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Help relocation of wild bee's - Page 3

post #21 of 40
Originally Posted by noble View Post

I opent the hive yesterday to check them and found that thwy where connecting the comb int the frames to the frams. I think thats good.

There was not much brood, or larve . But remember that they have only been out for 5 days.

They also maid 6 superceder cells. I think that eather they are going to replace the queen , or swarm and leave them there. Any help or advice would help. Please. Thanks
Its really hard to tell from the angle of the pictures and the shadows. The last picture you posted looks like honey to me and not brood. The only patch I saw that looks like brood is in the second picture down from the top.  But it could be from before the relocation (depending on when that happened.  I am not seeing any signs of a queen, (again the pics are limited). I am guessing the queen was lost or killed during the relocation and now they are making a new queen.  If you have a queen still in there you should be seeing cells with uncapped larvae and or eggs.  Eggs are really hard to spot but the larvae is easy, it looks like a little white worm curled up and stuffed into the cell.


post #22 of 40

Hi, you are right in thinking the lack of pollen going in is a concern especially when you saw that they were taking plenty in before the transfer.


When you say that you put the brood in the bottom box and an empty box in the middle and then the honey in the top box, this may be part of the problem. An empty box in the middle may cause chilling of the brood below unless you are in an exceptionally warm climate. The queen will not cross an empty area, so if she has been separated from the brood area perhaps by you putting her in the wrong place ie the top box instead of the bottom, that is most likely causing this problem. The nurse bees on the brood comb in the bottom recognise that there is no longer a queen laying eggs there and assume she has been lost and start to raise emergency queens which are the queen cells you are seeing. Also, did you place a queen excluder on the hive and if so, where? It would be best for now not to use one until they get themselves sorted out.


I would agree with the other poster that the capped cells you are referring to are honey and not brood and since they are near the bottom, I am wondering if you fixed the comb in the frames upside down. That would also cause problems for the brood. I can see literally two cells with brood (larvae) and that's all apart form the queen cells. The "nectar" you are seeing is most likely syrup which they are moving from the feeder jar into the comb... especially if you don't have mny flowers blooming yet..... there can be no nectar without flowers. I would advise you to stop feeding them as they are filling the brood area with it and that can lead to premature swarming.... they also appear to have plenty for now, especially if they have honey in the top box as well.


I think, the first thing I would do is remove that empty box in the middle and stop feeding them. It's tempting to say "remove those queen cells" as they are unlikely to make good queens in the circumstances but if the queen has been injured and no longer able to lay, then they might tide you over until a better solution can be found. It's early for there to be any drones for mating I would think..... conditions vary so much in different parts of the world.... I wouldn't expect to see drones here for another 6 weeks at least which would probably be too late but your climate may be well ahead of mine..


I think this is going to be a steep learning curve for you! You might need some brood from one of the other colonies in that trailer to help them out, but try what I have suggested first.


Did you see the queen at all when you did that inspection? .  .  

post #23 of 40
Thread Starter 
First thank you so much for the insite. And yes I have made many mistakes, I know now. We put the combs In however they would fit and now I know that that was wrong but I dont know how to fix it. Some are upside down. The caped stuff that is there probably is honey but I thought it could be brood because they stik up like little dumps. We do see larvae but not a lot.

They have attached everything (comb) to the frames, so I thought at least they havent left "yet" . They are going out and coming back with more polling now. And its been in the 60s and 70s for two days now. I had put the hole hive together thinking that way they would have room. Now, I took out the super and left the two deep boxes for brood, we did that yesterday. I think we saw the queen but as u can tell I don't really know what I am doing. I all so took out the sugar syrup. If you think I should order a queen I will. I just want it to work. They are so much fun.
If you have any suggestions I will do it right away. Thank u
post #24 of 40
If I remember correctly from the time an egg is laid until the larvae is capped is 8-9 days for normal worker brood. If it has been more then 9 days since you did the relocation then at some point you had a queen. If it has been less then 9 days you could be seeing larvae from eggs that had already been laid when you got them. It is possible to have laying workers but that is pretty rare unless a hive has been queenless for a while. I have never heard of a hive having laying workers that quick.
post #25 of 40



Don't beat yourself up about it. There isn't an experienced beekeeper alive that hasn't made some monumental mistakes. It's part of the learning process. They are amazingly complex creatures and you are doing your best to save them and I really applaud you for giving this a go, because many beekeepers wouldn't know where to start.


If you have taken the empty box out and they are starting to take more pollen in now, then I would hang fire on doing anything drastic and let the bees try to work it out. the fact that they have secured some of the comb into the frames and they are gathering pollen is all positive. Just spending time watching and listening to the activity at the entrance is both therapeutic and informative, although it takes time to read and understand what you see. There is a good book called "At the Hive Entrance" by Jorgen Tauzt (not sure if I've spelt that correctly) that might be helpful. I try to spend at least 5 mins every day when the bees are active and I'm pretty sure it helps the bees to get to know you too.


If you can, it would be beneficial to do the next cut out, with the improved knowledge you now have about keeping the combs the right way up and then, hopefully, you will have two colonies that can possibly be used to help each other or if necessary, united to make one strong colony, if one of them does end up queenless.


Don't be too keen to go out and buy a new queen. They are mass produced and mostly artificially inseminated and of coure unrelated to the bees that you have, Those are 3 good reasons why a queen raised by your own bees is better, in my opinion. To me, it is important to see the colony as a whole entity, rather than a collection of parts ( a queen, workers, drones, comb, honey) that can be interchanged or replaced at will by the beekeeper.


Just thinking about things as I type and if I were you, I would put a third deep box with frames and foundation on the bottom below the other two boxes, then the bees can build down into it when they are ready and hopefully that will allow them to make a new and better broodnest instead of trying to work with those mixed up combs. Eventually you should be able to harvest those combs out, if you keep putting an empty box below them as that comb will become filled with honey.


Hope that makes sense but if not ask.


Good luck and don't worry, bees can be amazingly resourceful of we let them,. 



post #26 of 40
Thread Starter 
Thank u so much. We left one brood box on the top with frames and plastic cell coated with the natural bee's wax that comes with it. I did this in the hopes that they will build new honey,nectar, eggs,and caped brood. I figured then when they are strong and more of them I can go replace one frame every other week till the (mistake ) brood box is full of new worked frames and no more of the mess I maid.

I am ordering to day bee's wax and screen top , screen base bottom, as well as a new bee hive set up with 4 boxes total. 2 deep brood and 2 medium supers , with frames and cells ( langstroth box ) .

My hope is that I will give it another week or so after it all gets here and try to get the other hive out of the abandoned trailer. This will give me time to read wax all the new frames with exec wax to help them out and to do the cut outs that I want to make them observation windows inn all the boxes. I all Rady got the plexiglass and sealer, hinges, excetra .

I also got the only book that they had in barns and Noble beekeeping for dummies ( which I found ironic lol)

I really did read a lot before I harvested the hive I think it is just lack of experience that got me.
Thank u so much.
post #27 of 40

In my opinion it is important that that empty box is put on the bottom instead of the top. Warm air rises, so any heat that the bees generate will rise up into that box of empty comb and make it harder for them to keep themselves and more importantly, their brood at the right temperature.... if the brood is not warm enough it is at risk of disease, varroa and possibly even death. I once killed a colony by putting an empty box in the middle and they chilled to death. Putting it on top is just as bad..You have to think about the thermodynamics going on in the hive. It's kind of the opposite of chickens needing ventilation.  Once we get into Spring and things get really warm, then putting an empty box on the top is not a problem, which is what people do with honey supers. 


Have you tried the local library for books? Sometimes they can order in what you are looking for if they don't have it. 

post #28 of 40

I am not sure what others thoughts are but if it were me at this point I would get the hive set up as described (empty on bottom) and then leave it shut for about a month.  The queen cells can be fragile and if the are making a new queen you don't want to mess with them while the new queen is emerging and making mating flights etc.  Again I am not the most experienced but I don't think you can do much good right now but you could do some damage.  Check the life cycle of a queen bee from the time the cell is made until she would have mated and started laying.  If you leave the hive closed up that amount of time then you can check for eggs, larvae etc.  Again that is what my thought is, it may or may not bee 100% correct.

post #29 of 40
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much. I already set up the boxes. The hard part will be leaving the boxes closed and not looking in. Lol
post #30 of 40
Thread Starter 
Ok Sunday will be a week with the boxes closed. It has been in the 60s at night at the coldest here in Buras Louisiana. Day time in the 70s the weather is awesome. I go out to the bee's 4 or 5 times a day and sit on the ground and just watch them I don't touch the box. Which is hard for me I think they are so cool. They have been coming back with tons of pollin on there little legs. I left it the way we discussed 2 brooder boxes the one on top has all the harvest comb and the one on the bottom brood box just has the frame with plastic comb in it.

I maid an observation window on the super box and can't wait to put it in. But I will as not to disturb them.
The new langstroth boxes get here Wednesday and I will do the window seat on all 4 of those boxes to. 2 deep brooder boxes and 2 medium supers. The trailer where I harvested the bee's is still there and as soon as I get the new box ready I'll go harvest a nother hive . We went all through the trailer yesterday and found a total of 5 hives. I have reached out to my brother in law and he has ordered a box to. His is only 2 brooder s.
(Men don't listen to well) .

I wanted to ask you all if I can split the new box up and make two smaller placesize for the new hive and in a few months buy more deep brood boxes? Could that work for now? I can put one deep brooder and the super together as one box and make 2 set ups for now. Would that work? The boxes are expensive (for me) . They are all the same dementions and when I bought all the stuff they said it can all be interchangeable.
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