Need Bees Removed?
International
Beekeeping Forums
August 20, 2014, 05:30:40 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Beemaster's official FACEBOOK page
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar bee removal Login Register Chat  

Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Have a hive that may swarm. Please help  (Read 2366 times)
annette
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 5312


Location: Placerville, California


« on: February 24, 2009, 11:41:18 PM »

I checked out my hive today because we had weather into the mid 60's. My one surviving hive is looking very good. It is 3 medium supers now.
 
At 4:00 this afternoon, I smoked them and this is what I found
 
Top super had about 3 frames of honey and the rest of the frames were either empty or filled with drone brood and one frame had a swarm queen cell, not fully capped over yet.I found the queen up there as well walking around.
 
The middle super was quite filled with frames filled up with worker brood in a very nice pattern. Many bees walking around in that super with pollen on their legs. They have been bringing in lots of pollen for weeks now.
 
I never checked the bottom super.
 
 
So my questions are:
 
1.  There did not seem to be that much honey apart from the top 3 frames. I should definitely feed them with either frames of honey or sugar syrup. I believe it may be too cold still for the sugar syrup, so should I give them an emergency feed of bakers sugar on the top super??? I will try to find a few frames of honey to insert up there.
 
2.  They seem to be getting ready for swarming, so should I remove that one frame with the queen cell and place it in a nuc box? If I do that what should the 5 frames consist of? 
 
3.  Should I insert some empty frames in between the drone brood frames for the queen to have more room to lay eggs?
 
4.  Should I reverse the top and bottom supers to prevent them from swarming.
 
Please let me know asap as I may have another window of opportunity tomorrow morning before the heavy rains come back in again.
 
Sincerely
Annette
Logged
JP
The Swarm King
Universal Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 11668


Location: Metairie, Louisiana

I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


WWW
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2009, 12:18:59 AM »

Annette, I'm too tired to think right now so will do my best, perhaps you will be on in the morning and we can chat.

Since you didn't check the bottom box you don't know if there's honey there or not, could be.

If you feed, dry feed if you anticipate cold snaps.

It was a queen cell or cup? What position on the frame? I wouldn't be alarmed if you only saw one, again, cup or cell?

Hives coming out of winter are laying drones now so I wouldn't be too worried that you're seeing drone brood.

Things may be better than you think.

Make sure she has room to lay, leave honey frames on outer edges.


...JP
Logged

"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
and
http://picasaweb.google.com/112138792165178452970

My Youtube videos can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=JPthebeeman&aq=f

My website JPthebeeman.com http://www.jpthebeeman.com/jpthebeeman/
RayMarler
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 502


Location: Marysville, CA


« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2009, 12:53:13 AM »

Hi Annette!
I'm your neighbor here in Sacramento, glad to meet you here in the forums.  grin

If it was me, I'd check thru that bottom box, and take a box of hatching sealed brood with the queen and move it away to a new location a couple feet away. The original location hive will make you a queen and and you'll have 2 hives. Move one frame of honey away with the queen in her new location. Feed if you feel it's needed, but we are now starting good flows with Plum, Almond, wild mustard and radish, and others. Cherries will be blooming in a couple or three weeks. The early nectar flows are beginning. Best of luck to you.  cheesy
Logged

Sitting in the shade, drinking lemon aid.
Enjoying the breeze while counting the bees.
DayValleyDahlias
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 1629


Location: Aptos, California


WWW
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2009, 01:30:45 AM »

OOOHHH This is all VERY interesting!

Can't wait to read more!
Logged


<img src="[url]http://banners.wunderground.com/weathersticker/miniWeather2_both_cond/language/www/US/CA/Aptos.gif
" border=0
alt="Click for Aptos, California Forecast" height=50 width=150>[/url]

"Become vegetarian/vegan, and no one gets hurt"
annette
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 5312


Location: Placerville, California


« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2009, 12:09:40 PM »

Thanks for the advice.  I just received an email from MB and I think he is correct in saying that it is to early for them to swarm and this hive is not overflowing with bees. They are good,but not that good in population. There was only one swarm cell (or supercedure cell??) on the bottom of one of the top frames. MB thinks it is unusual for it to be a swarm cell in the top super. I am going in again today and look more carefully in the bottom super.

If this is the only queen cell I am just going to leave things as they are and feed them some frames of honey I have frozen. Also I will place some empty frames of starter strip between the drone brood to give the queen more room on top to lay.

I think it is probably a false alarm.

This was my gut feeling also because we have had nothing but either freezing temps or cold rainy weather this month.

I thank you for the responses JP and Ray Marler

Logged
annette
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 5312


Location: Placerville, California


« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2009, 12:17:04 PM »

Annette, I'm too tired to think right now so will do my best, perhaps you will be on in the morning and we can chat.

Since you didn't check the bottom box you don't know if there's honey there or not, could be.

If you feed, dry feed if you anticipate cold snaps.

It was a queen cell or cup? What position on the frame? I wouldn't be alarmed if you only saw one, again, cup or cell?

Hives coming out of winter are laying drones now so I wouldn't be too worried that you're seeing drone brood.

Things may be better than you think.

Make sure she has room to lay, leave honey frames on outer edges.


...JP

This is a queen cell (fully developed, but not yet capped over - although I did not look inside of it. I will do that today) and placed down below on the frame. MB said it is unusual for it to be a swarm cell if it is in the top super. He thinks it could be a supercedure cell??

I am going to look in the bottom for more swarm cells or honey as you said.

I will feed with the frames of frozen honey.

Thanks for the reply even though you were so tired.

Sincerely
Annette
Logged
annette
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 5312


Location: Placerville, California


« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2009, 12:21:14 PM »

Hi Annette!
I'm your neighbor here in Sacramento, glad to meet you here in the forums.  grin

If it was me, I'd check thru that bottom box, and take a box of hatching sealed brood with the queen and move it away to a new location a couple feet away. The original location hive will make you a queen and and you'll have 2 hives. Move one frame of honey away with the queen in her new location. Feed if you feel it's needed, but we are now starting good flows with Plum, Almond, wild mustard and radish, and others. Cherries will be blooming in a couple or three weeks. The early nectar flows are beginning. Best of luck to you.  cheesy

Ray
Glad to meet you. How long have you been beekeeping and where are you located in Sacto?? Your advice is very good and I thought about doing just what you suggested, but I also did not feel it a good idea to leave the original hive with just one queen cell. Now I am not sure what is going on, so I will wait a bit longer to see. Also things are blooming earlier in Sacramento than the foothills. We are always behind you guys up here.

Take care
Annette
Logged
RayMarler
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 502


Location: Marysville, CA


« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2009, 04:50:42 PM »

Hi Annette,
I live in Old Towne Florin, south east suburb of Sac.
I started having bees in 1989 and stopped in 1994 because of back surgery. I started back up again in 2005 so total about 9 years.
Your season up there is a few weeks behind me most likely as your temps are a bit cooler, especially over night. Just having the one Queen cell would not be a good thing to base a split on I guess, but you had mentioned having only one hive survive the winter and plenty of drones so was going with that info to help increase. It is a couple weeks to a month too early for splits for best resulting queens. Actually, the best queens around here are April and May queens.
Best of luck to you, I'm heading out side to see what my garden is doing today.  Smiley
Logged

Sitting in the shade, drinking lemon aid.
Enjoying the breeze while counting the bees.
susanbeesf
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 12

Location: San Francisco


« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2009, 07:59:26 PM »

I just opened my hive today and Im afraid I did everything wrong.  There were drone cells, swarm cells, queen cells and tons of bees, including drones.  I am new at this and just couldn't find the queen.  So . . . I put a frame of brood, a frame with queen cells, a honey frame and a couple of empties in a nuc.  I put some lemongrass oil on top of the box to encourage swarmers to use the nuc.  I put a couple of empty frames into the original hive, put the lid on and came inside.  I just can't figure out what to do.  There were so many swarm or queen cells everywhere and, as I say, I can't find the queen although there are plenty of regular uncapped and capped larvae.  Any suggestions?
« Last Edit: March 12, 2009, 08:19:26 PM by TwT » Logged
sc-bee
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1883


Location: Edgefield, SC


« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2009, 10:58:16 PM »

Susan

Not sure how ripe your cells are, other words when they will hatch. Checking for new eggs standing up in cells is a sure indicator where the queen is located. In the nuc or the old hive.

I'd check the nuc again for the queen.  It may be easier to locate her in the nuc, if that is where she is.

Depending on the strength of the hive perhaps another split if all the cells are not on the same frame.

« Last Edit: March 12, 2009, 11:43:27 PM by sc-bee » Logged

John 3:16
susanbeesf
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 12

Location: San Francisco


« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2009, 11:16:46 AM »

Thank you for your advice.  I'll do that today once it warms up a bit.  It is just such a frustrating feeling not to be able to do this properly and not to be able to locate the queen!   
Logged
sc-bee
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1883


Location: Edgefield, SC


« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2009, 12:22:29 PM »

Susan,

It takes practice and gets a little easier although I still can't find them all the time myself nor can anyone else-- I think  grin.

Go to MB's web page, I believe he has a section on tips for spotting a queen along with lots of other helpful stuff!
Queen spotting:  http://www.bushfarms.com/beesqueenspotting.htm
Other stuff:        http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

Geeze what a website ---- Thanks again MB!!!

If you were splitting from scratch no queen cells involve you could split it walk away and come back in a few and check both for eggs. The one with eggs has the queen.

Having the queen cell and not knowing the timing may cause a queen to hatch and the queen be in the nuc also if you are not sure.

How many boxes does the hive have. Split it on different boards if you can. Leave a while and then check the boxes as the force will be divided and easier to spot the queen. Often the box with the queen will be calmer and the one without will have a slight roar.

Some folks use an excluder on top of an empty or another box and shake the bees through it and the queen will not go through the excluder. I have never tried this.

Of course this is weather dependent, since I see you are Hopelessly Lost. Update file so folks can tell where you are from and therefore maybe give local advice  grin. Since you have this much activity Drones, swarm cells etc. I assume you are in a fairly warm area. But we know about assume grin!

You will probably get some much better ideas on how to handle your situation, but I hoped this help some if in no way except support Wink.  Keep posted.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 12:35:47 PM by sc-bee » Logged

John 3:16
susanbeesf
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 12

Location: San Francisco


« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2009, 03:44:41 PM »

Thank you so much!!! You've given me the encouragement I need to just tackle this and very helpful information.  I live in San Francisco so one of my concerns is, naturally, the neighbors. Most of them know I keep bees and they like the honey they've gotten, but swarms might be a bit much for them! The other is simply not doing the best I can for the bees.  They've given me such pleasure the year that I've had them, I am petrified of doing something that could harm them.  It is just starting to warm up now so I haven't gone out to work with them yet.  I'll go to the websites you recommended and then head out to look for the queen.  Thanks again! 
Logged
susanbeesf
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 12

Location: San Francisco


« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2009, 07:03:24 PM »

Ok, I just came back in after spending the last two hours looking for the queen!  I didn't use any smoke and tried to be as methodical in my search as possible. Still couldn't identify her.  I did see lots of drones, lots of drone cells and swarm cells.  I saw lots of capped brood, didn't see any eggs.

Again, I didn't know what to do so, because there just seemed to be so many swarm cells, I took another nuc and put brood, honey and empty frames into it.  Is it possible the queen is gone?  Will newly hatched queens be able to manage in the two nucs or the original hive?  Am also wondering if I should put some syrup in the nucs.  I have a top feeder with syrup on the original hive.  It's a gorgeous day here and I was able to take each frame into a nice, sunny spot to examine it.  I wish I had found the queen but I'm starting to feel a bit more philosophical.  If the bees swarm, I do live on the edge of a cliff with lots of potential tree homes.  I think they'll be ok.  As for the neighbors, I'll just let them know it's a possibility they might see a swarm and not to worry.  Perhaps I'll hand out some more honey when I tell them! I am just so grateful for your comments -I realized that that was what improved my mood so dramatically.  Thanks again!
Logged
sc-bee
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1883


Location: Edgefield, SC


« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2009, 09:02:36 AM »

Is it possible they swarmed and you didn't realize it. After the cells are capped they may swarm anytime soon after. I should have picked up on it and ask sooner if the hive was possibly queenless. It may take a few days  (3 days is what my mentor uses) for you to see eggs. And the queen can be hard to find in a populous hive @ times. Did you split the hive bodies, let it sit awhile (20 minutes or so ), let the hive settle down and then look for the queen. I had a hive my first year I wanted to split and had a new queen. It took me about three days to find her (three different trips). So I feel your frustration Wink.

If you have plenty of brood etc for the splits no problem having them. But don't cripple the parent colony (more a judgment call on your part). If  the old hive keeps pulling new swarm cells it may be a good indication the hive is queenless. Could end up with no queen at all if something happens to cells in the original hive. This is why swarm prevention by cutting out cells is not a very good method. If in doubt the bees know best. Check placement of cells sounds like it could be supercedure. Even then I just don't know about the whole cell placement theory thing. But most say it is a good indicator.

Did you put a frame of honey in the nucs with the queen cells --- if not feeding won't hurt if not many foragers. Should take about 14 days ( I hope I got my math right) before queen hatches, mates and you see eggs.Check the beemath on MB's website.

As far as warning your neighbors about swarms --- I think I would pass. It may cause panic shocked, but you know you neighbors. Why cause neighbor problems if you have none?


Just hang in there. You will find out you learn more thru trial and error!!! I understand you do not want to make mistakes and the bees suffer. I still feel like that also and in my case Murphy's Law usually takes precedence in my boondoggles grin!

I keep waiting for someone with more experience to chime in  grin! Where are you guys???
Logged

John 3:16
gmcharlie
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 244


Location: Southern IL


« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2009, 05:02:37 PM »

lots of drones ,  no queen and lots of swarm cells....perfect time to split,  hopefully some of the swarm cells are on different frames...... split up your swarm cells into different boxes (up to you how many depending on number of workes and food supplies)    let the new queens hatch out...  if you have 2-3 swarm cells in each box  so what....  let the strong hatched queen do what she does....   but you should be able to end up with 2-3 new queens and hives out of the situation.....
Logged
susanbeesf
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 12

Location: San Francisco


« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2009, 11:53:03 AM »

Thank you sc-bee and gmcharlie for your words of wisdom!  It is raining today so I probably won't check on the bees but here is how I left it:  I still have the original hive (deep box + shallow box) topped by a queen excluder, a super, and a top feeder.  I put some empty frames into both the deep and shallow boxes and moved brood frames, honey frames and frames with swarm or supercedure cells into two nucs.  (Since that day was a sunny one, I also a painted a new hive so that, should I not have totally blown everything, maybe, with luck and I probably jinxed myself just by thinking about it, I might end up with a second colony)

 I think the original hive is really pretty strong.  So, sc-bee, I think I should go out tomorrow or the next (whenever it stops raining) to see if there are eggs in either one of the nucs or the original hive.  Does this sound like a good plan to you both?  Thanks again for all of your wonderful advice and encouragement.  I really look forward to coming to this forum.  You are terrific!
Logged
gmcharlie
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 244


Location: Southern IL


« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2009, 12:07:56 PM »

sounds to me like you did perfect,  try to keep the old hive from swarming,  and develop 2 new nucs.....  best case you have 3 hives now,  worst case not all the queens survive and you can recombine them in any combination in a cpl weeks after the queens are bred...  odds of none makeing new queens are extremly slim!  I am betting you now get 3 hives going well by july!
Logged
susanbeesf
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 12

Location: San Francisco


« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2009, 01:53:30 PM »

Wow!  That is great to hear!  Do you think I should bring sugar syrup out to the nucs as well as the hive?  (All three have honey frames.)
Logged
gmcharlie
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 244


Location: Southern IL


« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2009, 02:14:22 PM »

personaly I wouldn't if you have pollen being brought in.....  honey stores and fresh pollen will be better than any feed  and don't promote robbing...  ( a big issue in the spring with no nectar avaliable).......
Logged
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Beemaster's Beekeeping Ring
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Sitemap Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.326 seconds with 22 queries.

Google visited last this page August 06, 2014, 06:22:56 AM
anything