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Author Topic: Did I fire her too soon? video  (Read 1795 times)
tlynn
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« on: May 21, 2009, 08:18:35 PM »

On 4/29, a full 3 weeks ago, I queened 3 hives with new queens from Purvis Bros.

On 5/3 I saw eggs and a queen in all 3 hives (that's about 3.5 days so eggs could still be from the old queen).

I left them alone for 2 weeks and on Sunday the 17th one hive had eggs all over the place so I didn't look for a queen, and in the two others I saw no eggs, only medium sized larvae.  Couldn't find queens in either one, and for me that's not so unusual.

To one of the hives I added a frame of eggs thinking they could make a queen.  I was hesitant to rob any more brood from other hives, as I had redistributed a lot from the split as well as putting a nuc in a 10 frame.  So I got a queen from a local breeder today to do the other one.

Today in the hive I gave a frame of eggs on Sunday I saw eggs on multiple frames.  In the other hive I saw a queen this time and still no eggs.  I concluded this queen is not laying, so I pulled her and put her in a jar with some attendants and requeened with my new queen.

Now I am questioning my thinking because of finding eggs in the other hive.  Could I have been impatient or could I have gotten a couple of unmated queens and one happened to have mated and the other one hasn't?  After 3 weeks of no eggs should I contact Purvis and request a refund of this one queen?  And up until Monday our weather has been stellar, by the way, with lots of nectar coming in and comb building happening, so I would have thought she would have been laying like a fiend.

Here's a short video when I was going through the hive this evening showing the lack of eggs and our queen running for cover:

http://www.technowerkz.com/queennolay.mpg

Thanks for looking and for any advice.

Tracy



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mherndon
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2009, 12:12:49 PM »

Great filming.  I haven't seen a queen run like that one.  Not sure what would be wrong.
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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2009, 12:58:47 PM »

I don't have an answer to your question but I did want to say what a great video!  I hardly ever spot one of our queens.  Think I need to look more often but we're concerned about bothering the hive too much.
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TwT
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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2009, 06:48:34 PM »

I would bet that is not the purvis queen, purvis queens are gold and that one is black and looks like she is real young, seems your hive might have re queened its self. I dont know for sure but Dann only has a gold line of queen and they are gold not black, when I seen this and the color of the queen is when I see she might not be mated, nice video by the way..  any time you make a split and some of the frame might have eggs you need to check for queen cell for the first 2 weeks, even if you introduce a new queen in a cage, they will still try to make cells when they go queenless even if they have a new queen in a cage, seen it many times, besides that looks like a virgin because how small she is and as runny as she is. I would bet they replace the purvis queen because they drew a cell somewhere. thats my thinking, I have had Danns queens for years and all his queens are gold in color. just my opinion on what happened to your split.
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tlynn
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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2009, 11:40:22 PM »

I would bet that is not the purvis queen, purvis queens are gold and that one is black and looks like she is real young, seems your hive might have re queened its self. I dont know for sure but Dann only has a gold line of queen and they are gold not black, when I seen this and the color of the queen is when I see she might not be mated, nice video by the way..  any time you make a split and some of the frame might have eggs you need to check for queen cell for the first 2 weeks, even if you introduce a new queen in a cage, they will still try to make cells when they go queenless even if they have a new queen in a cage, seen it many times, besides that looks like a virgin because how small she is and as runny as she is. I would bet they replace the purvis queen because they drew a cell somewhere. thats my thinking, I have had Danns queens for years and all his queens are gold in color. just my opinion on what happened to your split.

Sounds reasonable.  I'm beginning to see the value in marking queens.  I did ask Rosanne about queen color, and she told me they can't go by color - some of theirs are darker than others.  I will say in the cages the queens didn't look as gold as the ones I got last year, and now that you mention it, I don't think they looked as dark as the queen I videoed.

So once I requeen I should watch for queen cells?  And then remove them if they create them?  If so, my concern is after reading somewhere here, that removing queen cells is not a good idea, as the bees know better than us and it can cause a queenless hive.
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kathyp
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2009, 11:50:59 PM »

i am not sure i am getting this straight, but let me try.

you found a queen?  you do not yet have a replacement queen? 

why would you kill the queen that you have and re-queen?

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tlynn
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« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2009, 07:53:40 AM »

i am not sure i am getting this straight, but let me try.

you found a queen?  you do not yet have a replacement queen? 

why would you kill the queen that you have and re-queen?



My apologies if I haven't explained it well enough.  I assumed at the time that the queen I saw 3 weeks later was the same queen I placed there, and so without eggs for 3 weeks I thought I should replace her.  As TwT pointed out it didn't occur to me one might have been superceded, because I saw a queen a few days after I put her in, then 2 weeks later no eggs and no sign of a queen, so a) she must have been taken out and I witnessed the interim period with a new queen spooling up or b) she was not mated when I got her.  And since she wasn't marked I won't know for certain.

I guess in all of this I am curious to know how long could a queen stay a virgin.  And if they make a new queen is it a given that she will mate?

Also one more thing - I had a small swarm 5 days after I queened the hives, which I caught.  Could my new queen have left and I actually have her in the nuc now?  Because I couldn't figure out which hive swarmed as no hive dropped a lot in volume.

Man, these bees can really get a rookie confused!
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G3farms
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« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2009, 08:54:54 AM »

In the hive tht has the black queen in it............did you find any queen cells that a queen might have hatched out of?

In the nuc did you find the queen, and if you did was she a golden colored one like the one from Purvis?

I was thinking the same thing that your Purvis queen might have swarmed, but there should be an old queen cell in that hive where she hatched out from.

I agree with TwT she looks like a very young and maybe a virgin queen, might give her a few more days to see if she will start laying for you.

Good luck and let us know

G3


Great video by the way, thanks for that.
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TwT
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« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2009, 09:02:54 AM »

anytime you make a split or take a queen from a hive and introduce a new queen you must check for cells for about a week or two, this is the only time it is a good thing to remove cells, you want to keep your queen you just bought, you have to remember when a queen is missing from a hive a very short time the bee's know this, they might start working larva then, when you introduce a new queen she has a different smell and then takes a few days for acceptance then maybe a few more days to start laying, they could think something is wrong with her. I have a friend not for from me bought 30 marked queens a few years ago and he had a 10 hives on a out yard that I watched over, he re queened the 10 I looked after for him and 20 at his place, after a month he called me telling me that those queens was duds and 17 of the 20 was replaced, I told him the all 10 at the out yard still had marked queens because about 6 of them started cells and I took them out. introducing queens is not just take one out and put one in, if you want to keep the queen you bought you have to keep the hive cleaned out so she can get started right, the odds that you bought a virgin queen from dann is slim to none, when you buy a queen from him that queen has been laying about 3-4 weeks and evaluated, he sale a bunch of queens but not like the big guys do,  I know everyone has heard or read someone saying them queens must not be to good because most of mine was superceded,  and all they did was buy a nice queen and let their hive re queen itself in the end and that nice queen either leaves or gets killed, I all way's think what a waist. I think Dann started sending out a memo with his queens telling to check for cell for 2 weeks the last year or so but dont know if he still doe's. it happens more than most think!
« Last Edit: May 23, 2009, 09:37:36 AM by TwT » Logged

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Shawn
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« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2009, 05:37:32 PM »

Great video, boy is the queen fast. Mine must be real old because they walk slow across the frame. I agree with TwT, Purvis Bros queens are goldish in color and yours appears to be dark or black.
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kathyp
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« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2009, 06:47:10 PM »

Quote
Could my new queen have left and I actually have her in the nuc now?


yes.

look at it this way.  you now have one more hive than you expected to have  grin

Quote
And if they make a new queen is it a given that she will mate?

if there are drones, which there should be plenty of at this time of the year.  if the weather doesn't keep her from flying.  if something doesn't kill her while she's on her mating flights.
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« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2009, 07:43:09 PM »

I had an Italian queen run the same way yesterday during an inspection.  She seemed to want to go to the shady side of the frame and when I would turn the frame over and put her on the sunny side, she would double back around the end bar of the frame. 

I was mean to her because I kept flipping the frame to face the sun and she would run to the other side.   evil

All I wanted was for her to be in the middle of the frame so I wouldn't smash her when I put the frame back in the brood box!
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tlynn
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« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2009, 07:47:42 PM »

anytime you make a split or take a queen from a hive and introduce a new queen you must check for cells for about a week or two, this is the only time it is a good thing to remove cells, you want to keep your queen you just bought, you have to remember when a queen is missing from a hive a very short time the bee's know this, they might start working larva then, when you introduce a new queen she has a different smell and then takes a few days for acceptance then maybe a few more days to start laying, they could think something is wrong with her. I have a friend not for from me bought 30 marked queens a few years ago and he had a 10 hives on a out yard that I watched over, he re queened the 10 I looked after for him and 20 at his place, after a month he called me telling me that those queens was duds and 17 of the 20 was replaced, I told him the all 10 at the out yard still had marked queens because about 6 of them started cells and I took them out. introducing queens is not just take one out and put one in, if you want to keep the queen you bought you have to keep the hive cleaned out so she can get started right, the odds that you bought a virgin queen from dann is slim to none, when you buy a queen from him that queen has been laying about 3-4 weeks and evaluated, he sale a bunch of queens but not like the big guys do,  I know everyone has heard or read someone saying them queens must not be to good because most of mine was superceded,  and all they did was buy a nice queen and let their hive re queen itself in the end and that nice queen either leaves or gets killed, I all way's think what a waist. I think Dann started sending out a memo with his queens telling to check for cell for 2 weeks the last year or so but dont know if he still doe's. it happens more than most think!

Thanks very much for this post. It makes a lot of sense to me now.  I was of the mindset to never disturb anything they are doing, especially queen cells.  Real shame that I spent good money and likely lost her and ended up spending good money again for another queen, this one another goldline from a local breeder.  At least she's marked, so unless the paint gets chewed off I should be pretty certain of her situation.  I am checking tomorrow for cage release and will scour the frames for queen cells.  Great lesson learned.  Nothing like experience.

No, nothing communicated from them about checking for queen cells.  Well, it's my responsibility for knowing what I'm doing.
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2009, 09:22:46 PM »

If two hives had nothing but medium larva and no eggs, and one hive was chock-full of eggs, why not take two frames of eggs out of the egg-rich hive and put one in each of the egg poor hives in exchange for one each of their frames of medium larva? 

That way you're not really weakening any hive and if any of the egg poor hives needed to make a queen they'd have eggs to do it with.

Or am I missing something there?
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tlynn
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« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2009, 08:00:46 AM »

Someone asked what camera I used for the video.  It's the Sony DCR-SR46.  It was something like $500 at Costco last year.  I'm sure this model has been replaced.  It's a decent enough camera.  Next one I buy will have wireless mic.  I think you have to move way up in price for that.  You have to have this camera in somebody's face to get a good volume from the voice.
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« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2009, 08:33:02 AM »

 SgtMaj, one thing we have to be careful about down here is our drone source for free mated queens. Tracey lives in a residential area and definitely does not want AHB in his yard. Just one reason.
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tlynn
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« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2009, 10:16:28 PM »

SgtMaj, one thing we have to be careful about down here is our drone source for free mated queens. Tracey lives in a residential area and definitely does not want AHB in his yard. Just one reason.

Yep, a concern.

Update - my new queen is free and roaming the frames.  Not laying as far as we can see, but she probably just got out.  My wife worked the bees today and she found 2 queen cups with nothing inside.  So far so good.  Will check in a week for more queen cells and eggs.  I think after all these splits and swarms and requeens everything is getting stable for a while at least.
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2009, 06:15:17 AM »

SgtMaj, one thing we have to be careful about down here is our drone source for free mated queens. Tracey lives in a residential area and definitely does not want AHB in his yard. Just one reason.

Ah, I knew I had to be missing something... that was it.
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