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Author Topic: Is it too dangerous to look for queens  (Read 1593 times)
annette
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« on: April 17, 2007, 01:27:12 PM »

Split hive last month. Now have 2 hives. Had queen cells in both hives which I noticed had all opened up (checked 2 weeks ago). Very bad weather here, meaning very windy, 50's and some rainy days off and on. Could not check to see how the queens are doing because I was working on all of the nice days we had here. Now I looked into the hive last week and checked all supers quickly except the bottom super (because of bad weather)Found only little bees and open comb that was dark in color. all babies had been born apparently in the past weeks.

I know I have got to get into the bottom supers and check if I have laying queens, but with the weather so cool I am afraid to kill the only brood I might have in these hives right now.

Any suggestions?Huh
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Mici
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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2007, 01:34:18 PM »

listen very closely to the hive-in the evening and knock on it-gently of course
if it goes BUZZZzzzz----......
it means that you either have a queen, they have a queen cell or in worst case a laying worker
now, if the sound goes BUUUZZTZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ and so on snd so on, they are most probably queenless.

now i'm not sure how well you can listen to a LR hive but with my hives this is a pretty good method. and it really works, also, if you have time, look at what they're bringing in, if there's no pollen, it might be a sign of a queenless hive
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annette
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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2007, 05:41:37 PM »

Do you mean the queenless hive would make like a crying buzz sound??  Sort of a mournful sound. Because I have heard this type of sound when I would be examing the hive and maybe left the hive open to long.

I am feeling sort of down right now with all of this.

I am worried about the old hive that I split from, as when I just went to look at them, many bees just sitting out on the front landing board and not many foraging.  (the new hive had more bees foraging and doing orientation flights )
Maybe this hive is staying inside because of the windy conditions because they have more supers to keep warm.This hive has the one large super and 3 mediums on top. With the population gone down, do I need to remove these medium supers now, even though one super has lots of honey??  (the other supers were full of brood and pollen, etc about 2 weeks ago) And if I do have to remove them, do I just brush all the bees off the frames or use a bee escape. I know I am asking stupid questions, but this is my first year to finally manage these boxes.

Temperatures are now in the upper 50's and very windy so not good to open up the hive now. I may need to wait this out.

Would love more suggestions
Thank you
annette in very windy Placerville


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kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2007, 05:45:45 PM »

don't lose hope.  i just requeend a hive yesterday that had been queenless for quite a while.  i don't know if it will take, but they didn't take off or anything.  they'll probably be ok for a few more days.

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Mici
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« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2007, 05:54:29 PM »

a queenright hive calms down quickly (heh, it's easyer to tell it this way) after being knocked (gently) while a queenless one will continue to buzz. i don't really know how you could do this, maybe if you put a glass onto the side of the hive.

queenright hive:
bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz (knock) BZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

queenless hive

BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ (knock) BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

now you have to have the picture, heh

bees just sitting on the landing board...not a good sign.
ah well, if temps are that low, there's not much you can do but wait, well you could order a queen but than again you can't be sure she's missing


2 possible mistakes either she's missing or not
if she is and you don't order a new one, you lost a hive which equals $xx
if you order one but not need one you loose $x

your choice really.
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Kirk-o
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« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2007, 07:49:37 PM »

Relax take it easy don't get up tight.When you inspect the hive look for eggs first
then prick a day when you have time and its warmmer.It is some times I know but do it when you can go thru the whole hive relax enjiy your beekeeping      kirko
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annette
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« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2007, 09:09:12 PM »

Thanks for that bit of advice. I get so emotional and nervous sometimes and then I am not enjoying it. I have to take it one step at a time and just do my best. This is way more complicated than I thought it would be. the guy who got me interested in beekeeping said it was so easy and there was nothing to do other than place another box on top when they outgrow the one below. That is all he did for 6 years of beekeeping and he never knew if his hives swarmed or anything. He told me he always got a lot of honey from his 4 hives.

Well we are having a small hail storm here now, so nothing to think about except to stay warm and peaceful. Hope the bees make it.

Thanks for all the help. I truly appreciate all the advice I receive.
Annette from sunny California - I wish!!!
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kathyp
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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2007, 09:20:02 PM »

a trick for doing something hard:  practice the steps in your head.  refine your technique and have the steps so ingrained in your brain that you can do the thing even when your brain stops working.

that's an old military trick.  police officers use it.  i taught it to my 4H kids when showing horses. 

stress can mess up your thinking so you want to be able to get through without thinking.  smiley

the music man!
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.....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
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« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2007, 10:00:30 PM »

>Split hive last month.

If the bees are rearing their own queen, from the time you do the split until you have a laying queen is hardly ever less than 24 days and often 30 days depending on the weather (which you say was not good).  The math goes like this:

They start with a four day old larvae, probably the day you did the split.  They feed it better and in a day or so they have elongated the worker cell into a queen cell.  Four to five days later it's capped, eight days after that the queen emerged (day 12 from the split).  Two weeks after that she is probably mated and laying (day 26 from the split).  In bad weather it might take a little longer (like day 30 or so).  THEN you can get worried if you don't see any eggs.  You will NOT see any brood at all in the hive at the point where the new queen is just ready to start laying.  In 21 days all of the worker brood will have emerged.  In 24 days all of the drone brood will have emerged.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm

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Michael Bush
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annette
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« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2007, 10:10:59 PM »

>Split hive last month.

If the bees are rearing their own queen, from the time you do the split until you have a laying queen is hardly ever less than 24 days and often 30 days depending on the weather (which you say was not good).  The math goes like this:

They start with a four day old larvae, probably the day you did the split.  They feed it better and in a day or so they have elongated the worker cell into a queen cell.  Four to five days later it's capped, eight days after that the queen emerged (day 12 from the split).  Two weeks after that she is probably mated and laying (day 26 from the split).  In bad weather it might take a little longer (like day 30 or so).  THEN you can get worried if you don't see any eggs.  You will NOT see any brood at all in the hive at the point where the new queen is just ready to start laying.  In 21 days all of the worker brood will have emerged.  In 24 days all of the drone brood will have emerged.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm


Michael, when I did the split on March 11 both hives already had capped queen cells. So according to the math, I should have eggs by now.  I did check the hives last thursday rather quick due to the cooler weather and found only baby bees and empty comb, but never got down into the bottom super. I am hoping and praying that my queens are down in the bottom laying those eggs.

Thank you for the help.
annette
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annette
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« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2007, 11:55:01 AM »

a queenright hive calms down quickly (heh, it's easyer to tell it this way) after being knocked (gently) while a queenless one will continue to buzz. i don't really know how you could do this, maybe if you put a glass onto the side of the hive.

queenright hive:
bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz (knock) BZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

queenless hive

BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ (knock) BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

now you have to have the picture, heh



Well I checked out this system on the hives this morning. I placed my ear up against the hives and both hives were totally quiet to start. when I knocked they both made the buzzing sound and both quieted down right away. This made me feel much better, but I was wondering if anyone else has ever been successful with this method. the temperatures are in the 40's right now so cannot open up the hives to check, probably next week we will get some warmer weather. But if this method works for anyone else, please let me know as it as least makes me feel better at the moment.

thank you
annette
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« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2007, 12:10:18 PM »

if you have a hive with a laying queen take a frame of eggs and young larva from the queen right hive and put in the hive you think might not have a queen, if they draw out queen cells then you know they are queenless, if they dont then you have a queen that just hasn't started laying yet.... a frame of eggs and young brood will answer your question, if both splits dont have a laying queen just give them a little more time, I have one go about 5 weeks last year before the queen took off laying eggs.
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Mici
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« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2007, 02:43:13 PM »

everyone around here use this "method" to check. i use it grin and i can tell you this from my experience.
so..have 5 hives, one hive needs to be requeened, so i took out the queen and they were without any open brood aswell (the queen was caged inside the hive for 6 days) well there was some open brood but to old for queen raising, anyway i also put in a patch of brood from another hive-so i would get another hive's queen. the next day, the buzz kept on, day 3 it was back to normal-they had already started raising queens and just queen cells are enough to "calm" them down.

but still, one hive could have a laying worker but for now i think you can be at least 70% sure that they're not queenless.
still, all of this are just my thoughts, you might better listen to a more experienced beek.
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