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Author Topic: Hot hives make beekeeping 0 fun!  (Read 937 times)
dfizer
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« on: May 01, 2013, 12:28:16 PM »

Hello all -

Just wanted to pass along some frustration.  I have a hive that has been recently queen-less, consequently they've become uber aggressive.  The new queen is in and working her way out of the cage but this can't seem to happen soon enough.  She has been in since Saturday - yesterday I poked a small hole in the candy entrance.  Today, had a look into the hive and still she and her attendants are in their cage.  UGH.  I think if they're not out by this after noon I'm going to take a drill bit and gently remove the rest of the candy. 

The problem with this hives is that I cant get close enough to see if the bees are bringing in pollen or what the hell they're doing without a veil on.  This sucks since to me this is the best part of beekeeping, watching the bees work.  Needless to say I am so sick of being stung it's not even funny.  Two more today - one on the left temple, next on the opposite ear, and the last on the outside of my right hand.  UGH! 

Once the new queen takes over roughly how long until this hive calms down?  I have to say if all bees were this way I would stop keeping them!

David
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2013, 12:39:30 PM »

queen in or out of the cage shouldn't make a difference.  it may be the genetics of the bees themselves.  in that case, they won't settle down until the new bees have overtaken them.

suit up.  use smoke.  don't get in there more than you need to.  to much disruption can make them pissy.  it sounds like you have been in there a lot.

leave them alone for a couple of 3 days.  the queen will be ok in the cage.
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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
dfizer
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2013, 12:49:45 PM »

Thanks Kathy -- make no mistake about it... they will be left alone for at least that long but it kind of stinks since I really enjoy watching them work.  I cant even do that while they are this pissy.  I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that they settle down soon.  Btw - when I checked this last time there were tons of bees all around the cage - I couldn't see any of the bees inside.  I hope this does not mean that they are trying to attack the queen.  I hope this means that they are trying to get her out. 

When the bees are not trying to sting me a few are bringing in pollen... I don't completely understand this since I feel certain that the hive is indeed queenless.  Why would they be bringing in pollen with out eggs/larvae?

For these bees to calm down it may take a turnover of bees - how long might this take? 

David 
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BMAC
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2013, 12:59:25 PM »

Bees are bees.  They will collect pollen and nectar with no queen available. 

Not sure how long you had that queen in there but it sounds like she is dead as soon as they get thru the candy.

You should put duct tape over the candy hole for 1 week or use a push in queen cage to allow her to start laying before letting her out.  Let those bees get used to being queen right again.
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dfizer
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2013, 01:19:07 PM »

The replacement queen has been in there since Saturday.  She and the attendants have to be hungry / thirsty.  I sure hope that they don't dust her off as soon as she makes her way out.  I hope she is being fed through the cage and that's what the other bees are trying to do.  I hope she is ok as I poked a hole in the candy yesterday afternoon so I think today they will eat through that today - I'd guess that they probably already have.  If they do kill her will they remove her from the hive?  In other words will I find her outside the hive in a couple of days?  She is marked so I'm hoping to find her laying next week when I check the hive again.

Thanks 

David
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BMAC
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2013, 01:26:22 PM »

You should always remove attendants from queen cages.  They do feed the queen thru the cage.  If they ball her and kill her they may boot her lifeless corpse outside or may just leave her on BB.

I would pull the cage today and see if they have released her yet or not.  if they have not pay special attention to amount of bees on her cage.  A happy colony that accepted her will not be all over the cage.  If they are all over her cage put duct tape over the candy and put her back in with no attendants and check every few days until they accept her.
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kathyp
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2013, 01:28:55 PM »

i don't remove attendants.  i think that's a choice thing.  BUT do make sure that your cage is in with the candy up.  if attendants die in the cage they can block the hole and then the queen can't get out if you do candy down.

this isn't one of your laying worker hives, is it?
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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
iddee
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2013, 01:47:44 PM »

"I think if they're not out by this after noon I'm going to take a drill bit and gently remove the rest of the candy." 

 "make no mistake about it... they will be left alone for at least that long"

OK, which one is correct?

I am with Kathy. Go fishing for a week and then see what you have after that.
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"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"

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dfizer
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2013, 02:01:00 PM »

I have had it with this particular hive.  I already put a hole in the candy plug and likely they have released her already - I'm not donning the veil to check.  This hive had no signs of a queen on Saturday when me and a very experienced beekeeper checked it.  That's when I put the new queen in.  Leap forward to today when I checked and they had not released the queen.  That's when I put the hole in the candy plug and returned it to it's hanging position - plug up. 

The bees are all over the queen cage - enough that I couldn't see into the cage - probably 15-20 or so. 

Kathy - I saw no signs of laying workers. 

Oh well - I guess what will be will be. 

David     
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2013, 02:14:06 PM »

>Once the new queen takes over roughly how long until this hive calms down?

Sometimes it is very quickly.  Sometimes the field bees have to be pretty much replaced.  This could take four weeks or so.

Are you sure there is no queen in the hive?  Hives usually are not queenless when you think they are.  Usually they have succeeded in raising a new queen and she just isn't laying yet or not laying enough that you can find eggs yet.  If there is a queen, virgin or not, they will kill the queen in the cage.  If she's still alive, that's at least a good sign...

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesrequeeninghot.htm
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Michael Bush
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dfizer
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2013, 08:43:44 PM »

Well this hive continues to perplex.  I was out in the yard working with the other hives and noticed that the hive that had been giving me so many stings was surprisingly docile.  I decided to have a look and I have to say - I am now more confused than ever.  Here's what happened.  I installed a new carniolean queen (marked)a little over a week ago - checked back on Tuesday when they still had not released her and poked a hole in the candy so she could get out and released her myself.  Then decided not to monkey around with this hive for a few days.  Well, as stated earlier - I checked today to see if there was any brood, eggs or larva and also to see if I could spot the new marked queen.  This is where it get's interesting.... The first frame I pulled I see an unmarked queen - only problem - it's not the one I installed.  It was a very light brown - almost translucent - queen.  I was so shocked to see this queen - I kind of panicked and put the frame back and closed up the hive. 

As I am rethinking this - I kind of wonder if that queen was a new newly mated or virgin queen that the hive had produced on it's own once the hive became queenless.  This also explains why the bees were all over the new queen's cage - they probably balled her since they already had a new queen of their own. 

Well - I think I'm actually going to open this hive up quickly tomorrow to check for brood or eggs. 

David   
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iddee
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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2013, 08:56:41 PM »

Yes, they raised one.

Yes, they killed the marked one.

NO, don't open it again for a week or 2, or they may kill her, too.
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"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"

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dfizer
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« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2013, 09:14:12 PM »

I'm not sure I understand... is it not possible that they queen I saw is an old infertile one who indeed killed the new one and is simply not laying any eggs?  Does it not make sense to make sure that the queen is indeed a new mated one who is laying eggs the way she should? 

David
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don2
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« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2013, 09:41:27 PM »

You have a new Virgin Queen. Leave the hive be for at least 10 days. Give her time to go on her mating flight and start laying. If you continue to disturb the hive the bees may kill her or you could accidentally do it yourself. Then you will have a Queen less hive with no eggs or young brood to make a new one. Be patient.  :)d2
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dfizer
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« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2013, 10:19:58 PM »

I am 100% fine with waiting / being patient however how do you know that this is a new queen / virgin queen and not the old one that could have failed?  The last thing I want is a queen that does not lay eggs occupying the "queen" spot in my hive. 

What makes it clear to you that this is a new queen?

David
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don2
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« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2013, 10:46:57 PM »

Didn't mean to indicate that I was sure you had a virgin queen. If you don't you still have your old queen. If not then if you don't have a virgin queen then she has already been on her mating flight. If bees have a new Queen in the making, then they do not consider their selves Queen less. If you had a marked Queen then you have an unmarked one, it is apparent they super ceded her.

Or it wasn't queen less to begin with. If the old queen isn't laying or if something else is wrong with her the bees will rear a new queen. They knew when this should be done.Never assume a hive is queen less when you don't find eggs, larvae or the queen. A queen cell could be in the making and the bees do not see their selves queen less.Smiley d2
« Last Edit: May 05, 2013, 10:59:01 PM by don2 » Logged

kathyp
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« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2013, 11:42:22 PM »

because you saw the queen, i'm guessing she's mated. spotting a virgin is hard even if you are pretty good at spotting queens.  because the temperament of the hive has changed, i'd bet she's laying.  just my guess from what you have told us.

leave it alone!!!  give her time to lay a few frames worth and time for the hive to settle. 
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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
Michael Bush
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« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2013, 09:02:27 AM »

The quick way to calm them down is to do a split.  While you are at it, make sure you destroy any queen cells and give them a frame of open brood from a nice hive.  A split will be much better behaved than a strong hive.
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Michael Bush
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