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May 03, 2020
In Q & A
..but since this is my first colony (nuc to come later this month, so I WILL have two) I just am not sure that's what is happening. I inspected my hive today, which is a Langstroth long. I got my package in late March and they built comb very quickly. They had four frames built out in two weeks, I've had a good brood pattern, I've seen the queen on several occasions and the time before today that I inspected, they had capped honey stores right at the top of two of the frames, just as I'd expect. The cold and rainy weather meant that I skipped a Sunday of inspecting, so I went two weeks. Today all of the honey stores are uncapped and empty. The nectar flow is good in my yard. We have a ton of dandelions and I've got bugleweed blooming all over the place. I'm sure they're foraging elsewhere too but I see a ton of foraging activity right around the hive. Lots of pollen going in, good traffic. However, I do see some wax bits on the floor of the hive, there's the honey stores that have already been tapped (they do have sugar water in a frame feeder but haven't touched it) and they just don't seem to be making any further progress on building out frames. THEN I noticed that one of the frames that had fully built out comb and capped brood two weeks ago was now taken down almost to the foundation. So they're reusing their own wax maybe? Which makes me think that they're not eating enough and there are too few bees still to produce enough wax to get the brood that needs capping taken care of, so they're taking it from elsewhere. I'm sure numbers from the original package are really dropping fast now that it's been a month, but brood has definitely hatched. Lastly, I did see a foreign bee approach the hive today and the guard bee try unsuccessfully to fend it was clear that they were fighting. So it made it in. I just want to be sure that this is not several different problems and JUST robbing (although that is also feeling daunting). I do have pictures from today if they would be helpful. Thank you in advance for any help with this. --Jill-Ann ALSO: in case it factors in, the queen that came in the cage with the package is not the queen that is now serving the colony. The package killed the guards and the queen and Jason at Woodcamp helped me through that situation. Sure enough, there was already a queen that has been shaken in with the colony. So I don't know how old she is. I will be requeening in a month or so, but I'd like them to get going better than this first. One more little factoid: my bees were more aggravated than usual today. They have been so sweet to deal with and today they were MAD. I could keep them appeased with smoke but they took to headbutting my veil several times.


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