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Author Topic: Queen cells (edit - and chalk brood) - help please?  (Read 2166 times)
Burnsy
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« on: December 28, 2010, 08:22:16 AM »

We are right in the middle of honey flow season here and swarming season has finished.  My topbar hive is four months old and is going strong with 14 full bars that are 20 inches long and a standard 8 frame lang super on top of the hive that the bees are starting to build in.  I was looking in the inspection window today and noticed that a queen cell has been built on the side of one of the combs, I have not pulled the others yet to have a look if there are more but was wondering whether I should be concerned by this?  Should I be removing queen cells or just leaving them to do their thing?

Cheers,
Mike
« Last Edit: December 31, 2010, 12:18:22 AM by Burnsy » Logged
Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2010, 08:20:54 PM »

I assume it's swarm season there (I'm not there but I assume you just had the Summer Soltstice) so they are probably trying to or already have swarmed.  Removing the cells will probably leave them queenless and probably will not stop them from swarming.  Splitting, on the other hand, probably will stop them from swarming and is probably your best solution.

http://bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm
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Burnsy
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2010, 07:22:02 AM »

Thanks Michael, my unerstanding is swarm season here is over (usually August-November or there abouts) which is where this colony came from (swarm 4 months ago).

I will open up the brood nest as you suggest and add in some empty frames.  I am surprised if it is being caused by overcrowding as there is an empty super above the brood nest with a top entrance in it that they have not started festooning or building in.  Maybe I should move a frame of brood and a frame of honey up into the super to encourage them up? 

I noticed another cell being built today through the inspection window so I best open it up tomorrow and have a proper look at what is going on.
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Tommyt
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2010, 07:40:22 AM »

Whats to say you have NO queen ??
I would check it good before I remove those cells

Tommyt
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Burnsy
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2010, 07:56:21 AM »

OK so first job is to find the queen then before I go moving any combs around. 
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hardwood
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2010, 09:10:42 PM »

And make sure what you are seeing is in fact queen cells and not just queen cups.

Scott
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Burnsy
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« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2010, 01:56:41 AM »

Opened up the hive, they are just cups as you suggest hardwood, however I was surprised at how many open cells there are and how little honey there was stored throughout the 14 bars considering how strong and active this hive is.  I put an extra two bars indespersed throughout the brood just to give them some more space in there.

I found the queen however I now have another concern.  I did not see any live larvae in any of the frames but only ones that looked like this see closeup picture with three larvae in it - shrivelled, white and dry looking.  Is this chalk brood and if so should I look at requeening if not what should I do?


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Tommyt
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« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2010, 12:07:54 PM »

Burnsy
 You did a good job on those pictures ,but I am sorry to say I am too new with Bee's to make any educated comment
other than Nice crisp viewable Pictures .I'm sure one of the Pro's will be able to see something in the pictures
 to explain more.
If you don't hear from anyone soon I'd send a Pm's too, Hardwood,Michael Bush, too mention a couple I would think could help.
 Good luck hope it all clears up

Tommyt
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BjornBee
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« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2010, 04:36:03 PM »

Yes, that is chalk.

Chalk is a secondary stress disease that can outbreak for a host of problems. Certainly a first year hive that has spent all of its resources building comb and making brood, is under stress. the lack of honey stores also adds to this stress.

I would feed and let the bees clean up the chalk. Chalk takes several weeks to outbreak and can last long after the initial stress that caused it to breakout. It can last a couple months even in the strongest hives. So it may not be anything with genetics, but what was impacting the hives a month or two back. And with a new hives overstretching their resources, this is sometimes just to be expected.

Other than that, the queen's pattern and brood look good.
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Burnsy
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« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2010, 12:17:32 AM »

Thans Bjorn you make it sound not so serious.  I did put a super on my hive a month back so I guess it could be possible that may have caused the stress.  It has been the driest (or near to it) year on record here so even though all the gums are flowering it could be that nectar is still scarce - do trees produce less nectar in dry seasons?  There was plenty of pollen in the hive but little honey as I mentioned.

I added additional topbars (two throughout the brood) should I:
1. leave it as it is
2. remove the super and leave the new topbars
3. remove the two new topbars and leave the super
4. remove both the new topbars and the super?

In regard to feeding, what do people recommend as the best recipe for and method of dispensing feed in summer?

This is what the hive looks like with the super on.

Thanks again,
Mike
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Tommyt
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« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2011, 11:18:17 PM »

a BTT for Burnsy grin

 Help a Brotha Out   rolleyes


Good Luck with it

TT
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