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Author Topic: I'm a bad boy! or "What's the queen doing on the outside?"  (Read 1091 times)

Offline Mountaineerfan

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I'm a bad boy! or "What's the queen doing on the outside?"
« on: December 10, 2007, 09:00:22 PM »
Hello everyone!
I went out today to my hives for the first time in about 2 months (that would be the bad boy part).  I am currently finishing up my Master's in education, and have been SWAMPED this semester!
So today after school I decided to go out and check on the girls, since I knew they must be languishing in this drought here in GA.
Well, I got there and there was quite a bit of flying going on (it was 74 degrees!).  As I walked around the hive, I noticed a bunch of bees (like 20) on one of the cinder blocks under the hive.  As I looked closer, I noticed that there was a queen with a bunch of younger bees around her!  I didn't have my veil or smoker, and had just come from work, so I just watched.  The queen eventually moved around the back of the hive and under the SBB.  So I went around front to watch what was going on there.  After about a minute, I saw the queen land (crash?) rather awkwardly on the landing board and head inside.  I know they are about out of stores, so I went home and cooked up a batch of syrup, and brought it out and filled the top feeder for them. 
Any idea what was going on?  Are they looking to abscond?  Have I possibly averted their departure by providing syrup?  I hope so.  This was my best hive, and I feel horrible for not being able to check on them like I should.  I also noticed that the hive beetles were moving pretty good in the hive.
Should I go out and disturb them tomorrow?  It's supposed to be 76 tomorrow!  Where's the rain?
Thanks all!
Steve

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: I'm a bad boy! or "What's the queen doing on the outside?"
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2007, 10:59:40 PM »
So today after school I decided to go out and check on the girls, since I knew they must be languishing in this drought here in GA.
Well, I got there and there was quite a bit of flying going on (it was 74 degrees!).  As I walked around the hive, I noticed a bunch of bees (like 20) on one of the cinder blocks under the hive.  As I looked closer, I noticed that there was a queen with a bunch of younger bees around her!  I didn't have my veil or smoker, and had just come from work, so I just watched.  The queen eventually moved around the back of the hive and under the SBB.  So I went around front to watch what was going on there.  After about a minute, I saw the queen land (crash?) rather awkwardly on the landing board and head inside. 

Sure it was the same queen.  Sounds to me like you might have had a very late swarm or supercedure take place and more than 1 queen hatch.  The queen with the crash landing was most probably returning from a mating flight.

Quote
I know they are about out of stores, so I went home and cooked up a batch of syrup, and brought it out and filled the top feeder for them. 
Any idea what was going on?  Are they looking to abscond?  Have I possibly averted their departure by providing syrup?  I hope so.  This was my best hive, and I feel horrible for not being able to check on them like I should.  I also noticed that the hive beetles were moving pretty good in the hive.
Should I go out and disturb them tomorrow?  It's supposed to be 76 tomorrow!  Where's the rain?
Thanks all!
Steve

If you've got weather in the 70's it's time to feed, feed, and feed some more.  You can probably save this hive with concentrated effort and plenty of feeding.  The SHB is a sign the hive is nearing total collapse--stall some SHB traps and watch the hive closely.  Weekly at least until they are on more solid footing.
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Offline Kimbrell

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Re: I'm a bad boy! or "What's the queen doing on the outside?"
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2007, 12:38:44 AM »
My hives were doing fine last month.  They had plenty of stores for the winter.  Now that the weather has turned warm again (65-72 highs), should I feed them?  If so, how much and how long?  I want them to have enough for the cold weather that I assume we'll have eventually; but I don't want to cause a brood build-up in the hive.

Offline JP

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Re: I'm a bad boy! or "What's the queen doing on the outside?"
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2007, 02:35:18 AM »
Kimbrell, what kind of stores do they have now? If they have plenty then I wouldn't feed, if they need more stores then feed them. You need to go in and check them.

Sincerely, JP
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Offline Mountaineerfan

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Re: I'm a bad boy! or "What's the queen doing on the outside?"
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2007, 09:31:36 AM »

Sure it was the same queen.  Sounds to me like you might have had a very late swarm or supercedure take place and more than 1 queen hatch.  The queen with the crash landing was most probably returning from a mating flight.

If you've got weather in the 70's it's time to feed, feed, and feed some more.  You can probably save this hive with concentrated effort and plenty of feeding.  The SHB is a sign the hive is nearing total collapse--stall some SHB traps and watch the hive closely.  Weekly at least until they are on more solid footing.

No, I'm not sure it's the same queen.  I put on a hivetop feeder with about a gallon of syrup.  With the warm temps and dry weather, I put in 1:1.  (I also wasn't paying attention as I was in a hurry.  I meant to make 2:1.  I figure the bees won't care too much!)
I'm going out to check on them after school today.

Offline Kimbrell

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Re: I'm a bad boy! or "What's the queen doing on the outside?"
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2007, 02:01:18 PM »
Kimbrell, what kind of stores do they have now? If they have plenty then I wouldn't feed, if they need more stores then feed them. You need to go in and check them.

Sincerely, JP
They have plenty of stores at the moment.  I was just concerned that with the warm weather bringing on increased activity, they would consume more than was normal for this time of year.  I guess I'll have to keep checking all winter if this crazy weather keeps up!