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Author Topic: Looking for best option from experienced beekeepers...  (Read 773 times)
The Bix
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Location: Arapahoe County, Colorado


« on: October 08, 2012, 04:21:15 PM »

I inspected a beehive today and found lots of bees, lots of stores, no open brood and a little capped brood.  They look to be well-prepped for winter.  However, I was shocked to find about 24-30 supersedure cells.  All of them near the center of the frames, right where supersedure cells should be.  I never did see a queen.  No open brood leads me to believe that this hive is now queenless.  We've had a few nights in the twenties and I've not seen drones for a few weeks now.  My guess is that when they lost their queen, they went into emergency mode and made as many queen cells as possible, hoping that their just might be a few drones still kicking to mate with.  The last time I saw the queen in this hive was on 9/28 and my notes from the inspection said that there was just a few small patches of open brood.

In addition, I just so happened to have two queens coming to me tomorrow and I had plans to replace existing, elderly queens.  However, upon finding a queenless hive in this condition I am wondering whether I should just introduce one of the new queens to this hive.

Thoughts?

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sawdstmakr
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Location: Jacksonville FL


« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2012, 06:11:21 PM »

Make sure you don't have a queen in the hive. This time of year in your area, she may have stopped laying. If you add the new queen, the old one will kill the new one. I would definitely replace her rather than let the supersedure cells hatch since the chance of them being mated are slim.
Jim
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The Bix
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Location: Arapahoe County, Colorado


« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2012, 08:06:26 PM »

thanks Jim, yeah no queen so I began the introduction yesterday afternoon...praying that it goes well.
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Joe D
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2012, 10:47:59 AM »

That is what I was going to recommend.  Put the queen cage with the new queen in the entrance to see the reaction to her.  Then place cage in hive and watch, if they don't try to kill her then you can let them open cage or you can.  Not that I am an experienced beek, but I have added a queen to a queenless hive.  Good luck Bix and your bees also.
I have one of your extractors, haven't had a chance to put it together yet.



Joe
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The Bix
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Location: Arapahoe County, Colorado


« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2012, 12:58:25 PM »

I had the opportunity to finally check this hive yesterday and the good news is that the colony accepted the new queen I introduced and she is laying!

Here's what I did:
1) Cut out all but just a few of the choicest looking queen cells
2) I hung the queen cage at an angle with the candy side pointing upward...it was in the center of the ten frame Lang hive on the bottom deep hive body.
3) I mixed a little bit of vanilla extract into a spray bottle with water and sprayed a little of that around the cage and the frames surrounding the cage.
4) I checked hive five days later, found that the queen had been released, but I never found her nor did I see any brood.  I was a bit despondent, trying to figure out what colony I should combine these bees with.
5) Checked again yesterday, found the intro'd queen, eggs and larvae.  Nice!

These steps were given me by a very experienced beekeeper in my area.

Thanks for your comments.
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