Basically,I have 2 real strong(3 deep)colonies, that I was going to evenly split,I got mated queens Friday afternoon via overnite UPS.
I made a even split this morning(Sat.)BUT,the 1st queen skunked me,by the time I went thru all 40 frames the 2nd time,I was out of time, and didn't start the other split.
I left the split set up in front of the old stand and went back late looked at all 40 AGAIN,no luck.
I went back tonight before dark to listen to them but owing to my tin ear couldn't really learn too much from that.
But when I gave the hives 3 or 4 good thumps with my fist,one(that I think has the queen) made the usual quick buzz that died right down,and a few came out.
The other half didn't send up that quick little buzz,and was the only hive out of 9 that I thumped that didn't(I think this is my queenless half).
It was also the only hive that still had 5 or 6 bees crawling around at dusk in the yard.
A friend said he had heard that the bees in a queenless hive won't festoon(the original hive bees had been festooned that morning),and the 1st half was still festooned during my afternoon sesion(the same ones that buzzed),the ones that didn't weren't "festooned".
I thinking maybe I should recombine if I can't find her tomorrow.
Set up some nucs for my queens till I'm sure of whereabouts?
Anybody know any tricks?What would you do?
I'm sorry if this post is getting long winded,but I thought the background would help.
Thanks Terry. I checked that that out before,and decided I would give them a mated queen,but...
So now I either got to find her,or forget it.
I was hoping some of you might know of some way to find the queenless(or queenright)without actually finding her.
Also, forgot to mention,on my afternoon go round, I arrived at my yard to find the buzzing, festooning(queenright?)half really busy bringing in pollen.The other part was not nearly as busy,for what that's worth.
Well, thanks,I know this is probably a long shot...Mark
I would go ahead and make up both splits.
With the hive you split yesterday, did you put frames of open comb with eggs in the new hive? If not, check it again and whether or not there are eggs will give you your answer.
But, if you still can't tell, it is not the end of the world. Put the queen cages into the hives you think are queenless on the top bars. Place an empty super on to give the cage room and you the chance to watch them. Don't take the cork out.
Let the cage sit for a day, and then check the bees on the cage. If they are biting the wire, they have not accepted her yet, so they may already have a queen.
If they are feeding her, you'll see them sticking their tongues through the wire, then they have accepted her, pull the cork and let them release her.
I gave up the other day in finding 2 queens I had replacements for. In desperation I put a queen excluder under an empty super and shook the bees through it. It was "quick and dirty," but it worked like a charm. I learned this from a thread here on finding queens. Thanks again guys.
Thanks guys,good ideas.
I put the caged queen in the hive a little over 2 hrs. ago on top of I.C. next to the hole, under a shim(knew that thing would be good for something).
The bees at first seemed happy,slow approach and turned and went back to edge of hole and started fanning.
Then in a span of minutes,many bees all over the screen(like really tight)but not stinging,they were head first,to many to see if they were biting or licking,I hope she can breath.
Alot more bees around the cage,not all excited,but alot of fanning.
I wondered about doing the same thing to the other half, to compare their reaction,but don't want to stress out all my queens.
Just paid $22.each with shipping. [img]smile.gif[/img]
If they are rejecting her they will ball her. If they are accepting her, there will be a lot of bees on the cage, but they won't be too agitated and excited and they won't be biting at the wires.
Wanted to report that my split seems to accepted the new queen and all is right in my yard tonight.
This site is the greatest,I'm gonna donate $20.
Thanks for that idea,Mt.Camp.I am about 1 1/2 hr.'s N.W. of you.Maybe someday we'll cross paths.
I am glad all worked out well.
How often do you get over this way?
Hived the first swarm of the season this evening.
The local bee club has a load of packages coming tomorrow. So I will be hiving packages tomorrow evening.