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Author Topic: Queenless and Clueless!!! What happened?  (Read 1871 times)

Offline Moots

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Queenless and Clueless!!! What happened?
« on: May 12, 2013, 11:19:25 PM »
Really perplexed by what happened today...I witnessed it, but I'm still a bit baffled by what I observed.

A brief history:

4/6/2013 - I caught a rather large swarm and placed them in a 8 frame medium box with wax foundation and a hive top feeder.

4/14/2013 - removed the feeder

4/20/2013 - Inspected and confirmed I had a laying queen...I found both covered brood and Larva and they were storing honey and/or the sugar water.  However, I didn't feel they were quite ready for a second box.

At some point, probably around the following weekend (4/27) I added a second box of foundation.

5/4/2013 - Inspected the top box and all looked good, all but 2 or 3 frames drawn out, cleaned up some cross comb and got out.  Didn't drill down to the first box.

Today (5/12/2013) - I decide to take a quick look, suspecting they may be ready for box #3.  The second box looked pretty good, almost all frames completely drawn out, about half of them with caped honey/sugar water along the top and uncapped elsewhere.  However, it seemed that the bee population was down...maybe 3 or 4 frames fully covered and the rest not quite as crowded.

THIS IS WHERE THINGS REALLY STARTED GETTING STRANGE...

First I noticed no brood or larva anywhere in the second box.  Next I peaked down to the first box and notice that it seemed completely vacant....little to no bees.
I removed the 2nd box to take a look at the first.  Not only were there little or no bees practically every frame had NO DRAWN Comb, there was nothing but the wax foundation probably on 5 or 6 of the frames.  Maybe one frame had comb nicely drawn on one side, the remainder maybe a little patch.

Aside from the hive being obviously queenless....what really baffled me was the condition of the first box.  Any thoughts as to what happened are appreciated.  These frames were either all or nearly all drawn out just three weeks ago!

Having my hive numbers higher than they probably should be anyway, I made a quick decision and decided to do a shakeout then and there.

For now I threw the frames from the 2nd box with the Honey/Sugar Water in the freezer.  As I said, the 1st box was pretty much back down to just the wax foundation....should I freeze those also?  Also, How should I best utilize these frames?
"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
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Offline 10framer

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Re: Queenless and Clueless!!! What happened?
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2013, 11:39:29 PM »
so the comb has been stripped back to foundation or did i misunderstand you?  i've never heard of that and unless it's plastic foundation i don't see how it could happen. 

Offline Moots

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Re: Queenless and Clueless!!! What happened?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2013, 11:43:12 PM »
so the comb has been stripped back to foundation or did i misunderstand you?  i've never heard of that and unless it's plastic foundation i don't see how it could happen. 

10framer,
That's EXACTLY what I'm saying...and I agree with what you're saying, I didn't think it would be possible. 

It's like I'm telling you what I saw and what I know...but at the same time, I'm not believing it myself.  :?

This has me very very very baffled and confused!   :? :?
"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
                                                                                                                   - Ronald Reagan

Offline 10framer

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Re: Queenless and Clueless!!! What happened?
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2013, 12:00:47 AM »
are you sure you didn't put the second super under the first?

Offline BlueBee

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Re: Queenless and Clueless!!! What happened?
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2013, 12:30:12 AM »
Strange indeed. 

The only time I've had drawn comb disappear is when a mouse gets in.  Any chance a mouse got in, ate some comb and the queen?

Offline Moots

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Re: Queenless and Clueless!!! What happened?
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2013, 07:03:56 AM »
10framer,
I'm sure....when i added the second box, I set it right on top and never even went into the 1st box again until yesterday.   However, that's exactly what it seemed like.  Even my little nephew that helps me commented "it's like the boxes have been swapped".  :?

Blue,
I guess anything is possible, but I don't think so.  It's not like anything looked chewed are disturbed.  Don't get me wrong, some of the wax foundation from the first box had been completely removed in a few little spots.  But what was there was in basically pristine shape....It looks like a piece of foundation that's sat in a hive a few weeks that the bees just haven't drawn yet.

I know none of this sounds right or makes sense.  I'm having trouble believing it myself...it's a real head scratcher....... :?
"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
                                                                                                                   - Ronald Reagan

Offline tefer2

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Re: Queenless and Clueless!!! What happened?
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2013, 09:13:39 AM »
Moots, there has been several times that I have stacked boxes back in the wrong order.
It happens when you have a bunch of hives.
I have never seen a mouse eat all the wax without leaving some sign that he was there.
I would say that it was your mistake!  :devilbanana:

Offline Moots

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Re: Queenless and Clueless!!! What happened?
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2013, 10:04:15 AM »

I would say that it was your mistake!  :devilbanana:

tefer2,
If I were reading what you're reading, I would have the same exact opinion as you.  :laugh:

Trust me, I'm more than capable of both making and admitting to making a mistake.  However, I can tell you, without a scintilla of doubt....I did not swap the boxes.

Since I hived this swarm on 4/6, that first box had never left the bottom board until I shook it out yesterday.  After adding the second box, I'd only been back in for one inspection on 5/4 and my recorded notes said that all but 2 or 3 of the frames were drawn out.  I never lifted the 2nd box off the stack or even looked down into the first box.

I have no problem with anyone having trouble believing what I'm saying....because I agree, it makes NO SENSE!  I'm just relaying the parts of this puzzle that I know and I'm sure of, hoping someone has a theory.  Because as the thread tittle says, I'm clueless on what happened.  :)
"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
                                                                                                                   - Ronald Reagan

Offline D Semple

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Re: Queenless and Clueless!!! What happened?
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2013, 10:35:30 AM »
Maybe somebody is playing a clever trick on you.   :-D

Know anybody ornery. 


Don

Offline tefer2

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Re: Queenless and Clueless!!! What happened?
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2013, 10:43:09 AM »
Maybe some criminal stole your box and replaced it with an empty? :jail:

Offline Moots

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Re: Queenless and Clueless!!! What happened?
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2013, 10:54:35 AM »
Maybe somebody is playing a clever trick on you.   :-D

Know anybody ornery. 

Don

D,
Pretty sure that's not the case, but the thought did cross my mind.

I think most all the ornery folks I know would be scared to get that close to the girls.  :-D
"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
                                                                                                                   - Ronald Reagan

Offline hardwood

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Re: Queenless and Clueless!!! What happened?
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2013, 11:42:22 AM »
That schawee character does love a practical joke now and then...just sayin'.  :-D

Scott
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

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Offline iddee

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Re: Queenless and Clueless!!! What happened?
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2013, 11:47:26 AM »
My vote goes to D Semple.
"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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Offline Moots

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Re: Queenless and Clueless!!! What happened?
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2013, 12:00:05 PM »
That schawee character does love a practical joke now and then...just sayin'.  :-D

Scott

:lau:  Yeah, that thought had crossed my mind also....  :laugh:

But I just can't imagine my buddy Schawee doing that... :angel:........Hmm, or can I?  :evil: LOL!

On a serious note...I know everyone is having a good laugh here thinking I'm nuts.  But any plausible theories shy of my hive being beamed aboard an alein spaceship for inspection and the extraterrestrials swapping the boxes upon returning it to it's proper location in my beeyard, just to mess with me, would be GREATLY appreciated.  :-D

Even the swapped box theory (by aliens, Schewee, or someone else...) doesn't make sense, because I know from my inspection on 5/4 that the second box was all drawn out except for 2 or 3 frames....That's not what I found in box 1's location.

"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
                                                                                                                   - Ronald Reagan

Offline iddee

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Re: Queenless and Clueless!!! What happened?
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2013, 12:26:56 PM »
OK, seriously. If the foundation was clean, as you say, it was not left from drawn comb. With that in mind, look for other possibilities. I have known of capped honey frames being stolen and replaced with empty frames. A colony could be done the same. If a dishonest local beek lost his hive or wanted to steal another one, he may have swapped frames with you.

Whatever the cause, it was not bees removing cell wax down to the foundation without removing the foundation also.

Someone could be playing with you.
"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"

*Shel Silverstein*

Offline kathyp

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Re: Queenless and Clueless!!! What happened?
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2013, 12:38:14 PM »
that would be a clever theft.  most of us don't go all the way through boxes.  it would assume he/she could match your foundation so that you would be wondering, rather than knowing what happened.

maybe you should look to the bottom of other hives?
.....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

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Queenless and Clueless!!! What happened?
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2013, 12:47:39 PM »
I agree with this being a prank or a theft. Not the bees.
Jim
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Offline PLAN-B

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Re: Queenless and Clueless!!! What happened?
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2013, 02:41:47 PM »
Jeff, please try to limit the drinking til after all hive inspections are complete... Lol..
I'm on the side of someone playing tricks with you or a very clever thief... Sux either way because now you are queen-less....
Marshall

Offline Moots

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Re: Queenless and Clueless!!! What happened?
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2013, 02:43:43 PM »
MYSTERY SOLVED!

And lets start with the obvious, YES! I feel stupid!

Thanks to everyone for the input...replaying everything over in my head, trying to figure out how this was possible, it finally came together.  In my original post I said  "At some point, probably around the following weekend (4/27) I added a second box of foundation".  I didn't have an exact date on this because I didn't have it recorded in my records, but "assumed" (yes, I know, a dangerous word)....it had to be between my 4/20 and 5/04 inspections and I had just forgotten to document it.

However, what really happened was this....As I mentioned it was a large swarm, so I originally hived them in the two boxes.  A second box was never added, they had it from the start.  I confirmed my suspicion by confirming in hive tracks that I had it configured with the 2 boxes from the beginning.

Therefore, when I confirmed a laying queen on the 4/20 inspection, that was in the second box, not the first.  I never went down to the first box...ever.  They were drawing comb and she was laying in the second box so I "assumed" (there's that word again,  :() the same was happening in the first.  In hindsight, it's now obvious that they simple never worked the bottom box to any degree.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 02:55:08 PM by Moots »
"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
                                                                                                                   - Ronald Reagan

Offline kathyp

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Re: Queenless and Clueless!!! What happened?
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2013, 02:49:00 PM »
 :buttkick:

 :lau:
.....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

 

anything