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Author Topic: What to do with spare queen cells?  (Read 2006 times)
malachii
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« on: July 24, 2012, 09:29:00 PM »

I was checking a couple of my hives over the weekend and noticed that one of the hives has lost it's queen and made emergency cells.  There are about 12 over 3 frames. 

Bearing in mind that I live in Gippsland (think cold and wet - average daytime top at the moment is about 13-15 degree C), what do I do with them?  Is it worth making a split or will there be no drones for the virgin queens to mate with anyway?  Is it better just to merge this queenless hive with a queenright until the weather warms up and then spit from there?

All suggestions greatly appreciated.

malachii
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Javin
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« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2012, 09:35:05 PM »

Great question.  I just purchased some queens for a nuc split I'd made, and when I opened the nuc, found that they'd made 5 queen cells.  I ended up killing off the cells to keep the new queen I'd purchased, but I'm also curious as to whether or not they would've been mated if I'd just let them create their own hive.
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JP
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« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2012, 10:54:43 PM »

If they were swarm cells I'd make up a few nucs or do a split. Emergency queen cells I would leave alone. If there are no drones available you should combine them.


...JP
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Javin
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« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2012, 10:58:19 PM »

If they were swarm cells I'd make up a few nucs or do a split. Emergency queen cells I would leave alone. If there are no drones available you should combine them.

Will the virgin queens ALWAYS end up mating with drones, or is there only certain times of year that the breeding will happen?  And what if the only drones available are her siblings?
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JP
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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2012, 12:02:54 PM »

Javin, nature intends that virgins mate with drones from colonies other than their own but inbreeding does occur if she has no alternative. If there are no drones available she does not get mated pure and simple. I would allow them the opportunity to requeen and if they were unsuccessful I would do a combine.

Javin, not all virgin queens get mated. Some fight to the death with other virgin queens because they want to be the queen. Search this site and others about "piping". You will find the topic very interesting.


...JP
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Javin
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« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2012, 12:10:56 PM »

Oh wow!  That's the first I've heard of "piping."  Super interesting!
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Jim 134
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« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2012, 06:29:36 PM »

 malachii  you'r in
 West Gippsland,Victoria Australia  huh

 Do you have drones flying this time of year  Huh

 You need a beekeeper from  DOWN UNDER



          BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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hardwood
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« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2012, 06:40:24 PM »

If it were me I'd keep them all in there and see what happens. With your weather you might not have an ample supply of drones but they will often winter with a small drone force...ya never know, it might work out!

Scott
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2012, 08:26:15 AM »

Malachii, i'm in Melbourne - i haven't seen any drones in my hives as of yet - although there were some that are capped cells... do you have any down there yet? if not then i would leave them to sort it out - don't try and do any splits - there is a possibility your new queen may not have an opportunity to have a successful mating flight so you will need to combine down the track or contact a Queen Breeder in Queensland (Covery Brothers) to see if you can source a queen from them
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bernsad
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« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2012, 07:22:43 PM »

Hi Oz,

I'm in Melbourne too. Have you been in your hives lately? I was under the impression it was too cold. What sort of conditions do you work them under?

For the record, I haven't noticed any drones either but I haven't opened up my hives during winter. The girls are very busy at the moment though, any fine weather we have and they are busy dragging in pollen.
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2012, 12:46:26 AM »

Hey Bernsad, what area of melbourne are you in? I'm north-west

I have only opened one hive and that was the other day when it was fine, sunny and no wind... as a general rule I don't open my hives unless it's aroun 17oC - 18oC, sunny and still... I generally wait until mid - end august. Just depends though - sometimes you need to open a hive...

The girls are incredibly busy on fine days which is marvellous!
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bernsad
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« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2012, 01:00:13 AM »

I'm in the north-east, out past Greensborough.

I've been thinking about working one of the hives. I have a 5 frame nuc that I want to move into an 8 frame box so they've got some room to expand going into Spring. The other few hives are all overwintering in 2 deep boxes so they will be fine for a while.
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malachii
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« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2012, 08:26:20 AM »

Thanks for the info guys - looks like I might just leave them alone and see what happens.  I know I saw a few drones in this hive and some drone comb so maybe there are some about.  I'll just have to wait.

malachii
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squidink
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« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2012, 07:28:24 AM »

On the subject of mellbourne's weather Thursday just gone I popped out to Seville in the Yarra Valley where I have some hives. 1 is being fed sugar syrup, it was about 14.c. I thought I could be fast enough to open the lid without a smoker and veil and tip some syrup into 2 frame feeders! Geeeesus did I get nailed!

Interesting question in regards a new virgin queen this time of year. Is it possible that a queen will post pone her mating flight until weather improves and the drones are flying?

Ben
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2012, 07:06:40 PM »

I'm in the north-east, out past Greensborough.

I've been thinking about working one of the hives. I have a 5 frame nuc that I want to move into an 8 frame box so they've got some room to expand going into Spring. The other few hives are all overwintering in 2 deep boxes so they will be fine for a while.

I'd hold off moving them out of the nuc! we've still got some cold nights ahead of us and the queen won't be laying that much yet... by all means i'd have a look though if the conditions are right.
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2012, 07:08:43 PM »

On the subject of mellbourne's weather Thursday just gone I popped out to Seville in the Yarra Valley where I have some hives. 1 is being fed sugar syrup, it was about 14.c. I thought I could be fast enough to open the lid without a smoker and veil and tip some syrup into 2 frame feeders! Geeeesus did I get nailed!

Interesting question in regards a new virgin queen this time of year. Is it possible that a queen will post pone her mating flight until weather improves and the drones are flying?

Ben

Ouch! yeah, 14oC is warm enough for them to pretty active! Imagine if you were in a warm cozy bed and someone came along and ripped the doona off! I know I wouldn't be smiling  grin some smoke might have saved you...


No, from my understanding the queen has a finite time to be mated - if she doesn't mate during that time she never will...
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bernsad
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« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2012, 06:25:04 AM »

I'm in the north-east, out past Greensborough.

I've been thinking about working one of the hives. I have a 5 frame nuc that I want to move into an 8 frame box so they've got some room to expand going into Spring. The other few hives are all overwintering in 2 deep boxes so they will be fine for a while.

I'd hold off moving them out of the nuc! we've still got some cold nights ahead of us and the queen won't be laying that much yet... by all means i'd have a look though if the conditions are right.
Thanks Oz,
I can afford to wait, it was just a thought.
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