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Author Topic: First cutout - New Beek - Need advice on Queening  (Read 631 times)
Boom Buzz
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Location: Longmont, CO


« on: May 28, 2009, 03:26:04 PM »


Did my first cut out yesterday with a fellow beginner beek.  The hive was located in the soffit above the entrance to the front door.  The bees must have been there for at least a couple years as it seemed like a large colony.  Sorry I don't have pics yet.  It was a learning experience to say the least.  Bottom line is I don't think we got the queen.  I was able to fill ten deep frames with mostly brood comb, plus 5 medium frames.  Plenty of bees on the comb.  Lots of honey comb.  At the end of the project there were bees fanning at the original entrance to the hive in the soffit.  Would this indicate the queen was still up in there?  We could not find her in the soffit but my gut says she was still up in there.  There was not an accumulation of bees on the top of the hive I put the frames into which again would suggest that the queen was not in my hive - is this correct thinking?  There were plenty of bees installed as I added the comb, just not a lot of the flying bees aggregating on the hive.

The hived bees are located in their new place in the apiary.  I plan to get buy a mated queen locally. 
How long should I wait to introduce her?  Right away?  After a couple of days?
Any suggestions on how to proceed to start this hive off right?  Words of wisdom?

This was a challenging cut out for a first project.  The comb was so tightly packed in that we had to mash a bit of comb just to get access and to get a good angle to cut the main comb out.  Seems like we lost a good portion of the bees in the process.  Defintely need a bee-vac, which I will make this weekend.  The home owner said he was ready to just nuke the bees with pesticide if he couldn't find someone to remove them for free, so we at least feel like we salvaged a reasonable colony if we can get it queen right and growing.

Also, got my very first bee sting/s.  Very first one as a beek right on the end of the nose.  I had my veil on but got sloppy trying to look and reach up into the soffit and the nose got close to the veil.  And voila, stung!  Eyes watered up and nose ran for a few minutes, but it simmered down quickly, thankfully.

Any comments/ suggestions are appreciated.

John
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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2009, 05:58:05 PM »

That'll teach you to stick your nose in the bee's business.  grin

Introduce the new queen anytime after 12 hours queenless.

When doing a cutout, always remove the outer comb first, leaving two combs about a foot long next to each other in the center of the cavity. If you don't get the queen, she will return to those two pieces of comb.
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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"

*Shel Silverstein*
Boom Buzz
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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2009, 06:37:32 PM »

Thanks Iddee!  So if you do not positively find the queen as you remove comb, leave a couple of the larger center combs in place.  Then do you give it a rest? - 30 minutes to an hour, let things settle down, then remove the last two combs with a good chance the queen is on one of them?   I was tempted to go back this morning to see if there is a cluster where the comb was, but it was an hours drive each way.  Is it likely they would have clustered around the queen at the comb site, or is that wishful thinking?
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iddee
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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2009, 08:26:38 PM »

She will usually return within a half hour or so, but if the outer comb is removed first, she likely won't leave at all. She will keep running toward the center. She doesn't like going across open spaces. That's why I remove the outside comb first.

They will cluster at the top of the cavity if there is no brood comb left. Then she can run again, into a crack or crevice at the top.
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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"

*Shel Silverstein*
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