Need Bees Removed?
International
Beekeeping Forums
December 21, 2014, 04:42:30 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Beemaster's official FACEBOOK page
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar bee removal Login Register Chat  

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Swarm with no queen?  (Read 330 times)
Richard M
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 49

Location: Kingston, Tasmania.


WWW
« on: December 12, 2014, 08:55:22 PM »

A bit over a week ago, I had a call from a friend who had a swarm in their back paddock, so we headed out there to collect and to be honest, it was a bit disappointing, only about the size of a grapefruit; we took it anyway, managed to drop it into an old bee-ified ideal super box with frames of undrawn foundation (all we had to spare). We set up a temporary lid and base board and put it in the apiary for a week while we ran up a deep and frames to permanently house it - we did the transfer yesterday.

I was a little disappointed to find that they'd only partially drawn half of two frames, but on the outside of the box, not in the centre, furthermore I didn't see the queen but then I wasn't hanging around as I was trying to minimise disturbance, dropped two frames of capped brood from each of the other two hives to try to bump up the numbers over the next couple of weeks too and left a top feeder with 3L of 1:1 sugar syrup to help them along.

Had a bad feeling about not being able to see the queen, so went back this morning for another look; well they've already shifted 1/4 of the syrup and drawn out lots more foundation which was half-full of syrup just overnight but there was no cluster and despite low numbers of bees, which scattered as soon as I looked at each frame, no sign whatsoever of a queen - normally I figure that there'd be a reasonable number would stay on the frame and cluster around her but no sign at all, loolked really hard, couldn't see her.

Also, when first opened, they didn't seem to be taking much interest in the capped brood I've given them, they were all in the top super.

So........ I know that you normally wait 2 or 3 or 4 weeks before requeening a swarm but I'm in a bit of a quandary here - is it me being too bloody hopeless to find her or have we lost her? I'm also wondering if maybe it was a top swarm with virgin queen who didn't make it back from her mating flight, especially as until yesterday, the weather has been very fickle, cool, windy, rainy.

If she's gone, then am I better to be requeening now or waiting awhile - bearing in mind there's little in the way of new brood for them to make a new queen. If I leave it a while and they don't make a new queen, am I going to find troubling getting them to accept a new one?

It's a dilemma.

(Annoying thing is that I've been offered two BIIG swarms in the last 24 hours which would have been a much better proposition I think.)



Logged

kathyp
Universal Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 15322


Location: boring, oregon


« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2014, 09:37:49 PM »

It may be a swarm with a virgin that is newly mated and not laying yet.  she could have been lost.

fastest way to know is to drop a frame of eggs/very young larvae in there and check in a couple of days to see what they have done.  if they started queen cells, they probably need a queen.  if not, you can wait a bit and see what happens in another week or so.  you will keep your numbers up and not have to worry about laying workers as long as there is open brood in there.
Logged

.....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
RayMarler
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 520


Location: Marysville, CA


« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2014, 10:31:54 PM »

Richard M says... "but there was no cluster and despite low numbers of bees, which scattered as soon as I looked at each frame, no sign whatsoever of a queen"

This with the rest of your post makes me think it's queenless. Yes, I've gotten a few queenless swarms in the past, it does happen. I'd be throwing in a good queen ASAP, or at least give them a frame with good amount of eggs and covering nurse bees.
Logged

Sitting in the shade, drinking lemon aid.
Enjoying the breeze while counting the bees.
Paul Reyes
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 6

Location: Hopelessly Lost


WWW
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2014, 05:51:59 AM »

Sure looks like there's no queen in there, you should get one. To make sure put in some young larvae if they build queen cells then you probably do need a queen.
Logged

Paul Reyes is the author of Beekeeping-for-Beginners.com that guides you on how to start beekeeping, get your copy of my free ebook How To Raise Bees Here.
Richard M
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 49

Location: Kingston, Tasmania.


WWW
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2014, 10:45:13 PM »

Sure looks like there's no queen in there, you should get one. To make sure put in some young larvae if they build queen cells then you probably do need a queen.

This is getting a bit weird.

I checked them out again this morning; they've moved down onto the capped brood I put in, quite a number of which has hatched, so the numbers in there have increased noticeably but still not overwhelming; they're pretty well all clustered on the brood and stayed put on those two frames whilst I took them out and examined them, also every single vacant cell had a single egg in it (ie no multiples at all), however, even after going through the hive, which is still very small, only two deep frames fully drawn, 2 others partially drawn but already filled with sugar syrup, filled, I still COULDN'T FIND THE QUEEN! And that was with 20 minutes stood staring at basically 2 frames. Had a look at others too but no action there.

I didn't see anything older at all though, so could I have a laying worker (but wouldn't I expect to see multiple eggs in cells) or does the queen's abdomen stay a similar length to a normal worker until some time after she's started laying?

My thinking now is to await developments - I'll leave them for say 12 -14 days to see how they look, if ALL of the cells are all enlarged, I'll assume they're drones and therefore a laying worker and take steps to requeen? If they stay worker sized, then I've got a queen (somewhere). The eggs are stood upright at present, so I'm assuming they've only been laid in the last couple of days.

Oh and no queen cells were made but I'm not sure how much suitable brood I had on the frames I dropped in there, so there's a question-mark over that anyway.





Logged

Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Beemaster's Beekeeping Ring
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Sitemap Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.204 seconds with 22 queries.

Google visited last this page December 18, 2014, 02:15:43 AM