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Author Topic: Curious queen behavior?  (Read 1439 times)
Zoot
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« on: June 04, 2006, 03:17:02 PM »

This is a carry-over from a topic I raised in the requeening section; I hived several 3# packages on May 1. One colony apparently bacame queenless in fairly short order. I requeened that colony (also borrowed one full frame of capped brood from my good hive) on May 22nd. Upon inspection 11 days later I found a small amount of capped worker brood but a vastly larger amount of drone brood. I also found the queen (who I had marked) who looks very healthy- nicely formed with no visible damage or injury though she was meandering about with no visible attendants. Also, the bees have remained in the first brood box (an 8 frame medium) and have shown no interest in moving up into the 2nd box which I had anticipated. Given that we are experiencing a fantastic honey flow I feel that her behavior is somewhat unusual...any thoughts?
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mark
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2006, 04:15:28 PM »

with a good flow they may have most of the cells used for necter seeing they didn't have a queen for a while.  it is not unusual to see the queen wandering about by herself looking for places to lay.  cell size would dictate to the queen whether to lay fertile or unfertile (drone) eggs.  it's too soon to worry.  just keep an eye on it.  my guess is everything is fine.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2006, 11:40:46 PM »

Drone build up in a hive usually lasts until mid-june then seems to hold steady for a month or so and will then start to drop sharply around mid August.  It's a normal occurance.

As for the other problem, if you really want them to work the other box do a flip flop with them.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Zoot
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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2006, 02:01:41 AM »

With regard to cell size dictating her choices it actually looks like she's laying drone brood in worker cells if that's possible. That was the inspector's take on it anyway due to the way that the cappings on the drone brood were protruding. I guess I'll wait it out for a while and if she doesn't perform I'll simply get rid of her and combine the colony with my other hive.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2006, 07:31:22 AM »

>With regard to cell size dictating her choices it actually looks like she's laying drone brood in worker cells if that's possible.

It's possible.  It means she's not fertile.  Either she never was or she is old and ran out of semen or she's young and poorlly mated.  But she's failed.

Get rid of the bad queen before you do a combine or requeen or they may not accept the new queen.
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Michael Bush
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Zoot
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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2006, 08:52:28 AM »

I know that some of the literature says get rid of her at least a couple of hours before requeening or combining but several of the oldtimers around here have say to wait as much as 2 days. Can waiting too (after disposing of the deficient queen)  long create issues that wouldn't develope otherwise?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2006, 09:39:10 PM »

>I know that some of the literature says get rid of her at least a couple of hours before requeening or combining but several of the oldtimers around here have say to wait as much as 2 days.

Jay Smith, who probably reared more queens than anyone who ever lived, said it takes two hours.  I like overnight (like bout 8 to 12 hours) the best.   But no more than 24 hours.

> Can waiting too (after disposing of the deficient queen) long create issues that wouldn't develope otherwise?

Yes  If you wait more than 24 hours they will start queen cells if they can and that can interfere with acceptance of your queen.

Two days is a bad idea, unless you go in and remove all the queen cells.  Overnight is much simpler as you don't have to worry about missing a queen cell.
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Michael Bush
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Zoot
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« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2006, 12:36:24 AM »

I know I'm really belaboring this issue now but it's taken yet another unexpected (to me anyway) turn: I looked at this hive again today more as a final formality before deciding between the 2 courses I have been pondering - requeening yet again (3rd time) or combining with my other hive. Now she's laying worker brood. Not a lot capped yet but definitely a lot more than saturday.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2006, 09:20:52 AM »

Time to quite playing with it and end its misery--combine.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
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