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Installed a package in a Langstroth hive - What to look for in first inspections

 
Jerry Ward
Posts: 188
Location: S.E. Michigan - Zone 6a
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Hello,

On May 2nd a friend installed a package in a Langstroth hive for me (I was out of town). The hive had bees last year and died out sometime in Feburary. So I had 10 frames in a deep with about 3-4 frames of honey and one empty foundationless frame that the queen cage was attached too and the rest were empty brood comb. I'm now home and want to know what to look for in doing a first inspection and the ones in the near future.

Today I took the telescoping cover off and found an ants nest between it and the inner cover, this was making the bees a bit mad so I didn't do much looking in the hive. I brushed off all the ants and took off the inner cover and peeked in and believe the queen has been released and they are building comb on this one foundationless frame. I saw bees all over most of the frames. I put a simple board cover on to try and eliminate the ant problem.
 
Ben Good
Posts: 27
Location: Central Ohio - Humid continental climate - USDA zone 6
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I'm still kind of a noob when it comes to bees, but I'd look for brood to make sure your queen is doing well. I too, am doing foundation-less on a Lang hive. They seem to draw comb just as fast if not faster than foundation. I do know that a few ants may be okay (a nest, probable not). Ants release formic acid (not sure why) and formic acid is an "organic" method of mite control. I like to think that when there are a few ants or spiders or whatever in there, that the bees are keeping them as pets.
 
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