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Author Topic: Bee hive Questions after today  (Read 3749 times)
Chappy99
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« on: June 05, 2009, 04:55:12 PM »

Ok a little back story. I got a new nuc on April 15th it was a 4 frame nuc. I drive it home and set up the hive and everything is going well I think. I mean there are bees everywhere. I pop it open one day with no smoker and protection. I of course got stung RIGHT on the end of my nose.
 
I was visiting with my neighbor who has had bees for several years. He told me to wait a couple weeks to put the other deep on. So I waited for my other set of frames and foundation to come in, which took a couple weeks. I finally get everything all assembled and I still don't have a smoker (which is a whole thread in its self) so I ask my neighbor to come out and help me put on this other deep.
 
We crack open the hive and the bees have all the frames built out. Neighbor starts looking through the hive and tells me they are out of room, mad, and trying to swarm. He showed me all the queen cells and swarm cells. We clean everything up and put the other deep on the bottom with two frames of brood in it and then the full deep on top.
 
Well I FINALLY get a smoker yesterday. Now I checked the beez 3 days after the inspection with my neighbor and it didn't appear they were building back any queen cells.
So today I crack open the hive to see how things are coming. It's been 2 weeks since the last inspection. In the top deep I see brood, larve, and a frame full of eggs. I also find about three queen cells that are uncapped and what I THINK are some swarm cells on the bottom of that frame. So I destroy those and put everything back. In the bottom deep (the one we added lately) all but four of the frames are built out and there are no eggs yet in the ones that are built out.
 
So my question is, are they still trying to swam? Are they superceeding the queen and should I let them? Also how long after brood is capped does it hatch to a bee?
 
I think thats all I got for now.

Chappy
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GJP
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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2009, 05:11:52 PM »

From my experience as a second year Beek, you will get at least four different perspectives on what to do next.  I would suggest that you move some of the frames up from the first hive body to the second one so the girls get the idea they have more room!  Move three or four of the frames up keeping brood to the center with pollen/honey to the outside.  Slide your empty frames to the outside and let them go to work.  Be careful about destroying queen cells.  Some of the folks will tell you get rid of them and some will tell you to never destroy queen cells.  I've tried it both ways and would leave the cells, give them more room and hope for the best.  Welcome to the world of beekeeping!

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Hethen57
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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2009, 05:36:44 PM »

The danger with destroying queen cells if you haven't checked in a couple of weeks is that the queen may have already left, and the bees may no longer have the ability to make another queen.  If you are sure your marked or original queen is in there, and she is laying, then I would try to open the brood chamber, with some empty frames in the middle and give them some room.  That is what I have done and it has given me two full boxes of brood, a nuc split and no swarms so far.  If you have no queen and no eggs or open brood, then you might want to obtain a queen or a frame of eggs...becasue if they are trying to make queens out of desparation..they may be using larva that is too old and you will not get a good replacement.
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jason58104
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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2009, 05:40:13 PM »

Reverse your deeps.  All empty frames on top, all frames with brood on bottom.
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Chappy99
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2009, 05:43:55 PM »

There was a frame full of eggs in there today. The one I have seems to be a laying machine.
 
I did move some of the frames around from the outside in the bottom deep to the inside.
 
Why wouldn't the queen move down and lay in bottom deep? Will she wait till all of the frames are drawn out?

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jason58104
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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2009, 05:52:52 PM »

She will move down in time but the tendancy of a queen is to lay eggs in an upward direction.  Give her room on top and she will continue to lay at the rate we want.
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MustbeeNuts
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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2009, 11:07:54 AM »

Mine goes up down and all around, if there is a place to lay with lots of room down she goes. I had a deep that over the winter they moved up and filled a super on the  top with new brood, when it was full down she went to fill out the deep below. Now she is moved up to the next new super I just addded. She is a laying machine, late to start, but a real layer.
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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2009, 09:07:25 PM »

Once a hive of bees has gone into swarm mode it is very hard to stop it. 
Cutting out the queen cells will, sooner or later, leave you queenless as the hive will often swarm once queen cells are capped and have sometimes swarmed as soon as queen cells with larvae are established.

Once the bees have decided to swarm the best solution is to split the hive taking the queen away from the original location (even if it's only a few feet away) and letting the queen cells hatch a new queen. 
You can either then recombine the two or build up 2 hives, which is the better.  2 hives gives you resources or saving 1 or both hives that you don't have with only one hive.
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« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2009, 09:25:27 PM »

Once a hive of bees has gone into swarm mode it is very hard to stop it. 
Cutting out the queen cells will, sooner or later, leave you queenless as the hive will often swarm once queen cells are capped and have sometimes swarmed as soon as queen cells with larvae are established.

Once the bees have decided to swarm the best solution is to split the hive taking the queen away from the original location (even if it's only a few feet away) and letting the queen cells hatch a new queen. 
You can either then recombine the two or build up 2 hives, which is the better.  2 hives gives you resources or saving 1 or both hives that you don't have with only one hive.

What said above is it.
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« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2009, 09:30:41 PM »

I agree with Brian.  I followed the advice to cut out swarm cells and found my hive queenless.  I then had to requeen in June of last year and lost the year's honey production.  I think with swarming the key is to head them off before they start.  Once they get it in their mind, they will swarm unless we do something to make the think it has already occurred.  (In my recent experience, they might swarm anyway)
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Brian
Chappy99
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2009, 03:53:25 PM »

Well after a week of Walleye fishing I got home and checked my Bees. They have about all the frames built out now.  BUT I don't see any with eggs now. There is a heck of a lot of bees in there (14968 to be exact), but there is no frames with eggs and I checked them all. I did see about 4 queen cells and acidently broke one when I was pulling a frame.
 
So my question is, do I requeen right now. or do I just wait and let them sort it. out.
 
Thanks
Chappy

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homer
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2009, 08:17:18 PM »

Well after a week of Walleye fishing I got home and checked my Bees. They have about all the frames built out now.  BUT I don't see any with eggs now. There is a heck of a lot of bees in there (14968 to be exact), but there is no frames with eggs and I checked them all. I did see about 4 queen cells and acidently broke one when I was pulling a frame.
 
So my question is, do I requeen right now. or do I just wait and let them sort it. out.
 
Thanks
Chappy

There is no reason to requeen unless you remove all of those queen cells into nucs, as a battle will ensue and your newly purchased queen may be the one to die.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2009, 01:22:03 AM »

Well after a week of Walleye fishing I got home and checked my Bees. They have about all the frames built out now.  BUT I don't see any with eggs now. There is a heck of a lot of bees in there (14968 to be exact), but there is no frames with eggs and I checked them all. I did see about 4 queen cells and acidently broke one when I was pulling a frame.
 
So my question is, do I requeen right now. or do I just wait and let them sort it. out.
 
Thanks
Chappy



Sounds like they swarmed, and yes even new packages and swarms will re-swarm if they get crowded from too much stores or too many bees.  My guess is that they got honey bound (too much stores) and went into swarm mode.   Even a half developed package will swarm if it feels crowded in some way.
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Chappy99
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« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2009, 10:34:13 PM »

so what do you folks sugestI do? I don't have anymore deeps or frames or anything. I did notice a lot of honey (not that I know what I'm talking about).
Do I add the honey super tomorrow?
 
I mean I hate to get into the hive and break the cell that might be the future queen cell.
 
Any thoughts?

Chappy
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kathyp
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« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2009, 11:10:42 PM »

you have a bunch of questions to sort out.

1st you need to make sure you have a queen or good queen cells.  there is no way to do that except to look.  take the outside frames out of the box and set them aside.  call these frames 1 and 10.  gently move frame 2 away from 3 and lift.  check frame.  replace and move into 1 spot.  continue toward middle then do same on the other side.  often i only remove 1, but 2 gives you more room and will make it less likely that you squish a queen cell.

when you have determined whether or not you have a queen, take time to look at stores and the room that the queen has to lay.  if all you have is honey super, put them on and let her use them for brood. if you get honey, ok.  if not, at least you will have saved the hive (maybe).  if they continue to swarm, they will not have the numbers to make it through winter. 

the only time you should kill queen cells if if you want to buy a queen.  if you think they are going to swarm, it's better to take those cells and make a nuc.  that way you have a queen if you need it.  if you kill the cells and they have decided to replace the queen, or they do swarm, you are out of luck.

there are also hives that make queen cells and nothing happens that we notice.  i have a hive that i can go into and almost always find queen cells.  they have not swarmed to my knowledge, but i know the queen that is in there is not the one i started with. 
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Chappy99
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« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2009, 12:29:39 AM »

Ok a little update. I went into the hive last saturdday and removed the frames like Kathyp suggested. I noticed some frames of capped brood and about 5 queen cells. One was completly capped and the others starting to be, I also noticed a lot of pollen in cells. I took out all the frames and I noticed A LOT of them had honey in them, about half full. I noticed one frame on one side completly capped. There were two and a half frames  not built out. on the bottom super, the one I added some time ago. So I moved those frames towards the middle.
I also added a honey super with 9 frames and foundation only and a queen excluder.
 
So my questions are. How long from the time a cell is capped will a queen emerge and start laying
Could they be getting honey bound? There were still frames with capped brood, some with older brood in them that are uncapped. So I would assume if the queen hatches she will have plenty of room to lay.
 
I am going to check on them again this sunday.
Any advice is always appreciated.

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kathyp
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« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2009, 08:55:25 AM »

you are like the guy who never goes to the doctor then one day shows up with a list of questions....and oh BTW, i'm having chest pain, doc!   evil

sounds like you are headed in the right direction.  14 to 21ish days on the queen, then mating, etc.  probably closer to 14, but i have had two go longer this year and i think it was weather. 

bees with no queen and little brood to protect will spend their time packing in honey and pollen.  this is good for you, but can clog up your hive quickly.  keep a close eye on it.


why do you have an excluder on?  you have no queen  grin.  this is your chance to let them work the honey super without interference.  let them get a good start on it and then later, if you feel you must, add the excluder.  if you put excluders between brood and honey supers, especially new honey supers, you get no action above most of the time.....  if you let them get a started working the honey supers, they will continue when you put the excluder on later.

if your new queen gets up there before you put the thing on,  a little brood in your honey will not kill you!
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Chappy99
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« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2009, 12:34:43 PM »

Thanks KathyP that is EXACTLY what I wanted to know.
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kathyp
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« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2009, 12:39:00 PM »

clarification on above.  14+ days on the hatching.  do not be alarmed if it's another couple of weeks before you see eggs.  should be sooner, but not always.  be patient.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2009, 01:12:29 PM »

Chappy,

I think that this was said, but maybe not in these words.  If you are honey bound and you add a super with a queen excluder under it, you are still honey bound.  I would let the queen work upward as much as she wants to and take only honey from the super that doesn't have brood in it.  Get yourself some more wooden ware.  You will need it.  Hope things work out with this but I would be really careful about cutting out queen cells.    Just my $.02.

Chuck
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