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Advice to newbee after 1st inspection

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honey 

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hi, i have posted before but not had much response to my recent question - this is my first colony so a bit unsure at the mo.

i got my small cast of approx. 5000 bees about 5 weeks ago, was told by my mentor to keep feeding them & not disrupt the hive for 3-4 weeks, then to add a 2nd brood box, below the existing one to help with stores + ventilation over winter.

so i did my 1st inspection & found 5 frames of brood + stores. is this a good sign?

should i go ahead & add the 2nd brood box as instructed? i'm worried that the extra space, if not used by the bees, will be bad for them over the winter months??
 

roche 

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Hi Honey, welcome to the forum. It sounds like they are doing well, but I would leave them on a single single brood until you have six good frames of brood and more of stores. then maybe add a super above.
 
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Tom Bick 

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You have 5 frames of brood that is good given your situation and stores but how much stores depends on how much you have fed them its a balance to much stores and less room for the queen to lay and you want them to expand as much as possible before the end of the season.
I think the 2nd BB is no help to you as above you need the bees to expand into the first BB and hope to get them as big a colony as possible for the winter.
If you are still feeding it will be best perhaps to stop now and monitor the stores during inspections and then if you think they need it feed small amounts.
 

oliver90owner 

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Is this 5 frames of (brood + stores) or is this 5 frames of brood and an indeterminate amount of stores?

Is the box full in the second scenario?

I can't honestly beleive that a cast of 5 weeks is going to have more than a few new bees emerged, so I am thinking here that all you have is a box with frames stuffed full of sugar honey. So I will not be changing my previous advice.

Hope this actually helps this time.

RAB
 
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Tom Bick 

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Honey I have read most of your earlier thread and a good thing to remember is if you ask two beekeepers the same question you will get four different answers and its hard what to do when its experience you require to make the right decision.

So in your hive -

1 - How many drawn frames
2 - How many partly drawn frames
3 - How many frames of foundation
4 - How many frames of brood at all stages
5 - What proportion of brood frames are stores
6 - How many full frames of stores
7 - If you have partly drawn frames do they have stores or patches of brood on them
 

honey 

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i have roughly half and half of stores to brood in there - how much should it be please?

the brood is mostly capped worker, with i'd say about 1/4 at egg & larvae stage.
 

milkermel 

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Honey, it sounds like your lot are doing well! last year I had a swarm in October so lots later than yours they overwintered well on 5 frames with the rest blocked off with loft insulation. personally i dont understand the benifit of adding another bb underneath if you still have space for the bees to draw on, presume you have undrawn foundation frames?
 

Hebeegeebee 

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Keep to the one brood box. it is unlikely they will need a second. If you have an open mesh floor (assumed) you can put the second broodbox under the floor to reduce drafts underneath the hive.
The capped brood will emerge soon and the queen will lay furhter. Some bees take too much syrup and occcasionally seem to fill up every space with syrup. Most take what they need and if there is forage they prefer it to syrup. If the weather is good you can let the feeder run dry for a few days as you know there are stores in there. Then feed a bit more later. If you have a frame of stores, that will do them for quite a few days without any flying.
 

Hebeegeebee 

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Now is a good time to consider varroa treatment if you haven't done so.
 
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Tom Bick 

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i have roughly half and half of stores to brood in there - how much should it be please?

the brood is mostly capped worker, with i'd say about 1/4 at egg & larvae stage.
I think half and half is to much stores given that what you want is brood and they have plenty for now just keep an eye on it during inspections and then reassess the situation.

At your association you have been told to feed feed and feed to get the bees to drawer foundation they need alot of stores to produce wax I think its and may be corrected 6lbs of honey to produce 1lb of wax but and its a big but the bees have also got to do all the other jobs in the hive.

Once they have drawn a few frames the queen can lay in the cells and then the bees concentrate on the brood and wax production is reduced they know their limitations and what they are capable of achieving at that time so when offered free syrup they dont refuse and they grab it not straight away for wax production as they are looking after the brood but store it and this reduces the space for the queen to lay and also takes the bees away from other important jobs in the hive.

Your bees dont sound to bad they are raising brood and have expanded the sealed brood will soon start to emerge and that will give you more young bees that will look after the new brood freeing other bees to drawer wax and forage thinking of pollen not nectar.

I think the best thing you can do is to watch the stores and if you are concerned then feed but not large amounts at a time and given the time of year now insulate the hive to keep them warm. The warmer the hive less bees needed to keep the brood warm and more bees able to expand the hive.
 

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