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Author Topic: Okay, this might be a problem  (Read 2561 times)
MarkR
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« on: April 09, 2007, 06:43:45 PM »

Hived my package on the the 31st of March. Checked it the 3rd of April and put a hole through the candy to help the queen a bit. Today, we had a slight warm up so I figured I'd retrieve the queen cage. Sadly, she was dead in the cage.

So how long do I have to get a new queen in there before the others take off, and who would you guys suggest I get a new queen (Italian) from?

Any advice and assistance is much appreciated.

Mark
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2007, 06:55:30 PM »

leaving is less a problem than the fact that you will have no build up until you get a queen in there working, i think.  if it were me, i'd not worry about the kind of queen and just get one from a good place ASAP.

last year when i got my package, i was warned that there was no queen candy in the cage.  there was a cork.  i was told to pop the cork and replace it with a small marshmallow.  that worked so well that i will do it again this year, candy or no.
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2007, 07:29:52 PM »

>Today, we had a slight warm up so I figured I'd retrieve the queen cage. Sadly, she was dead in the cage.

Sometimes the queen in the cage is dead because they have a virgin loose in the package.

>So how long do I have to get a new queen in there before the others take off, and who would you guys suggest I get a new queen (Italian) from?

If they are indeed queenless, and they may be, then the sooner the better.  If you have a hive next door they will drift pretty quickly to that one.
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MarkR
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2007, 07:52:17 PM »

Okay, left a message with the guy I bought the package from.  Hopefully he has another queen I can get.  He's only about an hour away, so I guess I'm probably going for a drive tomorrow.  I did check around a bit, but things were cooling off so I didn't want to leave everything open too long.  I'll give another look in the afternoon when I get back.  I do have that wild hive about 20' away, so hoping to avoid any drifting.

Thanks for the advice.  Love this place.

Mark
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MarkR
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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2007, 08:23:41 PM »

Okay, just heard from the guy I got my package from. I'm going down to get a new queen Wed. or Thurs. depending on the weather.  Everyone pray for sun and spring time temperatures!  Woo hoo!

Mark
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Sean Kelly
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« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2007, 12:13:59 AM »

Good luck man, that's scary stuff.  I hope I don't have to worry about that.  The marshmellow idea sounds pretty cool.  We'll see.  Let us know how it turns out!

Sean
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MarkR
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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2007, 07:38:45 AM »

Okay, got the new queen installed yesterday.  Turns out, though most of the hive was really mellow (it was in the 50's and rainy) rain opening the hive really angry off about 50 of the little ones.  Well that and I drop the queen cage twice into the bottom of the box and had to retrieve her through the mass of the colony.  That was a little nerve racking.  I'm blaming the gloves and understand why some people work without them.  It's just difficult to hang onto anything small through those things.  That, and I was using the Ed Weiss bent nail method of hanging the queen cage as I have very little comb at this point.  It looks easy in the video but you really have to have three hands to do it well.  One to keep the cage is place, one to hold the two frames on either side together.   And one to replace the frames I had removed to make room to work.  Anyway, hopefully that'll be a happy ending to my situation.  I'll go in on Sunday (I would do it on Saturday but I'm going to be in a workshop all day, if I'm home early enough I'll do it then) and release her.  Then I'm just going to be hands off for a while.

Thanks for all the advice everyone.  It was really helpful.  I'm learning a lot, but sometimes it doesn't seem like I can learn things fast enough to keep up with what's happening.

Mark
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Sean Kelly
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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2007, 08:15:14 AM »

I was using the Ed Weiss bent nail method of hanging the queen cage as I have very little comb at this point.

Mark,

What is the Ed Weiss bent nail method?  I'm using was coated plastic foundation to start out and I've hear horror stories of hanging queen cages.  I was just gunna use my staple gun if I couldnt get it to stick.  Is there a better way?

Sean
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"My son,  eat  thou honey,  because it is good;  and the honeycomb,  which is sweet  to thy taste"          - Proverbs 24:13
MarkR
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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2007, 08:22:49 AM »

Hey Sean,

He uses two bent brads, pointy end pushed into the end of the queen cage, to make winglike things to hang over the tops of two frames.  I'm using plastic too, and I'm not really happy with what they're doing with it so far, but I figure it may have something to do with all the weather, the queen dying, etc.  Hopefully now that it's beginning to warmup again and they have a new queen, things will get going.

So here's a thought for everyone's input.  If, for some reason, this queen dies too, would it be safe to assume that their must be another queen that I just never saw in there?

Mark
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Galaxy
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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2007, 05:58:20 PM »

Mark:

Could you give the contact information for the person you bought your package from?  I am looking for local sources for bees.

Thanks,

James
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AllanJ
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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2007, 06:06:41 PM »

Hey Mark,

I get my 2nd package next week and will be installing that one onto small cell foundation. It will be interesting to see what they do and compare to the PC hive. The biggest issue I have with the PC is that I installed the guides which means I have to lift every frame out instead of the end one, and then sliding the rest across.

About half the hive are working on PC and the other half are building comb on top of the PC and attaching it to the bottom of the hive top feeder. I am not sure how to deal with the bottom of the top feeder yet but want to do it before the other package arrive. I will probably remove it and somehow shake the bees out and back into the hive..

AllanJ.
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AllanJ
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« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2007, 06:11:19 PM »

Mark:
Could you give the contact information for the person you bought your package from?  I am looking for local sources for bees.
Thanks,
James

Hey James,  The guy was a local beekeeper who drove down to (I think Rossmans) and picked up 150 packages. Sold a bunch and I believe kept the rest for his farm. He does it each year I understand. I will PM the number to you, but they were picked up and distributed to those that ordered on 3/31.

AllanJ
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MarkR
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« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2007, 06:39:48 PM »

Alan,

Yeah, I'm kind of wishing I hadn't done the PC thing.  Though, to be fair to myself, the package I ordered said it came with wooden frames.  Ah well, I'll start another couple of hives next year and make sure I use wood.  It's acutally good to be planning ahead now.  That way I can actually afford the equipment, getting a bit each month, and have plenty of time to get it ready.

Thanks for forwarding Glen's info to James.  Though, I almost certain he doesn't have any of the packages left, you never know.

Mark
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AllanJ
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« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2007, 07:59:16 PM »

This is what my hive top feeder looks like,  viewed from underneath.. I am kinda worried that my new queen is going to be released and end up in this area instead of between the PC.



Re the 2 queens.. I find this to be a tough situation for a beginner. There is every possibility that a queen is in there but just refuses to lay in the PC, or waiting for it to be better prepared - another downside to PC. That is why I have been seriously tempted to put a medium of foundation on just to give a choice.

I thought I had read that a queenless hive for 13 days would end up with a laying working and/or appeared to be more aggressive or disorganized since they did not have the queen to glue them together.. but my hive appears to be doing just great, just no brood.

I take it your going to the 1 day class on Saturday?
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MarkR
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« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2007, 08:12:32 PM »

Yep, I'm going to be there Saturday, you?

As far as mixing mediums, when I went to the club meeting the other day Mark from Dadant in Lynchburg was saying not to mix PC with wooden frames because they'll always go to the wood first.  I had two thoughts on this:

1)  Crap!  He just brought/sold me two boxes of wooden frame parts and foundation - not too expensive though so I'm not too worried about it.  I'll use them next year if I don't now.

2)  Uh, so? If they'll build on the wood, that's better than what I'm getting now.

Thoughts?

Anyone?

Beauller?

Mark
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Galaxy
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« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2007, 08:26:46 PM »

AllanJ & Mark

Thanks for the info.

James
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AllanJ
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« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2007, 08:47:02 PM »

Yep, I'm going to be there Saturday, you?
As far as mixing mediums, when I went to the club meeting the other day Mark from Dadant in Lynchburg was saying not to mix PC with wooden frames because they'll always go to the wood first.  I had two thoughts on this:

1)  Crap!  He just brought/sold me two boxes of wooden frame parts and foundation - not too expensive though so I'm not too worried about it.  I'll use them next year if I don't now.

2)  Uh, so? If they'll build on the wood, that's better than what I'm getting now.


Yes, I'll be there.. Looking forward to it.

I only got 30 frames of PC. As I said, the 2nd hive is going on small cell foundation. After I purchase an assembled hive, I realized how easy it looked to assemble myself. So for the 2nd hive and extra supers, I bulk ordered a load of unassembled mediums and frames from dadant and drove down to pick it up. It would not be a big deal to only use 10 frames of PC and use foundation for the rest.

I am going to see how the new queen does before I decide.
Here is a pic from today.. lots of syrup being stored, necter, pollen and a couple of (I think) capped honey.





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Michael Bush
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« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2007, 09:38:53 PM »

The queen often doesn't lay at first because she's been banked and is a shriveled little thing.  After they fatten her up she starts to lay.  Also, she often doesn't lay because they don't have any comb built.  With PC the comb is already built.  If you give bees a choice between plastic and wax, they will take wax. A choice between self drawn comb and foundation and they will pick self drawn comb.  Give the queen a choice to lay in self drawn comb and she'll take it over foundation.

It's not always good to give them a choice if you have a preference.
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Michael Bush
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JP
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« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2007, 10:02:32 PM »

say Mark have you tried using latex gloves, like playtex living gloves or stripping gloves from walmart? You may get a few stings but usually you don't unless your bees are hot and then just make sure you smoke your bees good first. You will like the added dexterity.
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« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2007, 10:31:02 PM »

I do not mix permacomb and wood frames in the same box. However I do mix permacomb and wood frames in the same hive. I do this because once they have reached 80% on a box I add another one. Now if the next box is permacomb they will usually be fine with it if I prep it correctly. I will wait until that is 80% then I can add another box. If it is foundation or permacomb or natural it really doesn't matter as long as what is in the box is the same. I still prefer to have the hive be the same but it is difficult to do cut comb with permacomb.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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