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Author Topic: requeening weak hive  (Read 2231 times)
tomofreno
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« on: June 04, 2012, 11:24:57 PM »

I have a hive that I introduced pkg bees to about 5 weeks ago that seems to have no queen.  I've been out of town for extended stays twice in that time.  That and very windy weather kept me from inspecting as much as I wanted.  There are only about 3 fairly full sized combs and another 3 small ones.  Mostly just open cells.  The hive is noticeably weaker than the other hive I started at the same time.  Not nearly as many bees,  maybe two combs worth and only about 1/3 as many foragers.  I ordered a queen today and plan to place her and a bar (I have TBHs) of brood comb from the stronger hive into the weaker one.  The stronger one has about 12 brood comb and two honey comb.  My plan is to place the queen into the hive in her cage for two days, maybe hang her between two empty top bars near an occupied comb, then release her.  Sound good?  Anything I should do different?  The hive may be too weak, but I hate to not try to save them. Darn weather and travel!  There were gusts to 45 mph today, and high of about 58 F.  The trees were whipping around in the wind, but I saw foragers going out from each hive - and I have both sugar syrup and a pollen patty in each hive.  Intrepid little girls!
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tomofreno
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2012, 11:47:20 PM »

Hmmm, I read the new post on laying workers, and the posted links.  Sounds like I might have that problem since some cells in the weak hive are capped.  Since I already ordered a queen, any chance I can get the Robo cage?  Or, since the queen arrives Wednesday, any photos or drawings I could use to make one fast?
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kathyp
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2012, 11:56:52 PM »

if the capped cells are scattered drone cells only, then yes, you may have a problem.  if you have worker cells and other larvae and eggs, you don't have laying workers and you are also not absent your queen.

if you are requeening, be very sure that you don't leave the old one in there by accident.

if you are not sure what you are looking at, take some pictures and post them or have a moderator post them if you can't.  we can help you out.
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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
kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2012, 12:00:01 AM »

i posted this on another thread, but here's a good pic of what a laying worker hive looks like.

http://beeinformed.org/2011/05/laying-worker-2/drone-brood-from-laying-worker-2/
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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
Joe D
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2012, 01:08:07 AM »


The queen can sometimes be hard to find.  when your new queen comes in you can lay the cage at the entrance and see if they attack or pay her no attention or try to feed her.  If they attack you could still have the old queen.  I had a tbh with no queen, picked up one, after laying her at entrance for several mins I opened the hive removed some empty frames. Spread the bars with comb, held her between them, no problem, after a few mins, hold the cage in bottom of hive open queen cage.  The new queen I didn't find the first inspection, did next and she is a cordovan, yellow no black rings.  Good luck with your bees.


Joe
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tomofreno
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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2012, 10:04:43 AM »

Thanks for the comments.  I don't recall the capped cells being as scattered as that, but I'll check again.  Its been so cool and windy I've been reluctant to pull out combs for close inspection.  Sounds like a good idea to set the queen at the entrance and see how the bees react.  Maybe I'll set her beside the syrup feeder jar I have inside too, or by a bee covered comb, replace the bars then open it about 10 minutes later to see how they respond.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2012, 12:05:06 PM »

I have a small hive that I got as a swarm. The Q started laying eggs right away. Then they tapered off, but I kept seeing new larva, no eggs. I tried to find some eggs on a medium frame at the farm but all I had were deeps. I brought home this hive this weekend and added 2 frames of eggs and brood. While I was doing this I found a capped Q cup with a larva in it. I suspect this hive has a small Q that is not properly mated. I saw the original Q and she was normal sized golden Q. I know that this is at least the second Q since I got the swarm. I have not seen a Q in 3 weeks and it only has 3 sparse frames with brood and bees and every time I checked every frame twice. I did find a half removed Q cell last week.
Jim
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"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain
tomofreno
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« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2012, 11:55:48 PM »

I am supposed to receive the queen tomorrow.  Forecast is high of 69 F, calm wind (< 5 mph).  Calm is a rare thing here.  Next few days forecasts are breezy, typical: winds 15 to 20, gusts to 30 mph, highs in the mid-70's.  Looks like tomorrow is the window of opportunity to move a frame of brood and introduce the queen.  Will I damage the brood if I move them in that temperature?
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2012, 11:52:00 AM »

No, they will be fine. Open the hive that will receive the frame, open the slot for the frame and if there is no flow on, place something that is easy to remove over it to prevent robbing, then open the hive with the brood and do the transfer.
Jim
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"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain
tomofreno
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« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2012, 04:05:29 PM »

I checked the comb in the weak hive again, and it does look like scattered drone cells on the combs, so laying worker.  The new queen arrived today so I put her and her entourage in their cage on the hive near the entrance of the weak hive.  Bees showed no interest at all, didn't go on it.  Then I put it on the floor of the hive right against a comb with bees, and left it there about 10 minutes while I removed a top bar of brood comb from the other hive and placed it in a stand, ready to transfer (had cloth covering opening in weak hive as suggested, thanks).  Checked new queen again, no interest from other bees, none on the cage.  Shook all but a couple dozen bees off the brood comb (rotated it upside down keeping comb perpendicular to the ground, accelerated it down then snapped it up sharply so the comb was forced against the TB rather than away, to avoid ripping it off), didn't see a queen on it, so put it in the weak hive next to the other combs.  Closed up the hives and put my stuff away.  Then thought, I'm a newbee, I'm not sure I could even recognize a queen on a comb.  Got really worried, so went back out, re-opened the weak hive, pulled out the brood comb and placed it in a stand.  It was already covered with bees on both sides.  I searched for any sign of a queen, or a bee being attacked by other ones on that comb, adjacent ones, and in the bottom of the hive.  Didn't see anything.  Also no bees on the new queen cage in the bottom.  Closed it up.  Hope all is well.

I plan to check it again late this afternoon, and if there are no bees on the queen cage, then release her into the hive.  Sound ok, or should I wait and release her tomorrow? Thanks for the help.
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