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Author Topic: They're making a QUEEN CELL!  (Read 3652 times)
tillie
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« on: May 21, 2007, 10:05:22 AM »

I opened the queenless swarm hive today and was thrilled to find that they are working on making a queen  cool  I wasn't 100% sure there were eggs in the frames I gave them but there must have been.  Here it is - there are two open queen cups to one side - should I worry about that?  and a mother of a queen cell in the lower left center of the picture.  I'm not worried about the location of the queen cell because that's where the eggs were.  Sorry the picture isn't more centered but I was too excited to take a good picture!



I moved the whole little colony into a nuc and I guess even though there is a flow going on, I'll feed this hive since it is so weak and just starting.



They look kind of pitiful next to my Goliath of a hive, but this is a persistent David.

Linda T cheerful in Atlanta
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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2007, 10:13:16 AM »

Linda, right on!!!!  Yes, feed the nuc, they won't have enough foragers to get out to get enough food.  Watch out for robber bees.  Sometimes nucs are not strong enough to defend their hives really well.  Don't worry about the queen cells, the bees will figure it out.  By the way, you take nice pictures.  I love them!!!!!

When I made the nuc from my wintered colony I put a robber frame infront of it.  I still cannot post pictures (eeks!!!!), but this is what I had on hand.  My husband had made a wooden frame with mosquito netting in it for one of our basement windows.  When I lean it up against the front of the hive it make a perfect robber prevention.  The bees inside can get out easily by going out the sides, but the robbers can't get in (unless they figure to go around the sides) because the screen blocks them.  So, hopefully it will help to prevent robbing.  I also have an entrance reducer on the nuc so they don't have as much of an entrance area to defend. 

Hope things all go well for you, great life, great luck.  Cindi
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2007, 11:01:21 AM »

Wow, Linda, that is great news...nature rocks...Congrats on the diligent work~*~ Thanks so much for sharing your adventures.
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2007, 12:48:20 PM »

Here it is - there are two open queen cups to one side - should I worry about that?  and a mother of a queen cell in the lower left center of the picture. 

They look kind of pitiful next to my Goliath of a hive, but this is a persistent David.


just for my better understanding, the HIVE is 1 deep, 2 medium and 3 shallows, right?

i don't understand the queen thing? with "mother of the queen cells" you're aiming at-the closed, the biggest right? i was looking for a queen but couldn't find her, plus it seemed odd.
i think you need not to worry about queen cups-as long as they're cups, one of my hives has and i swear! at least 50 queen cups! just a sing of a succesful hive.
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2007, 02:19:36 PM »

Tillie had a swarm land on her empty hive bodies, and the queen died.  She was hopeing for a new queen to be made.  Congrats!   
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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2007, 02:53:26 PM »

These girls can stay in the nuc for a while as they build up.  I know it will be probably 5 more days before the queen hatches and she still has to make a successful mating flight.  Should I feed in more capped brood from one of my other hives to speed the build-up?

Linda T in Atlanta
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2007, 04:41:25 PM »

How exciting, and I just love that big, fat, juicy queen cell on the bottom left. That is how my queen cell looked when I placed it into my split and it produced one unbelievable laying queen.

Good luck and let us know how things progress.

Annette
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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2007, 04:56:31 PM »

Dear Linda,

Thanks for the pictures and education!

It looks as though you are keeping your hives on your back deck.  I concluded that I couldn't safely keep my hive in my backyard, even though we have alot of room, because of our two small girls.  Do you have any trouble with bees getting in the house or bothering you on your deck?

Thanks again!
Bruce
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« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2007, 04:57:08 PM »

Tillie,

I wrote Linda, but meant Tillie.  Sorry.

Bruce
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« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2007, 06:01:22 PM »

Their is a modify button you should be able to click instead of double posting. Just so you know!!  grin
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« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2007, 09:44:11 PM »

My bees are on my deck and I love having them there.  I do have to be aware of bees in the house - they come in on the dogs' fur at night and even during the day.  My very small dogs are black with long fur and I think the bees think they are bears in miniature.  I find at least one bee/day in the house and have perfected the method of covering them with a glass, sliding a postcard under the glass and releasing them back outdoors.

Still I find 10 - 20 dead bees a week in the house.  The bees in the house never sting, however, they are just desperate to get back to the hive or to commit suicide on the ceiling lights.

That said, I love having them on the deck because I learn much more about them than if I had to go somewhere to see my hives.  My life is very busy and I would never see my bees.  This way I can run out and add a super in a few minutes before heading off to work.  It's the best.  My favorite thing is to eat meals on the sunporch and watch the bees  Wink

Linda T (Tillie) in Atlanta
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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2007, 09:48:23 PM »

Excuse me ma'am but there are a lot of supers on that other hive. Did the bees form a HOA?

Smiley

Congrads on the queen cell.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2007, 10:01:04 PM »

Queens are too important to only make one.  They always make several.  Sometimes dozens.
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« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2007, 09:13:17 AM »

Should I feed in more capped brood from one of my other hives to speed the build-up?

If you can do it without jarring the queen cells, it would help - and as they hatch out there will be nice new polished cells for her to lay in.

Keith
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« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2007, 09:50:01 AM »

Mici, I think that if you have about 50 queen cups, I would watch out, it seems to me that they have the swarm mind set going on!!!!  That sounds like swarm preparations to me. Take care.  Have a great day.  Cindi
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« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2007, 03:26:11 PM »

When a hive goes queenless with no eggs and a frame of brood of various ages are placed in the hive the bees will select a number of them to develop into queens.  They always develop more queen cells than they need, then as they develop they begin to cull those they find unacceptable, destroying the cell and eating or removing the larvae or pupae. 
I've seen hives with up to 30 queen cells cull them down to half a dozen and then hold the remaining queens in the cell by constantly recapping it until they decide on the final one, two, or 3.  At that point they may let the reamining queens hatch and fight it out if the bees consider them equal. 
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« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2007, 10:14:36 PM »

My understanding is that what keeps the bees in the hive is the draw of the queen pheromone. 

If there's no queen, what keeps them drawn to the hive?  I've moved this one gradually about six feet and turned it completely 180 degrees and yet it is growing with bees every day.  What keeps them finding their own hive without the queen pheromone?

Linda T confused in Atlanta
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« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2007, 10:28:00 PM »

They orient to the hive. The Queen pheromone stimulates the bees, more than it leads them to the hive.
That is why you hear the different noise, and action with a queenless colony compared to one that is queenright.
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tillie
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« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2007, 11:07:05 PM »

This hive is silent - I thought it was supposed to roar as a queenless hive....but they are busily working.  I put the frame of eggs in on the 12th.  Shouldn't the queen hatch out in the next day or so?

Linda T in Atlanta
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« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2007, 12:54:54 AM »

Queen Cell
Egg                      3 days
Larva                   4 days
Sealed Cell
Larva/Pri-Pupa       2 days
Pupa                    6 days
Egg to emergance  16 days.

Sincerley,
Brendhan
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« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2007, 10:11:11 AM »

Brian, now that was very very interesting.  Have a wonderful day, great life.  Cindi
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« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2007, 10:59:12 AM »

So if the egg were three days old when I gave it to them, she could be emerging on the 25th - which is day after tomorrow - more time to "harden" and make her mating flight, but there's hope for these little girls yet!

Linda T in Atlanta
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« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2007, 01:01:43 PM »

Regarding the roaring. My queenless hive did not roar either, so did not even know it was queenless until I went in and saw that there was no brood, and the bees looked lethargic.

Annette
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« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2007, 08:21:55 PM »

A hive that has recently lost its queen usually produces the roaring sound.  In tillies case I thing the swarm was too small for that noise to be noticeable.  Also when brood is placed in a queenless hive it has the same effect as putting in a virgin queen.  The bees will quiet down and begin working while the queen (larvae) finishes developing to the point she can lay eggs.
In a hive that has been queenless for a time they will be more and more lethargic as the hive dwindles from lack of brood.  But they will not usually abandon the hive unless their is a queenright hive close by, and then not always.
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« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2007, 10:33:44 PM »

Tomorrow I'll be working with my bees.  The swarm nuc got their frame of eggs/brood on the 12th.  Sometime in the next couple of days the queen, if she were successfully created, should emerge. 

In the event that the girls were not successful or that they might not keep the new queen alive or that she might leave for her mating flight and not return or any of the many possibilities of things not working out, tomorrow should I add another frame of eggs/brood to give them yet another chance to make a queen or really as an insurance policy for them?

Linda T, a concerned beekeeper in Atlanta
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« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2007, 08:34:14 AM »

Making a "queenless roar" is an energy outlay that they can't always sustain for long periods.  If in doubt, open the hive up and close it and then listen.
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« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2007, 08:38:48 AM »

OK, but should I add another frame of eggs/brood just for insurance?

Linda T
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« Reply #27 on: May 26, 2007, 02:17:53 PM »

I don't get overly worried about dozens of queen cells.  The bees almost always make way more than they need, then they start being selective, destroying those they find that don't measure up.  By the time it's time for the cells to hatch the bees may have reduced 50 to 5 or even less.  This is especially true in the case where the queen has been unexpectedly lost. 
under normal supercedure situations the bees begin by being very selective of the larvae they choose to become a queen so may only make a few queen cells.  In disaster mode they don't have that choice so they make as many as possible and cull out the unacceptable.
I'm sure that tillie is learning a lot from her current "experiment" and wish her the greatest success.
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« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2007, 09:50:58 AM »

>So if the egg were three days old when I gave it to them, she could be emerging on the 25th

A queen started from a four day old (from the egg) larvae will emerge on the 12th day (16 from the egg) then harden then mate and then be LAYING on the 25th day (weather permitting for the mating).
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« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2007, 01:52:03 PM »

I can see how I caused confusion.  I meant that the queen would possibly be emerging on the 25th of May - 13 days after I gave the hive the frame of brood and eggs - because assuming a 3 day old egg, the 25th of May would be the emerging date, but I understand that by the 25th day after the egg, she should be laying or my experiment has FAILED  Cry

Linda T trying to be more specific
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« Reply #30 on: May 27, 2007, 04:02:34 PM »

Sorry I misunderstood.  Just wanted to clarify.
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« Reply #31 on: May 28, 2007, 09:18:39 AM »

Linda, did you look yet?  It is the 28th today, I bet she came out on Friday, hope all is well.  I know that I have stuff I need to look at too in my colony that overwintered.  Our blackberry flow will be starting in a couple of weeks, hope its a good one.  Great day, great life, love life and live it.  Cindi
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« Reply #32 on: May 28, 2007, 10:33:40 AM »

Honestly, after causing the death of the original queen, I'm scared to look, but since I don't know if she emerged successfully and if she is/is not mated, I plan to add a frame of brood and eggs today from another hive as per the Michael Bush method.  This way if there is a queen, no harm done and if not, they can start to work to make yet another attempt at requeening themselves.

Linda T hopeful in Atlanta
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« Reply #33 on: May 28, 2007, 04:36:08 PM »

I opened the nuc today to add another frame of brood/eggs - I actually found one on another hive where I SAW the eggs - didn't just guess since there was tiny larvae.  This frame had lots of new eggs.  It came from my crazy comb hive so I hope the new queen, should she come from this frame, won't have crazy-comb genes.

Anyway, I opened the nuc and it was calm - no roar so maybe the queen did emerge.  I took out an old frame to add my insurance egg/brood frame and it was crawling with wax moth worms.  I scraped them out with my hive tool and squashed them and pitched them off of the deck.  The good news is that the frame wasn't being used - there may be some pollen in there, but it was at the edge of the nuc and they weren't really using it.  I so no more evidence (just from looking down into the nuc) of any other wax moth stuff so I put the new frame in next to the two other brood frames.

I also wanted to continue to feed this little nuc, but we are in the middle of a drought and I didn't want to use my Boardman feeder any more since it promoted robbing from other hives.  I put 1:1 sugar water in a baggie and laid it on the top of the nuc frames and snipped an X hole in the top of it.  Before putting the nuc top back on, I put the bottom bars from two frames on the long sides of the nuc to hold the top up high enough not to smash the baggie.  Then I put the top back on.

I hope the queen is there and if not, I've given them yet more resources to make one.  Weak hives do have struggles, though - wax moth, and I see SHB in the nuc as well...and it's hard for them to defend when being robbed.

Linda T hopeful for this hive in Atlanta
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« Reply #34 on: May 28, 2007, 08:30:24 PM »

>.and it's hard for them to defend when being robbed.

If it's being robbed don't feed it.  If you have to give them stores use capped honey from the strong hives.

Do something to stop the robbing.  Close it down for a day.  Put a robber screen on.  Something.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesrobbing.htm
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« Reply #35 on: May 28, 2007, 08:44:32 PM »

I did remove the feed and put a robber screen up and the robbing stopped.  I'll add a capped honey frame tomorrow.  They have capped honey in the nuc as well - I saw the edges of it looking into it today.

The whole wax moth thing really had me bummed....I hope these little girls make it.

Linda T in Atlanta
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« Reply #36 on: June 04, 2007, 12:08:23 PM »

I checked today and the bees have not made another queen cell on the latest frame of brood and eggs that I gave them four days ago.  I assume this means the queen emerged. 

I saw no signs of new eggs or brood, but she could be out on her mating flight.  The first brood/egg frame was added to this small swarm on May 12.  If the queen emerged 15 or 16 days later on May 27th or 28th, she would have spent several days "hardening" and then took off for mating.  If all went well she should be back and start laying this week....cross your fingers!

It was thrilling to see that they seem to be doing well - enough food (I added a frame of capped honey last week) and much of the brood I added has hatched. 

Linda T in Atlanta

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