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Author Topic: Egg on my face -- here we go again!!!  (Read 1488 times)
Cindi
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« on: September 16, 2007, 10:41:48 AM »

Oh, brother, so here we go.  Mrs. Know-it-All.

The swarm that I caught Saturday before last at my family reunion was fun.  I told everyone "no way could it have come from my hives, I took good care to make sure that they didn't get too big to swarm".  Ha!!!!  I am embarrassed to even recount this story (just like another time I was embarrassed to tell a story about my bees, but was compelled to).  Bear with me, you all know I am long-winded and just can't shut up at times  tongue

I hived that swarm, it has been doing well, taking about a gallon of 2:1 sugar syrup a day, the entrance had been reduced because I thought for surely it was being robbed, because it was consuming too much.  No difference in consumption, even with the reducer on, too big for any old robbers to get in is my guess.

I thought just for the fun of it I should maybe err on the better side and check through all my colonies to ensure that there are eggs present (just in case the swarm was mine).

I spent two days going through the colonies because of so much farm work and food harvesting.

The second hive that I looked into (this was the babied overwintered Carnioloan that had the terrarium heater) was booming.  But not a single egg.  Hmmm.....rather strange, lots of capped brood, and I mean lots.  Looked all through again, in search of a queen.  Saw no queen cells, nothing.  Then...as I was looking very hard for a queen.  I saw her.  I was shocked.  It was not the great big queen that had been there on my last visit.  This was a tiny, little queen, almost didn't notice her, she was not much bigger than the workers, but I could tell she was the queen because of the slightly longer abdomen and the dark shineyish thorax.

Oh brother, a virgin queen for sure.  Not laying yet obviously.  The reason why this colony still had so many drones hanging around on the comb.  THe weather has been beautiful, perfect for the mating flights and still remains the same today.

The swarm was caught Saturday before last.  I would venture this queen emerged on the following Monday or Tuesday, has spent several days hanging around the colony, and maybe ventured out a couple of days ago, say Thursday, Friday or Saturday.  I know that the days of emergence from the cell to actual nuptual flights vary greatly, so my guess on mating is really really inexact.  Today is Sunday, and I would think that she has probably fecundated and is going to be laying eggs soon.  I will check next week to see how she is doing.  I would love to hear from our more seasoned forum friends if my calculations on the mating of the queen are reasonably accurate (please?).

So, I stand here, no longer Mrs. Know-it-All.  I am humbled by the bees again.  THis happens over and over to me with these girls.  Guess I am still on the outermost edge of that iceberg that I thought I was getting off of  Smiley.

Back to the colony that this swarm emerged from.  This is the colony (like I have told so many times), is the one that I never in my wildest dreams would have made it over the winter last winter.  It was so tiny, maybe the size of a grapefruit.  THis is the colony that got so big that I had to make a cut down split because they had construced queen cells.  That cut down split is going crazy now too,
by the way, it has the old Cariolan queen from the overwintered colony (who is only one year old).  The mother colony raised that new queen, swarmed with that new queen and has now a new queen.  Obviously this is a colony that has a huge need to make lots of babies, but likes to swarm, guess those two ideas go hand in hand.

I am now in a quandry about this original Carniolan colony.  Do I requeen next spring to get rid of this swarmy tendency (and very obviously they are), or just become an even better beekeeper who realizes that they are swarmy, love to raise their babies and gather honey all at the same time (I have a deep super of honey in the honey super on this colony that will be capped within a week or so, it is almost there), so I know they love to gather honey too.  If I go with the quest to be a better beekeeper, I think I will, because I know they are swarmy, I just need to pay a little more attention to them and check every 10 days for the queen cells.  I can do that, I think  Smiley

What a day, just when you think that you know EVERYTHING (now that is a joke), you will always get thrown a curve ball, and have to humble yourself and start at the beginning, just like you didn't know nuthin'.  Have a wonderful day, best of our beautiful lives.  Cindi

My sweet little virgin queen!!!!!



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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2007, 11:02:08 AM »

wow.  sounds like she is a great laying queen.

what if you just took advantage of that and used that hive to make splits?  if you can get enough of them going early enough, you might not even have to buy queens.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2007, 11:13:46 AM »

Carniolans are like that.  They can overwinter on a tiny cluster and they can explode in population for the flow.  Of course exploding populations have their downside, as you discovered.
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« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2007, 09:17:55 PM »

Cindi,

Is there a good Carniolan queen supplier you'd recommend?

(where'd you get yours?)


 huh
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Cindi
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« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2007, 10:49:25 PM »

Dr/B.  Nope, I got my Carniolans the spring before last from my Asian instructor, who imported them from Australia.  This last spring, nothing imported from Australia because of health issues, as far as I can tell is the reason.  My stock this year was from Hawaii.  So, the Carniolan from 2006 was the one that I overwintered.  She is still in good health and laying her brains out, had to make a cut down split, putting her in the new colony and her old colony raised their new queen and another one with this recent swarm.  No clue where you can get Carniolans, but I am sure they will be had a-plenty, somewhere, someplace, sorry can't help ya.  Best of this wonderful day, greatest of life.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2007, 08:29:01 AM »

If I had to limit my 2007 "bee learning" to just one thing, it would be this: when you do everything "by the book", you learn that bees don't read books!
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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2007, 06:23:36 PM »

One of the things that shocked me when I went and met Konasdad was how huge his queen was. My queens are tiny what most of you think is unmated in my area is a full blown mated laying queen. This is why I have such a hard time finding her in my hives.

I don't know what is in the water up there but your queens are huge. The nice queens I got from dallas were like that also nice small and golden. In NJ they wear nail polish and lipstick and give you attitude when you open the hive. I could have sworn I heard Kona's queen yelling at me.

Yo! you stare much longer you might as well take a picture. Now about you close up before I send a few of my girls out to kick your butt!

Actually his bees were very nice to deal with maybe the little queens we have here come with the attitude.


Sincerely,
Brendhan


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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2007, 10:44:51 PM »

the queens from Feral stock tend to run a little on the smaller side.  The Queens in my Italian and MH hives seem almost twice the size as the SMR Russian queens.  My Russians are putting out bees in negative.  Like a photo negative.  They are black with orange stripes.  Gosh, does that look cool!
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JP
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« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2007, 11:22:43 PM »

Post some pics Brian. Would like to see 'em.
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UtahBees
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« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2007, 11:31:35 PM »

Cindi,

Is there a good Carniolan queen supplier you'd recommend?

(where'd you get yours?)

 huh


You could try here: http://www.konaqueen.com/carniolan.html

Nothing like Hawaii. My wife almost didn't get me to come home with her last June.

Regards,

UtahBees.
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Cindi
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« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2007, 11:56:48 PM »

Well, you should all know my story by now, I tell it over and over (are you getting sick of it yet, tuff!!!!  evil rolleyes).  I overwintered a Carniolan colony that I for surely thought would never come through the winter.  The cluster was the size of a baseball, so I thought I should baby it.  So this I did, with a terrarium heater and a reduced sized box with ony 7 frames, the rest had styrofoam to fill the void.  I was so worried about this colony.  It was the only one left after two years of beekeeping.  All the others had colony collapse, absoultely the result of swarms arisen and the destruction of the Varroa Destructor mite.  Devastation to 8 colonies (approx., unless I check records, cannot recall from my mind's eye).  But....this one carried through the winter.  In spring, I still had doubts, but holy crow, look at her now!!!!!  Attempts to swarm, incredible build up, great honey stores, and another swarm that did occur.  Totally out of what I would call season, but it did.  Now I am faced with a huge colony still, with a little virgin queen still marching around her kingdom.  I would venture that by tomorrow, she will have finished her virgin flights and will be laying eggs, judging by her Mother, she will be an honourable woman.

From this colony babied over the winter came a cut down split (that is the term that Michael Bush calls it), a colony that grew rapidly all summer long, swarmed (caught that swarm), and is not onto a new beginning with this little queen, that I would think is going to do the colony some good deeds.

Next spring this colony will be my colony that I do lots with.  KathyP said it in a nutshell.  Use it to make split upon split.  This I will do.  I know the capacity of this breed, first hand -- and in my eyes it is great.  I just have to be totally on top of everything, watching it closely and making the appropriate room for expansion. That will be a fun game, now I know what part I need to play.  Have a wonderful day, best of our beautiful life that we so do love livin'.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2007, 12:18:16 AM »

nice pic of the new lady cindi !!!!!
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