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Peebels 

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Hi Everyone

Im new here so a big hello to begin with :)

Now down to my question! I have recently bought a full hive from someone who was giving up beekeeping. It is in a single national brood box and is very heavy. It has already been fed and treated. On observation the little ladys all seam very active in this mild weather and did not seam to mind to much when we put them on a better stand the other day.

Considering that it has been above 15c i figured it would be safe enough to have a quick peek inside. All the frames are fully drawn and most are capped with winter stores. The colony looks very strong in numbers (i understand they are the produce of a combining early in the year) but i was unable to find the queen. She is unmarked and i am obviously fairly inexsperienced. I did see some brood so im figuring that she must be about. No queen cells noted either. The only thing that worrys me is i have been told that a queenless hive will make alot of noise when you knock on it. I went to change the strap the other day as i knocked the metal against the side the hive let out a loud whirl! Am i just being an overly paranoid new farther for several thousand or should i be concerned? If the weather permits, should i have another look next weekend?

Thanks

Peebs
 

Blair 

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Hi Peebles, and welcome.
When you opened the hive, did you notice any eggs, larvae or pupae in any of the cells. It is veru unlikely not to have a queen, and is sometimes difficult to spot, especially if she is a new queen. As for swarming, they will not swarm at this time of year.
 

Peebels 

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Yes i notice a few cells with larvea in and i think i couple of capped one, i dont recall seeing any eggs but i was a little rushed at the time really. Do you think i would check again?
 

Blair 

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If you have lavae, then you had a queen a few days ago. I am in roughly the same area as you, and the weather seems oogd today, warn anyway, and no rain. You could have another quick look, and atthe same time give them some feed. Do you know if they have had their veroa treatment?
 

Peebels 

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Yes they have, and I think it was only couple of weeks ago? I picked em up on monday evening. I think ill do like you suggested and take a quick peek in.

thanks Blair
 

admin 

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Most hives will whirl when tapped,if queenless it is more of a roar.
It's very hard to explain.
 

Peebels 

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oh i see, this was really more of a whirl, the kind of 'fun' whirl those kids toys make that you spin above your head. Did't get chance to look in because the weather changed so ill have to do it in the week.

Thanks to the both of you though, ill let you know how i get on!

P
 

Heather 

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if good they 'whirl'- then settle quite quickly - queenless - they carry on for longer:ack2:.
Welcome to the forum - lucky you getting a strong colony. Have you had much beekeeping experience before?

And where in Cheshire - I lived in Bramhall for ages
 

Peebels 

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Oh its sounding very much like a good whirl then, they settle almost instently. I guess that the problem when your told about something like this, with no terms of reference its difficult to know whats a good whirl etc. The hives i have visited previously did not make any noise really when tapped, but then they were growing colonys and not really that large, this one i have is very big, which i understand is a favourable position to be in at the end of the year.

I have very little exsperience, other than attending courses and reading up, somewhat fresh to it all.

Im in the stockport area so very close to bramhall! Used to live very close to Bramhall.
 

oliver90owner 

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My advice at this time of the year particularly for a beginner with just the one colony would be to leave well alone. Every inspection this late in the season will break the propolis seals the bees have fitted on the inside and there is always the risk of damaging or even killing the queen (with no chance of recovery without serious intervention). You have already taken the risk with getting a colony this late in the year, so you should take the information given by the vendor as bona fide and leave the bees to settle down in their new environment with the minimum of disturbance. Just my two penny worth.

I would ask the vendor for any further advice, if needed. The seller seems to be an aproachable sort of person who would want those bees to survive the winter in good shape.

Regards, RAB
 

bobandbec 

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I would second that. Leave now and check in Spring with fingers crossed.

Peter
 

thedeaddiplomat 

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Yes. The point is - what would be achieved by opening the hive now? What will you do if the Queen is missing? It is too late, surely, to find a replacement anyway. And if she is there, you will have (as others have said) put her at risk by breaking the propolis seal.

So why not just relax and enjoy an excellent autumn:hurray:, and prepare for fighting the good fight in the spring?
 

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