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Author Topic: Honest opinions needed here. I think I may have made a mistake.  (Read 1163 times)
RHBee
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« on: August 04, 2013, 07:56:50 AM »

Yesterday I was going through my smaller hives which are late swarms. I was marking and evaluating the queens. I found 2 colonies queenless and 2 with healthy large queens. One of the queenless hives I made into a nuc, there were 3 queen cells on 2 frames so I added 3 additional honey/pollen frames and closed it up.
The screw up came when I was doing a paper combine with the other queenless colony. I placed the queenwright colony on the bottom board, put the paper down and poked some holes. the queenless colony was on deep frames and since I'm wanting to switch to mediums this looked like a golden opportunity to do away with them. I placed a medium with drawn comb on top of the paper and shook all the bees into the box. That's where I think the problem came in. Most of the bees simply reoriented to the front entrance of the bottom box. I went ahead and shimmed the inner cover to give the top box an entrance. I think I may have put the queen in jeopardy because of the abrupt addition of the unfamiliar bees of foraging age. This was not my intent, I meant for a more gradual introduction.
Question: What do you think her chances of survival are? I plan to leave this colony untouched for at least 14 days except to remove the inner cover shims and put on a feeding bucket.
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Ray
JackM
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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2013, 08:59:50 AM »

Wow, I am probably still a rookie, this being my second season and all, but probably the strong queen right hive will at first think this is attackers and fight.  The queen should be protected by the current residents.  They will break thru that newspaper in 24 hours or so anyway.

Now, I thought I wanted all mediums.  Well I have changed my mind.  I think they winter better with a deep, make much better comb in a 'designated' brood area.  I found with mediums the combs were willy nilly more often than not.  Brood requires certain sized cells, not honey or pollen. 

I would keep one deep for the brood area and do the rest in mediums.  You pretty much need to leave the honey in the deeps for the brood rearing anyhow, so it isn't really a loss of product, and willy nilly for honey makes no difference at all until you start busting the combs to get the frames out.
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iddee
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« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2013, 09:21:57 AM »

When shook bees enter the front entrance, I have noted they normally go in like a dog with his tail between his legs. Very humble. There is no fighting, and all is well. That's why I shake all my queenless hives in front of the queen right hive and let them walk in. The only time I do a newspaper combine is when the queenless hive is much stronger than the queenright hive.
I'm guessing your queen is fine.
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RHBee
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« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2013, 09:44:08 AM »

Wow, I am probably still a rookie, this being my second season and all, but probably the strong queen right hive will at first think this is attackers and fight.  The queen should be protected by the current residents.
Now, I thought I wanted all mediums.  Well I have changed my mind.  I think they winter better with a deep, make much better comb in a 'designated' brood area.  I found with mediums the combs were willy nilly more often than not.

Jack, I don't get much of a winter here. More like a chilly dearth.   grin
My girls seem to do pretty well in mediums. I just want to reduce equipment types.

When shook bees enter the front entrance, I have noted they normally go in like a dog with his tail between his legs. Very humble. There is no fighting, and all is well. That's why I shake all my queenless hives in front of the queen right hive and let them walk in. The only time I do a newspaper combine is when the queenless hive is much stronger than the queenright hive.
I'm guessing your queen is fine.

Thanks to both of you.  iddee, I didn't notice any fighting. The colonies were about equal in population. I just have read that it's the foraging bees that tend to be hostile toward a new queen. I don't feel so much like an idiot now.
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Ray
10framer
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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2013, 01:02:18 PM »

ray, i think you're ok.  i've shaken out queenless hives at the entrances of other hives with no problems. if there is ant kind of flow on it probably works better.
i was about to message you and ask just that.  are your bees working right now?
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RHBee
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2013, 02:13:19 PM »

ray, i think you're ok.  i've shaken out queenless hives at the entrances of other hives with no problems. if there is ant kind of flow on it probably works better.
i was about to message you and ask just that.  are your bees working right now?

They're flying. I don't see a lot of pollen coming in but there is some. The inspection yesterday shows that their bringing in nectar also.
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Ray
10framer
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2013, 04:56:43 PM »

Mine have brought in a lot of pollen in the last week and they are bringing in nectar too.  I'm sitting by my hives now.  It's windy but they are all foraging. 
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Wolfer
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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2013, 09:28:44 PM »

I would rate your queens survival chances at near 100%. I rarely have a paper handy when doing a combine and I just set them together.
Like Iddee said the only time I'm concerned is when the queen less is the biggest.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2013, 08:43:54 AM »

In my experience, they probably balled the queen for a while and then let her go and things go on normally from there.
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« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2013, 04:50:06 PM »

half the reason I've used paper is honestly because I like the huge mess they make shredding and cleaning it up....just amazes me. but I do think using it is a better technique, even if not so so necessary even, and three hives dumped into one instead of two seems to go smoother on it's own also.
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Wolfer
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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2013, 07:55:54 PM »

I agree. The more confusion the better.
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RHBee
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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2013, 06:29:52 AM »

Follow Up Report---First, thanks to everyone for the replies to this post. I checked the combined colony yesterday and found my marked queen alive and well. She is laying and all is going well. Just wanted to let you all know.
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Ray
duryeafarms
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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2013, 01:21:31 PM »

Interesting Michael. I assumed that balled queen = dead queen.
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Wolfer
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« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2013, 02:23:03 PM »

I believe sometimes they ball the queen to protect her.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2013, 11:19:24 PM »

If the queen falls to the bottom board and is balled she is more apt to be killed as the bees will see her as being injured. If she's balled on the frame it is to protect her.

If given the choice bees will accept a western (3/4) or 2 medium depth boxes over a deep box almost always.  One of my students had a hard time getting a swarm to stay in its deep hive. I told him to try a western, he did and the bees stayed in the hive. 

According to Dr. Emile Warre, bees will build straight combs to a depth of 6 inches after which they will become reversed arches.  Medium and Western boxes come the closest to that depth. 

I've used medium boxes for everything since injuring my back (disability retirement) over 35 years ago and am glad I did.  Everything I have is mediums with 4 brood boxes per hive as a minimum and up to 7 brood boxes with one queen.
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