Any mobile phones back then? So what else has changed? The weather - Climate Change causing droughts and colder longer winters? The over-commercialization of bees - farmed hives, single source commercial scale pollination, hence poor nutrition? Supplements sugar fed to honey bees. Over stress and over use of hives? Somehow I think this issue requires much more investigation, with strict double-blind scientific methodology employed instead of mere pseudo-science.
This so-called study is not science. It is sensationalist garbage. Are the results falsifiable? Will a regular cordless land-line phone cause the same disturbances? Will an alarm clock? An iPod? At my farm in Australia I have noticed more and more dead bees under blossoming trees no sprays used. The bees appear weak. I put this down to the unusually cold and prolonged winter and bizarre spring weather.
The peach trees now have less than half the fruit they normally have. Mobile phones then? Don't think so. Hi, can someone kindly summarise for me if mobile phones does harm the bees in any ways. The pros and cons. I have a debate this week and any useful information will be appreciated.
There are many causes for CCD of course the pesticides are killing the bees. All of these are destroying the bees and all of nature, including tha most destructive animal, mankind. It really does look like the end of humanity, in this dimension any way. See you in the 4th dimension.
This is just the kind of gutter science which is smothering true scientific advancement. Where was the control group? Wow this is some really poor reporting. He is suffering the same problems with his bees dying. How about finding a location that is in an area that does not have towers and see how bees do there. That would be a good first step to testing this theory.
Guess people would rather go with their cell phones then bees Cell phones, unless placed near or inside the hive should not have any impact on the bee population. Bees may react to the small electric field omitted by the phone while in close proximity but other than that the only thing they omit are radio waves which are around since the invention of radio and later television.
We have been getting bombarded with radio waves for decades and the bees were just fine. CCD is most likely linked to pesticides and zombie flies. I personally observed CCD of one of my hives and zombie flies Apocephalus borealis were definitely to blame. It is most likely that since bumblebee population declined, zombie flies needed some other host for their reproduction. It all comes back, of course, to pesticides since pesticides are the culprit in declining bumblebee population.
The study clearly states, "MAY have found the cause Not only have you completely exaggerated the story with your title, but you've outright lied - taking away all credibility. Furthermore, these studies conclude little other than the fact that cell phones in call mode irritate bees - no concrete conclusion was made regarding any other claim.
Has not been confirmed. See this article: Please get the message. It is not a problem with the sound of the bell or ring-tone from a mobile which is the main problem. This is because the bee uses the same wavelengths to navigate with. It travels sometimes dozens of miles to collect pollen and it needs to find its way back to its own hive again. It uses the ancient phenomenon of EMR which we Intelligentsia have only just discovered!
If that system is upset then the bee is a goner and all its mates too. So BIG in fact that if this keeps going on British Scientists have forecast that bees could be extinct within 6 years now. Einstein is reputed to have said that if that happened mankind could follow in as little as four years more. HUGE food shortages would follow as night follows day. There is no alternative to insect pollination. There is no way the bee can possibly adapt to this situation. No bees mean no food! Can we have a shut off your cell phone day, like the bike to work day or the shut off your lights day on Earth Day.
Not like that will do any good anyway. OMG the teenagers won't know what to do with themselves. It's just like everything else, our society won't do anything until they're forced or it's too late. We humans are extremely intelligent lets start using our brains. Instead we continue to stick our heads in the sand. I really believe the invention of the automobile was the biggest disaster of humankind leading to the destruction of our planet. Lets take care of our bees and all our other inhabitants we share this earth with. The ignorance levels certain human inhabitants have regarding our planet is frightening.
If you live in cement boxes, in concrete cities most of your life you lose touch with the REAL planet! There is a wide spectrum of frequencies, electro-magnetic fields, sound waves, laser frequencies etc used DAILY on the planet. All insects navigate using these unseen frequencies. Just because we space travel, does'nt mean we understand the planet we live on. Where can I read the actual study? I find this highly improbable. Sound dissipates at a very high rate. The phone would actual sit on the hive to do this.
What was the rate of exposure? Has this study been through proper pier review and show repeatability. Without review and repeatability this is useless information and bad reporting. I'm inclined to believe there is something wrong with these towers. Plus if you look at the colony collapse time line in the United states it almost perfectly lines up with the adoption of the g3 towers. The 10 minutes delay is due to the time needed for the. Moreo ver, the delay after interrupti ng. The Effect o f a Jammer.
Another experiment was performed in order to see the. After keeping a mobile for a period of one m onth next to the. In order to study the effect of the same signals trans mitted. A j ammer was t urned ON a nd placed near th e hive in. Compar ison betw een the healthy hive a and the hive expose d to. The audiogram i n " Fig. At marker 1, the. At marker 2 , the. At marker 4, the jammer was. The spectrogra m shown in " Fig. The exper iments performed showed that honeybees in. B ut , when the y were disturbed by the presence of.
Th e same. All experi ment s were executed under t he same conditio ns,. The time needed for bees to start being affected dep ends. Moreover, bees did not return b ack to. In this pap er, the behavior of hone ybees was st udied in. The placing of mobile pho nes or j ammers ver y close to. In this. The effec t o f m obile phone. This research could be extended into several branches: Also the effects o f the electromagnetic fields on the human. The authors wish to acknowled ge and e xtend grati tude to.
Computer and Co mmunications Engineering in specific, for. Sagili and D. Dornhaus and L. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobio logy , Vol. Ge rber. Daily Star, Lebanon, Sep. Sharma1 and N. Public Administr ation and Policy Res earch , Vol. Mixson, C. A bramson, S. No lf, G. Johnson, E. Se rrano, and. Av ailable: Download full-text. Citations 4. References There is clear evidence that honeybees exposed to high or low energy fields or electro-magnetic radiations tend to suffer dramatic behavioral and physiological changes in both laboratory-and field-based experiments.
Exposed honeybees showed increased aggressiveness, irritability and hyperactivity Dalio, ; El Halabi et al.
The Effect of Cell Phone Radiations on the Life Cycle of Honeybees
Cell phone radiations can alter even navigational skills of bees: Several authors observed also that colonies exposed to electromagnetic pollution were subjected to a strong decline in their brood productivity with a reduction in egg laying rate of queen Dalio, ; El Halabi et al. In addition, Kumar et al. Pollinators in Life Cycle Assessment: Full-text available. Human activities are threatening biodiversity at an unprecedented scale and pace, thus potentially affecting also the provision of critical ecosystem services, including insect pollination.
Insect pollinators play an essential functional role in terrestrial ecosystems, supporting ecological stability and food security worldwide. Therefore, assessing impact on pollinators is fundamental in any effort aiming at enhancing the environmental sustainability of human production and consumption, especially in the agri-food supply chains. Improving a supply-chain oriented assessment of the occurrence of pressure and impacts on pollinators is needed.
However, current methodologies assessing impact along supply chains, such as life cycle assessment LCA , miss to assess impact on pollinators. In fact, none of the existing life cycle impact assessment LCIA models effectively accounts for pollinators. Some LCIA models have mentioned pollination, but none has presented key drivers of impact and a proposal for integrating pollinators as target group for biodiversity protection within an LCIA framework.
In order to devise a pathway towards the inclusion of impacts on pollinators in LCIA, we conducted a literature review of environmental and anthropogenic pressures acting on insect pollinators, potentially threatening pollination services. Based on the evidence in literature, we identified and described eight potential impact drivers, primarily deriving from industrial development and intensive agricultural practice: To account for these drivers in LCIA, there are specific modeling needs. Hence, the current study provides recommendation on how future research should be oriented to improve the current models and how novel indicators should be developed in order to cover the existing conceptual and methodological gaps.
It studies the effect of cell phones' radiations on the life cycle of honeybees and demonstrates that mobile phones affect honeybees' life system . The first step in the study, described in the first paper written by the same authors  , was to study the effect of mobile phones radiations on the life cycle of honey bees; the claim is that such radiations disturb honeybees' life system and affect their reproduction and honey producing.
In addition, a jammer was used to study the effect of mobile phones' radiations of higher power. The behavior of bees was studied in three different settings: Two hives were used, one as a reference hive which was not exposed to any mobile phones' radiations, and the experimental hive that was exposed to these radiations . The results of various experiments showed that honeybees in their normal case produced sounds at lower frequencies of around Hz, and with lower intensity 0. Conference Paper. Apr The research involves testing the behavior of honeybees in the main lobe of the antenna at a distance of meters, and another at a distance of meters; and, in the back lobe of the antenna at a distance of meters, knowing that the antenna is directional.
Mar Anahtar Kelimeler: In this manner, they have a fundamental role in global agricultural economy and production. The recent reports from various studies emphasized the unexplained losses of bee colonies in many countries and many governments have started to concern future effects of this occasion.
Sudden disappearance of worker bees, dead bees in front of the hive, low number of adult bees, less produced honey and low pollinated crops are the symptoms which is described as colony collapse disorder CCD. Colony losses seem to be driven by many factors such as pesticides, guttation water, pathogens, pests, global warming, cell phone radiation and stress factors.
This review focuses on the reasons of honey bee decline and the potential solutions to shed light to honey bee disappearence. If you want to be a treatment free beekeeper you need to be careful where you get your bees. Check with your breeder. So, that is something to keep in mind. Lastly, it is unlikely that you will find support for most natural beekeeping practices in your local area. When I first started out, everyone in the beekeeping group here told me I was crazy.
Now, they want me to be a board member. If you are interested in foundationless beekeeping or small cell beekeeping, check out my two most recent posts. They are always large cell stock bees, and you must regress them with small cell foundation well described by Michael Bush and Dee Lusby This process is a whole other advanced technique, but you could do it if you had a experienced mentor.
Small cell foundation is sold by a few bee suppliers in the US. Your fear that not providing them foundation means they will become crosscombed is missing a understanding of the in between issue—-that large cell bees will tend to draw large cells in their brood nest. The average cell size can be assessed by measuring with a millimeter marked ruler, horizontally, across 10 cells and dividing by 10 to get the average per cell The theory with encouraging small cell bees is that their development time for the worker brood is shorter than the time required for the full development of the mites within the cell, so the brood hatches before the mite has completed development.
Since the drones are more expendable in terms of the work needing to be done in the hive, the drones can be sacrificed. Hope this helps! Excellent advice. My two biggest mistakes not on your list have been 1 opening up the hive after it got too dark. The bees got very very defensive and I got stung through my vented gloves 15 times on the wrists. They even found a little opening under the velcro and got inside my hood and stung my neck and 2 not making sure the cinder blocks under my hive were secure.
We had a very long lasting rainstorm and the ground shifted and my hive collapsed. Thanks for sharing. Those are good ones. Opening too close to dark is definitely one I see a lot. All beekeepers will loose a hive. Instead, try to to learn from it. When I started several years ago, I lost hives to moisture buildup at the top of the hive during the winter. We had someone convert their strong hive to bee-cycles by covering her hive with a tarp to keep them warm. Hilary has obviously put a lot of time and thought into writing this article.
It is for your benefit. Please read the entire article as it has a lot of useful information. I do not know Hilary, but I can tell she is passionate about the Honeybee. I too care about raising Honeybees. I have been raising Honeybees for 6 years now and I still go to every class that my mentor gives, every year. You can never have too much knowledge. Things change and new information comes out. I know beekeepers who have been doing it for 30 plus years, and they still ask questions. You will only get out what you put in. I am thrilled and overwhelmed with the amount of information there is to learn about beekeeping.
I live in a rural area in the mountains of Virginia and am going into my first winter with two hives. Some people like to do things one way and others swear by another way. Some people are very methodical about how they approach their bees and others are less so. I still enjoy reading about others experiences. I look at these experiences as resources for my continued growth and knowledge. One question I had was the selection for queens that you are using for mite control. Second is noticed no talk of AFB, and your control methods that you have used.
There is this thought that it is the farmers fault, Monsanto fault,etc. In regards to queens, I think their success for mite resistance is also hinged on their adaptation to the local climate. I had good success with local breeder Wildflower Meadows and Florida breeder Carpenter Apiary, but I confess a lot of my bees are feral rescues.
In regards to AFB I have never seen it and the old timers in my area say they have not heard of a case for 18 years. I think it is one of those things that afflicts commercial beekeepers more probably because you have so many bees in one places and the other stressors that go along with that system. Everyone is apart of it and we are all to blame. I think, as beekeepers, we may hold more cards than we realize in changing the system. What a ironic duo—companies like Bayer make drugs and pesticides. As an interested bystander an eavesdropper to your discussion concerning Urban Dwellers etc.
Most of our commercial honey producers follow a code of ethics and guidelines presented by our government department of environment, and very few will use chemicals, although the mono-cultures that are increasing also demand bees trucked to the orchards for a single season, then get moved on to the next blossoming season. You are lucky not to have encountered AFB yet. I had it in my first ever hive, and had to destroy the colony and hive, notifying the Dept of Environment, and following their instructions closely. They also now provide apiarists with sugar shake kits to be able to trace any varoa mite that has the temerity to sneak into Australia.
Monsanto is the only culprit still promoting and using glyphosate and other poisons for profit. The same applies to their trying to control the fruit and vegetable market by manipulating seed production that have been tailored to GMO standards, and requires farmers to buy a new lot of seed every season instead of being able to grow and collect their own. If anyone reading this has seen the movie: The scariest part is the end result of using chemicals in countries like China which has NO bees left.
They have to collect pollen manually, package it at a profit and sell it to other farmers who then use tiny paint brushes and pollinate huge almond and apple orchards BY HAND. Lucky they have people power. It answers a lot of questions.. Remember the guy doing a cutout from the eaves of the house? Acaracides affect the fertility of the Queen, the health of the brood, and the navigational ability of the workers. Varroa will show up in Australia. It is only a matter of time. The impact and explosion of international trade via ships, planes and other artificial means, has removed former natural barriers that stopped invasives in the historical past.
Susan — you are quite right about bees — all animals for that matter — build up their own immunity, and feral bees are equivalent to hybrid vigour. I did mention that Australia has strict quarantine and border controls, and that there are bee traps specifically set up at harbours and airports, meant to trap hitchhikers. It is not the ultimate safeguard, just the first step. I have been pontificating about inoculating poultry. I breed and show Orpington chickens, and have lost a few valuable clutches to vaccinations.
I think varoa has created panic waves globally, and yet I have not heard of hives dying out from varoa. I might be wrong, but they are unlike bird mites which can suck the blood out of their hosts to the extent of causing anaemia and death. One varoa mite per bee is going to fall off sated and build immunity for future attacks. Hi, Eve—thanks for the reply. Hives of highly inbred, medication-dependent bees such as used in all commercial pollinator operations DO die out completely. The problem is the diseases vectored by the mites are sometimes worse than the direct feeding, Deformed wing virus and Parasitic mite syndrome are just two of the diseases.
I have chickens for many years, so familiar with your analogies—partially apt, in this case. Bees that originated with varroa, read about Apis cerana to learn about this exist with the mite as a background stressor, in the same way as you exist with incidental exposure to rhinovirus the common cold The challenge to the immune system is REQUIRED to elicit a response. Sterilizing hives of all varroa is not the answer, since it does not mimic the realities of the environment. The strong, resilient hives will prosper, the weak ones die.
Monsanto, Bayer, etc. More and more farmers are starting to understand this and are looking into no till methods. Urban Dwellers understand this better then the new farmers. We are old farmers that never could afford the new ways and thus in the end will be saved. My family owns two old style farms. Eve and Susan, For an interesting informed conversation about bees ability to build up their own immunity please follow the below link. I am not affiliated with honeybeesuite.
I try to read very widely on the issue of varroa and resistance and chemical treatment, and that is the best any beek can do to figure out what to do. I guess there are a lot of politics and strong feelings about this subject…. Thank you, Diane for the brilliant link and informative article. Does so differ from the genetics of mammals, and I think this is the difficulty getting your head around the issue. Nobody would visualize dogs eating their male pups if they have a diploid gene, but that also means that the bees know best! Tampering with genetics can be dangerous to a certain extent.
Deep down, many have this belief that bees can just exist in the urban environment with no particular plan or knowledge or management on the part of the owner. I have to chase after these folks to continue the communication after a visit and THEY are the one ostensibly in need of knowledge—-not me. I no longer chase them. And I now have a strict contract of understanding they must read and sign before I work with them or I say so-long. Because our children are learning from us, I like to give some guestlessons at schools. Oh, and if you ever need to know how we are keeping our bees, please contact.
Your method of telling all in this article is really nice, every one be able to easily know it, Thanks a lot. Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is really informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing. Yet failures do provide an opportunity for learning. This was my first big mistake as a new beekeeper and I do my best to make sure others avoid it. My daughter lives in Naples Florida. Her neighbor is a bee keeper for aprox 3 years now.
My daughter can no longer let her children play outside, due to being stung by bees. Particularly our little red headed girl. They seem to be attracted to her. The neighbor will do nothing. His Bee hives are located aproximately 20 yards from where the children play. What can we do? The yard has no flowers, only grass and trees. The bees live life in patterns there are some things that can help the family in decreasing maybe even eliminating stings.
Converse with the beek, try to learn patterns of life for the bees. Noises, high pitch cries may exacerbate tense times, there may be tones of value that are good. Flowers of attraction and when are the bees most interested in them, will it be easier for the children to try to play away or change voices? Garlic mash mixed in sun cream may work. This could be a repeat also, wide brim hats are useful in shading away bugs, the Mexican sombrero has similar value.
Argentari There may be plants to add to the yard to keep the bees away also. Hi Hilary. I broke rule 9. I got the equipment and ordered a package of bees that were mailed to me two days ago. The bees arrived very healthy with very few dead ones, however, the queen was dead in her cage.
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I installed the bees in the new hive and hung the queen cage so the bees would smell the queen and begin the colony. I ordered a new queen and she should arrive in about two weeks. First, is this colony a lost cause? Should I start over with a new package of bees? Or will a new queen get things started? Second, Most of the videos online of new bee packages show the bee keeper installing the bees with old comb to get them started.
Would building the comb from scratch be too much for this colony? Hi Jason, this colony should be fine if you get them a new queen. Having old comb is just a nice advantage, but it is not required. As far as foundation goes… you should read my two posts on this and decide what is best for you.
I love your blog.. Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Hi, I designed the header and picked all the elements I wanted, but paid someone to set it up for me. Thanks for a lot of good information. Hi Barry, Yes, the spring is the best time to get bees, but you can start doing some research and legwork now. One great thing to do in the fall is to plant a ton of bee plants for incoming bees. The rainy season will help them get established and then you will have a nice spring bloom! I also have good news, my Intro to Beekeeping class now has an online version that you can stream any time!
I realize I am biased here, but I highly recommend this class as a first step: Thanks Hilary. I notice in your video that the frames do not have the preformed beeswax foundations. Pros and Cons? Why do the bees make hive hanging so nicely from the top of the frame as opposed to interlinking a bunch of frames? Hi Barry, I have written a blog post on this: Hi, Barry—I and Hilary are proponents of allowing bees to draw the natural wax combs they are very skilled at drawing without foundation.
This sheet is a human invention. Natural combs are also not pre-loaded with pesticide residues, which are inherent in commercial foundation gathered from many commercial beekeeping sources where the bees are treated for diseases and pests. I read of one Canadian study which found chemical residues in commercial foundation.
Bees will make nice straight foundationless combs if you help them get started with a comb guide on the underside of the top bar.
Hilary has some blogs on foundationless methods—look over her site. I have 30 colonies and have never used foundation in 5 years of beekeeping. His book is here—bushfarms. Thank you! Great info and will definitely check out the reference. I am pretty old school—measure twice, cut once. It will be about 9 months before I actually have bees, so sorting out this type of stuff before hand will hopefully enable me to be a better companion for my bees.
Barry—I commend you for your caution in becoming educated before rushing into it! I think I have bad news. Just checked my new hive. The previous inspection was about weeks ago. I see, what seems like, way too many Drones, raised drone cells, and about 6 or so queen cells. First, it seems to me that the queen, whom I could not find, is either failing, or dead. Second, the presence of too many drones means that I have laying worker bees.
And, Third, the presence of queen cells means?? Just having drone cells does not mean you have laying workers. Did you look in the cells for eggs? There should be one egg per cell. If there are multiple eggs that is laying workers for sure. Where are the queen cells located? On the face of the combs or on the edges? I just opened up the hive today and found good news. I found a queen. Very little capped brood. I found some pollen cells, but not many. It sounds like your bees hatched out a new queen. I would make the effort next time to look for eggs.
Have you seen my article on Hive Inspection notes? There is a nice print out form available for you to use there. It may be a helpful guide during inspections. When bees are in the way, I like to use a feather to gently move them so I can look in the cells.
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Got my first 2 hives this past spring…. I just found your site today but have been reading books and watching videos for about 3 years. I am going to purchase your bee class lecture so maybe you talk about correcting it? If not, any advice, or a resource specifically talking about that? My bottom brood chamber has all 10 frames. My top deep box has only 7 of the 10 frames and of course there is a large amount of comb and honey in all the open space. Most of it is not capped—just wet. I will be spending all my free time in the coming weeks reading your blog posts!
Fixing combs with uncapped honey is the worst. Where are you located. If you are somewhere that has a strong winter season, you might want to just leave everything alone until spring and then fix it. The way you fix it, is you cut the combs off and rubber band them into frames. I talk about it in this post: I will probably just leave it there for now—maybe it will be a bit easier to fix in the spring wishful hoping here! All a learning process I suppose. Loving the Intro to Beekeeping Online class so far! All valid concerns. If you can get someone to help you who has done it before, that will help!
Hi, I am a beekeeper in the South Bay—where are you? I would get another mentor, and one more responsive. You should be able to speak over the phone or email if you have a good mentoring relationship. If you want a clear answer to a problem from others, it is important to give as much information as possible to let us understand your thought process. When you ask, give the run-down on these issues—When exactly did you get the colony? Size and number of boxes—2 deeps and a top medium?
A medium, a deep, and another medium? Are they foundationless? What has been the inspection cycle? Are you keeping written or elec. When was the LAST inspection? With lots of nectar filled soft white comb, if it were me, I would allow them to finish it, and cap it. If there is no brood in the mess section, it is unlikely the queen is in there, either. But creating a lot of broken honey cells could drown her, so I would not go in there cutting without a experienced mentor. Let us know the answers to the above questions good luck! I am seeking out a new mentor as mine has been much less responsive and helpful than I had hoped.
I have written emails, called, asked to help with his hives, offered to pay him to come do an inspection with me on my hives….. I got the bees at the end of April. Package bees through a local guy but they are from Georgia. When installing the queen initially I did something wrong I assume because 6 days later the entire hive was empty I noticed there were none outside the hive and the feeder stopped being empty so I opened it up and empty.
It was early in the season so I got another package of bees and installed them being extra careful with the queen. I use 10 frame with plastic foundation. I planned to go back out and remove the cage and empty super 2 days later as I did with my first hive but I was 8 months pregnant and had some complications so I was not able to do that. He added 7 frames and left the bee cage. I got back to the hive about 3 days later so total 5 days from bee installation and removed the bee cage.
I realize now that I should have removed that comb all together since it was so early. When I went back 22 days later there was so much empty space that had been filled in with comb and brood and honey. I open it up every 5 or 6 weeks for an inspection. I do have a written log with dates and inspection results. I also take pictures of my hive at each inspection 1. The last inspection was on July 23 at 11am. I again immediately wrote a long letter to my mentor and asked for advise, help etc. Then I have another deep chamber with 7 frames and lots of natural comb going in all kind of directions.
It appears that 2 on one side and 1 on the other side of the rouge comb are full. It also looks at least from what I can see only looking down from the top that those frames are capped. The open space was all open soft looking liquid honey and comb. Then I have a queen excluder and a medium box with 10 frames. Because of the condition of this upper deep super I did not take it off and inspect the bottom chamber at all so I do not know the condition of it. I am due for my next inspection this weekend so the timing of my reading this blog and knowing my mistake is not unique to me was perfect.
Even if that is the answer a little more teaching about why would be nice! I am not planning to extract any honey this year, of course. And we do have long harsh winters so they likely will need the honey.
(PDF) The Effect of Cell Phone Radiations on the Life Cycle of Honeybees
But, will it be any easier to fix in the spring? Maybe they will cap it off before winter and I could fix it this year? I have SO many questions. I am going in Sept though for the first time. My current mentor is the only person I know that has bees. So, that is my story! Wow, thanks for the comprehensive answer! He is very responsive.
His entire book of over pages is all available on-line here—http: It could easily not be anything you did. NIce Husband to be so helpful! In 5 years of being a beek, my husband has never even looked at my hives. Yours gets a gold star. It is rough to be starting this when you are pregnant! If it were me, I would just leave the messy comb part until next Spring—they will cap it and possibly use it over Winter. I know very lttle about overwintering and clustering—we have swarms in December. Most of those package bees are raised with chemical supports and require continued monitoring of mites and treatments.
Get with Don and the Treatment Free folks if you want to learn more about that. Michael Bush has a LOT in his book about this subject. But you should have a treatment regimen plan in place for these bees if you want them to survive. Not taking off honey from a young hive is the best move, too. Reduce the entrance, if you have not already. Be sure to plan for snow piling up in front of the entrance, as I read about in other places is a normal thing. Keep up the records as this allows you to examine where the bees have been, where they are now and where you think they may be going and this helps you learn faster.
I am pretty sure you are getting pretty cold there by now, so I would not inspect the brood box box 1 now, but just leave them be and hope they get through winter. Use the time to learn more about TF beekeeping! Nice work on the basics, straight and true info. Thanks for doing that.
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First year bee keeper here. Lost both colonies in mid November in u. Of Michigan. Had checked hives a week ago, all was good. Plenty of honey and supplement with sucrose blend.