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Author Topic: Hive is going to crash  (Read 3713 times)
manfre
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« on: May 24, 2009, 07:58:57 PM »

I installed 2 NUCs just over 3 weeks ago. Today, I went through my two hives for their first full inspection. One hive has no eggs or brood. All of the frames are being filled with pollen and honey. I plan on scrambling to get a queen tomorrow, but if that fails I'm not sure what I should do.

The queen-right hive has only 4 medium frames of egg, larvae and brood. There were a few queen cells in the hive. The original marked queen has been replaced. I saw one queen cell that looked like the queen emerged and another cell that had the side ripped out. I'm guessing the first queen emerged and killed the other cell. I found another queen cell that is capped (picture below). Would it make sense for me to brush that frame of all bees and put it in the queenless hive? Would that be enough to get the queenless hive healthy again? Would that weaken the hive too much? I really don't want to end up with 2 dead hives. If that happens, then I might be done beekeeping until next year.


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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2009, 08:16:00 PM »

I would move that queen cell to the queenless hive, moving as few bees as possible with it.
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2009, 09:29:25 PM »

You can move the whole frame, or if you are very careful and can remove just the queen cell but don't breach it at all. 

If you have a good strong queen in the queen-right hive then she will be able to keep laying and by the end of the summer you will not know the difference.  For your queens to get well mated you need to have several hives in your area (yours, other beeks' or feral hives).  If there are not enough drones in your area your hives will be in jeopardy by requeening themselves. 

In a previous thread (within the last month) that I started, I asked how many hives are needed in a beeyard to have enough drones for the queens to mate well and to have a broad enough gene pool.  The answers seemed to come back that 5 or 6 hives would be sufficient.  It was a very interesting thread if you want to search for it.

At this stage in the year and your hives' progress I think that your goal should be to have nice large hives that are ready to over-winter well.  I wouldn't count on taking honey but you might get some.

Good luck
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shaux
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2009, 09:33:08 PM »

Wouldn't that be considered a swarm cell because it is at the bottom of the frame? Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.
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iddee
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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2009, 09:48:01 PM »

It could be a swarm cell, but more likely is an emergency cell. Remember, they are built where the egg was laid. It may be that they chose a larva at the bottom of the frame.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2009, 10:38:35 PM »

Remember:

28 days for queen to emerge and mate and lay eggs
21 days for her offspring to emerge
49 days total

Do you have that kind of time. You are worrying about losing the hive. And if the cell does not emerge?
How far are you from WG Bee Farm ( a NC breeder) for a replacement if needed or any other replacement. Basically remember amount of loss brood in 49 days.

Maybe move the cell to a small mating nuc, if you can. Order a new queen to keep going. And then evaluate the new queen if she emerges. Cull what you need to at that point. Or have a queen for a friend etc.

What you think id you are in NC? We are through here in SC. Not sure what kind of queen I would get this time of year on open breeding from an emergency cell?
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iddee
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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2009, 11:22:50 PM »

He is within driving distance to WG bee, Curtis, and busybee to pick up a queen if he wants to spend the money.

The queen cell is only a few days from emerging. you can take 12 days or so from your numbers there. If it were to hatch within a day, mate within 5, and begin laying within 2 or 3 more, he could have eggs in  10 days or less. We have drones all summer, so mating would be no problem.

It's always a gamble, but each one of us must make our own gambles.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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manfre
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« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2009, 12:05:22 AM »

If I can get a queen from busy bee or one of the other local breeders, then I'll definitely go that route. I don't mind spending the money to keep the hive alive. If I can't find a local queen, then I'll swap over that queen cell. If all else fails, I can always combine the hives.
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Cheryl
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« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2009, 12:12:03 AM »

I'd swap that queen cell over NOW -- ASAP (unless you're after a specific, different line of genetics).

a queen cell is a queen cell. If you let it emerge in the queenright hive, one will likely kill the other - or the virgin might make a cast/swarm.

You have a queen right there, man! Take her!!
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WOB419
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« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2009, 01:25:54 AM »

If Charlotte is not too far for you to drive then go to www.meckbees.org and you will find a list of beeks that sell queens.  I have used Billy Boyd, he is a great guy and his bees have always been gentle and good honey producers.
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sc-bee
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« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2009, 04:29:23 AM »

>The queen cell is only a few days from emerging. you can take 12 days or so from your numbers there. If it were to hatch within a day, mate within 5, and begin laying within 2 or 3 more, he could have eggs in  10 days or less.

 Wink Yes that I understand --- just used full numbers from beginning to start. 49-12=37 (almost two brood cycles) if things go well.

>It's always a gamble, but each one of us must make our own gambles.

Agreed --- just looking at our hand, trying to decide whether to hold them or fold'em grin Or should I say draw another card. You might get a QUEEN grin

>a queen cell is a queen cell. If you let it emerge in the queenright hive, one will likely kill the other - or the virgin might make a cast/swarm.

>You have a queen right there, man! Take her!!

I agree --- it's hard to tear down a queen cell. It takes very limited resouces to set up a mating nuc if you have the material. Two hive he probably don't have the extra equipment???

Maybe my stock or not enough ferals in my area. Not real good luck with home grown queens. But still hoping Wink!!!

>he could have eggs in  10 days or less.

Maybe let her hatch , try to evaluate real quick. id says about 10 days. and if it don't work out get a queen asap!!!

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manfre
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« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2009, 10:01:47 AM »

My only real hesitation about shifting over the queen cell is, if it is a swarm cell, then the queen-right hive will find itself queenless. I do have extra 10 frame medium boxes and probably enough scraps to build a few nuc boxes. If both hives had a queen, then I probably would attempt to split that queen cell off to start a nuc.
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kathyp
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« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2009, 12:00:47 PM »

on the other hand, a new queen can be a lying fool.  it would be nice to get the numbers up with a queen ASAP, but requeening has more risks than  letting them hatch that one out?    something to think about......

if you buy a queen, don't turn her loose quickly.  last i read, they recommended at least 3 to 5 days.  in this range, i have had my best luck also.
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manfre
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« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2009, 04:51:34 PM »

I spoke with Betsy, the Busy Bee queen breeder and she mentioned that the hive could potentially have a virgin queen. The virgin queen could either be off on mating flights or I may have just missed her in the hive since they are more difficult to spot. That would explain the lack of laying worker. I'm going to get the state inspector to come out in the next few days to help me look for her. If he determines that there is no queen, Betsy will put me to the head of the line for a replacement queen.

I was a bit less panicked about Hegemone, so I decided to split Antheia to form Chloris. I like the greek goddess naming convention. Chloris was the goddess of flowers. I took the frame with the queen cell (had lots of capped brood), a frame with capped honey with lots of empty space in the center for laying and a third frame which the bees were almost done building up comb. The third frame was mostly to add more bees to the split. Chloris is replaces Antheia as the hive at the end, so I'm expecting some bees to drift in to it.

I built the nuc and top from scraps left over from when I built 10 medium boxes. I picked up the bottom board and entrance feeder from Busy Bee today. It's not pretty or exceptionally sturdy, but the price was low and it only took me about 10 minutes to put it all together with hand tools and my pneumatic staple gun.

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manfre
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« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2009, 10:14:28 PM »

The inspector stopped by today and the potentially queenless hive has a laying queen! Smiley She started laying a good pattern! Upon his suggestion, I combined the split back in to the parent hive. I'm back to having two hives with two laying queens. I also realized today that I cannot see newly laid eggs through the veil, even when some one is pointing at the cells.
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