with the bees not being able to fly so much right now considering the cool temps, the powder can fall off of the top bars and too much on bees. The sugar could gum up on their wings and potentially cause some issues. The warmth of the bees and the cool air coming in the bottom entrance could change the powdered sugar to gooey sugar. Do you have a vent somewhere at the top of your hive?
     

  3. Loptr

    Loptr New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    thanks for the info.

    I mixed the powder sugar into the pollen substitue so that it is one mass.
    Patience is not my strong suit...
    The frames that came with the nuc are a bit longer than my boxes (I built everything from scratch) this created a bit of "breathing room" at the top.
    I shall practice the sage wisdom of Charlie Papazian, relax dont worry have a homebrew (RDWHAHB)

    I dig the rabbit too. Thanks!

    Loptr
     
  4. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

    Messages:
    2,056
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I had Google Papazian...it clicked after I saw his picture. Very good, ha! Ah, ya mixed the sugar in...that is fine and dandy.
     
  5. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

    Messages:
    1,936
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Welcome and good luck! :)
     
  6. Omie

    Omie Active Member

    Messages:
    2,337
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Any time there is extra space in the hive, the bees will fill it with wild comb. That comb will get ripped apart when you open the hive or move frames, always creating a big mess and potentially harming bees or the queen. Do some searching and reading about proper 'bee space' and what it means, and then you'll likely have to adjust your setup in some way to remove that 'breathing room'.
     
  7. Beeracuda

    Beeracuda New Member

    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have been having to practice this too, but with my prickly pear mead. Of course I had to follow Papazian's recipe (or guidelines would be more acurate) when making my mead. :grin:
     
  8. Loptr

    Loptr New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    mmmmmmm mead
    +/- 30% of my motivation to become a beekeeper!
     
  9. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    :hi:Welcome to the forum Loptr. It's not unusual to see two hives, one next to the other, showing differences in their activity. That's part of the genetic variability of the species. When you'll decide to start raising your own queens, breed from the best.
    For the meanwhile, as hard as it is, practice being patient. Watch the bees from outside the hive and try not to invade their privacy more than absolutely necessary. A hive really shouldn't be opened unless you have a real purpose to opening it---something that will benefit the family or help toward honey production.
     
  10. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Let me add my voice to those Welcoming you to our friendly forum.
    Good advice given so far and like Efmesch mentioned, I have had hives side by side, all in normal health, and one will start foraging an hour earlier than the next. :dontknow: Go figure.
    Personally, I think they're just sleeping in or being lazy (to which I can relate). :wink:
     
  11. kebee

    kebee Active Member

    Messages:
    1,008
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Welcome Lotpr, glad you found this forum, I think you will enjoy it here.

    kebee
     
  12. Lburou

    Lburou Member

    Messages:
    553
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Welcome. Omie mentioned warmth in the hive. One thing you can do to help them get by this cold weather with small or non existant reserves is to reduce the entrance. Use the smallest entrance on one of those entrance reducers. HTH :)
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    sounds like you have them something to chew on.... so bee happy, don't worry and welcome.
     
  14. Omie

    Omie Active Member

    Messages:
    2,337
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I did? :confused:

    I too think it's a good idea to reduce the entrances on a new hive, but not because of temps- more because it makers it easier for the bees to defend against robbers. Once the hive is strong robbers are less of a worry.
     
  15. Loptr

    Loptr New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks to everybody.

    I lookforward to participating in ths new community of friends.
    I got home yesterday and checked hive A and the ladies were more active than I have seen too date. They were taking syrup and I noticed every now And then a lady returning with a load of pollen. I shall continue to practice RDWHAHB and let them bee.
    I figure after two weeks in their box I may open it up to check on the and see if its time to add a seond box and do a formal inspection as the first time I just transferred the frames and ladies then closed them up to settle in.

    The responses are infinitely helpful!

    Cheers,
    Loptr
     
  16. Lburou

    Lburou Member

    Messages:
    553
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I guess you didn't, I must have been dream reading :mybad: :)
     
  17. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Looks and sounds like you've caught the bee disease:eek:, There's no cure i know of. I've had it for almost 50 yrs. Jack
     
  18. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

    Messages:
    2,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Welcome to the forum.
    The way the nucs were made up can cause the appearance of how many bees are present in the hive and how active they appear. If the nuc is made and has caped frames of bee the caped brood will emerge over the next 9 days resulting in a large increase of bees allowing more bees to become foragers. If the nuc has more open brood more of the bees will be feeding the brood and capping over the cells allowing less bees to forage. The open brood will emerge in 9 to 18 days.
    On your next inspection check that the queen is present in the hive by checking that there are young lava and eggs present.
    As you inspect the colonies anticipate what the colony will be like in the future to determine when you need to revisit the hive to provide more space for the bees. Keep in mind that the bees will only let the queen lay in space that there is enough bees to cover and incubate the brood area. Every full frame of brood when emerged will provide bees to cover 2 frames. The eggs, and brood in the hive will have all emerged in the next 21 days, the capped brood during the next 9 days. The open brood during the following 9 to 18 days and the eggs the following 3 days. So by observing what is in the colony you can predict the timing of future needs of the colony and provide resources to the colony as needed.
     
  19. lazy shooter

    lazy shooter New Member

    Messages:
    649
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Welcome to our friendly forum. I just slid by my second anniversary with bees, and the older forum members have been so very helpful. There are a bunch of experienced beekeepers on this forum that will be of major assistance to you. Please ask any question any time.