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New hive - does this sound ok?

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colingill 

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Hi

My first time here having started out beekeeping last week.

Housed a 5 frame nucleus 7 days ago - much easier than i expected. Gave them a feed as recommended. They seemed to settle in well and were quickly coming in with pollen and very calm.


Did my first inspection today - couldnt wait any longer! Took away the feeder - quite a lot still in there. The nucleus seems to have changed and developed on the 5 frames. However, I am not sure if the layout of pollen, brood and honey seems normal so would appreciate any comments.

The outer frames are still untouched but I wasnt worried about that.

The first frame of the nucleus seems to have a lot of pollen - of a surprising variety of shades.

The next frame is full of brood - capped and uncapped, but no sign of eggs, although not much spare room for any, the top left and right corners had capped honey.

The next frame had what appeared to be liquid nectar and on this i saw the queen - i didnt however see any new bood, but i wonder if this was because i didnt clear away enough bees - maybe next time! There was capped honey on the top left and right corners.

The next frame appeared to be full of uncapped honey.

The final frame of the nucleus appeared to be nearly full of capped honey - this was what surprised me most as I didnt expect to see this so soon and i expected the capped honey to be on inside compared to the frame with nectar.

The outer new frames were untouched.

It may be that i have misinterpreted what i saw, but at the time I was sure that was what I was seeing - does it sound normal?

I was really pleased how easy it was to inspect and the bees were very well behaved - they were so calm my wife an kids could stand 10 feet away without any concerns at all.

Appreciate any comments and advice. The hive is in west sussex so hopefully i am far enough south for them to build up enough ahead of the autumn.
 

oliver90owner 

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In addition to P H's question, how much sugar syrup did they take and of what strength?

Seems as though they may have largely filled the laying space with supplied food and some collected stores. Fairly normal, given the information supplied, but perhaps not one would be wanting!

They need warmth to draw comb and drawn comb for laing space by HRH. Without more eggs, brood will not reinforce the house bees, etc, etc, etc.

Guessing you have standard National hive and a nuc on the same frames? Guessing you have a full box of frames, guessing you don't have a divider (or dummy board(s)) installed to help retain the brood nest warmth

Where have you installed them ? At the rear of the hive, at the front, to one side, or in the centre of the box? What are the entrance arrangements?

It is getting towards the more difficult time of the year for developing nucs, so please give us a little more information to understand exactly what you have.

Regards, RAB

Welcome to the forum, btw.
 

colingill 

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Thank you for your replies.

The feed was 2 lites of water to 2 kilograms of sugar.

It is a standard national hive with the nuc on same frames. Nuc frames have been placed in clentre and no divider used.

The entrance has the entrace blocker in to reduce the access size - wonder if this should be fully removed now.
 
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Vortex 

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I would suggest you change the frame arangement- which is what RAB was trying to get at.

For cold way - frames perpendicular to entrance
From one side wall (left or right doesn't matter) place outer stores frame from nuc, then 1 undrawn frame foundation, then all the brood (3 frames ?). If the other outer frame is stores and only if it is stores only place another undrawn frame between it and the brood. Then the stores frame, then a dummy board, then the remaining undrawn frames.

I'm not used to warm way frames parallel to entrance, since I run Langstroths, as does the other beek I work with; but I think the arangement would be something like rear wall, undrawn frames, dummy, 4th frame (stores only) or undrawn, undrawn or 4th frame, 3 frames brood, undrawn, stores, front wall.
Do not split the brood nest. You should find they now draw the side of the undrawn frames closest to the brood nest so the queen can expand onto these.
Also if you dont have a copy of Hooper - A guide to Bees and Honey go get yourself a copy. Then read it from cover to cover several times. It covers all the basics of brood manipulation, as well as a number of other topics and is a superb introduction to bee keeping.
 

tonybloke 

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I would suggest you change the frame arangement- which is what RAB was trying to get at.

For cold way - frames perpendicular to entrance
From one side wall (left or right doesn't matter) place outer stores frame from nuc, then 1 undrawn frame foundation, then all the brood (3 frames ?). If the other outer frame is stores and only if it is stores only place another undrawn frame between it and the brood. Then the stores frame, then a dummy board, then the remaining undrawn frames.

if you dont have a copy of Hooper - A guide to Bees and Honey go get yourself a copy. Then read it from cover to cover several times. It covers all the basics of brood manipulation, as well as a number of other topics and is a superb introduction to bee keeping.
:iagree:
 

colingill 

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Vortex an Tony

Thanks - I am using cold way at the moment and will follow the revised layout suggested plus get a dummy board.

I havent got Hooper - a Guide to Bees and Honey - but will look out for it - the books I have got are very good but dont cover brood manipulation.

Thanks again for your advice.
 

oliver90owner 

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OK they are getting there. If you are running cold way, I would throw away your entrance block and replace it with a piece of 20-22mm square section and leave about 50mm open in front of the nest. More than enough for a nuc and more defendable against wasps. Do not leave a wide open entrance under any circumstances, at this time of year. If waps become a nuisance the entrance can be closed down to only a few bee-ways if necessary.

Now I am wondering what floor and what top ventilation? I use OMFs for about everything and with that they need no top ventilation at all. Blocking off an OMF is likely beneficial until they are on a few more frames.

Re - dummy. I prefer a divider and seal it at the top with a piece of something (foam per eg)- anything to retain as much warmth as possible, as nights are getting decidedly chilly of late and your colony is small. A sheet of expanded polystyrene above the crownboard (below the roof) would be of further help in retaining heat energy.

Re - feed. Remove it. You now have enough carbohydrate in there to keep them going a fortnight or more! You need to watch for starvation as they build up open brood amounts (that is what really consumes a lot of the food), but if no space to lay they will not have the numbers of bees emerging in 3 weeks time to brood the next round of larvae. Only feed if they need it.

Enough to think about for the time-being

Regards, RAB
 

colingill 

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Rab

Good advice - thanks

It is OMF so I will look to bock off for a bit and also the other insulation as you advise.#

Food was taken away when I inspected today.

Thanks

Colin
 

Mike a 

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Welcome to the forums colingill

Maybe just me, but I would of expected at least two near full frames of eggs & larvae and one of capped brood, then the outer frames to have pollen and nectar stores and one of mostly capped honey.

But if you follow the advise given hopefully they will build up strong enough to make it through winter.
 

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