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Author Topic: What to do with queen cells this late?  (Read 787 times)

Offline David LaFerney

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What to do with queen cells this late?
« on: August 17, 2009, 10:49:16 PM »
On July 3 I started this trap out  with a frame of brood/eggs and a frame of honey.  The trap out has gone alright, although the hive was small, and I've really only ended up with 5-6 medium frames of bees.  It's over now, and they are robbing the honey out of the block wall right now.

A week ago I put another frame of brood with eggs in there because I couldn't find any evidence of a queen.  I put the brood between a nice frame of pollen, and another of honey, and replaced two empty frames with dummies to crowd the bees together so that if they built queen cells they would do a better job.  Since I've started this I've learned that it was quite likely that the first queen raised by the trap out was under nurtured because it didn't initially have many stores or bees.

I wasn't really so concerned with raising a queen with the second frame of brood I put in last week - I just wanted to make sure that if there wasn't a queen that the hive would stay together long enough to finish the trap out removal.

Well, when I inspected this morning before removing the trap cone I found several nice big capped queen cells - so either the hive actually is queenless or she is so poor that they are superceding.  Probably Queenless.

Probably I should just forget about those queen cells, and combine this little hive with my one and only other hive at home.  The thing is then I would still only have one hive and no back up for next spring.

So here's my question -  Is there anything that I can do that has a reasonable chance of making a viable nuc with these nice fat queen cells that are going to open in a week or so? Or is it just too late - we usually don't get any frost until late Oct. 

I'm a bit  worried about the age of the main population of bees from the trap out, and I'm thinking that it might be better to combine the trap out bees with the main hive and start a nuc with a couple of frames and stores from the main one - if I don't just forget it.

I'm willing to feed, and I can keep them in a warm place with a tube entrance like an observation hive - or I could actually put them in an Ob hive.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Samuel Clemens

Putting the "ape" in apiary since 2009.

Offline iddee

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Re: What to do with queen cells this late?
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2009, 11:06:07 PM »
I would not gamble with my one and only good hive.

I would let them raise the queen. She should have a good month and a half to lay before cool weather, and maybe you will get another chance at a trap out. Then you could use it to boost the population. Otherwise, try to feed it enough to get it through the winter.

Better to lose one than both.
"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*