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I'm 17 years old, and just started keeping bees. My Grandpa did it before me and tried to teach how to keep bees, But before my training had finished, he passed away. So now i have a hive and a problem.
I've been checking in on the bees once a week, because it's a new herd (that's what i'll call them because i don't know the actual term), and i noticed that the bees are staying on the same three frames. Now this has been going on for almost a month so i decided to make a larger time interval before checking in on them. So after about 3 weeks i checked them again and they're still on those same three frames. Is this normal? If not what can i do to help? Should i be worried?
I know the queen is there because when i checked them yesterday, i could see eggs (which were hard to find) and larvae (again, i think that's what they're called). I even saw a young bee eating its way out of it's cap which was really exciting to see. But i don't know what i should do. PLEASE HELP!!
First of all -- kudos for wanting to keep the hive alive and functioning. That said, I have no experience with which I could directly help. But -- try calling your County Extension Agent (in the phone book's government section). These folks are connected to the state's agricultural colleges and know a lot about a lot of stuff. If they can't help, they may know who to refer you to. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress. jo
Be careful when removing the frames. You could easily kill the queen. The bees are doing just fine. Because it is such a young (new) hive they are busy making new babies. Just don't open them so often and never ever in cold or wet weather. The bees will maintain a constant temp. in the hive and by opening the box when it is not necessary the temp will drop and it costs them more energy to get the temp back at which they thrive. Watch them going in. Their pollen baskets should be full. Do not harvest any honey from them this yr. as they will need all they can get for the winter. Also you may have to get a feeder for the winter time to put on the top inside of the box and keep it filled with sugar water. Sometimes my husband has to do that with his hives. Good luck. LIZ
>>"Does your state require registry of the hive? Illinois does."
>>Really? Why is that?
You will also find that most apiary inspectors are eager to help when you have questions.
He,or she,is a good person to know.
As LC2sgarden said,stay out of the hive.Watch the landing board and if you see loads of pollen going in then your queen is fine.
You need to look into joining the New Jersey Beekeepers association. They have classes and experts to help beginners.
The United States Department of Agriculture has a Home and Garden Bulletin Number 158 " Beekeeping for Beginners" It can now be downloaded from website http://www.msue.msu.edu/portal/
Search on Beekeeping for Beginners and you will find 2 publications that you can download and print.
You also might think of buying a little book from Dadant Publications called "First Lessons in Beekeeping" Its an old paperback publication but Amazon.com sometimes has used ones for about $6 including shipping. It was first published in 1917 but has been updated as late as 2007. Try and get one of the newer ones, 1997 or so. Cost less and covers the later diseases. This has been the beekeepers bible since it came out in 1917.
I know this post is months after you asked for help - but when I first started a beekeeper advised me to feed feed feed new bees to help them get established. Feeding was just mixing up equal parts sugar and water. I bought a feeder that mounted in the entrance to the hive from a bee equipment catalogue.
I hope your hive grew this summer. If in doubt about their stores for winter - feed feed feed.
Then, next season, you'll have a stronger hive with their comb drawn out and the ability to devote all their time to honey production!