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Thread: Thoughts?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Attleboro, MA, USA
    Posts
    18

    Question

    I had one strong hive, i decided to attempt a split. I ordered a new queen. When the queen arrived (in great shape with 4 attendants) I made the split. The new hive with the new queen is in a 5 frame polystyrene nuc. After 3 days I opened the hive to see if the queen had been released. She was not released yet, due to the company packing so much sugar candy in, they had not yet been able to get all the way through it yet. I also noticed that there were several dead bees inside the cage. There were several bees hanging on the outside, so after shaking them off, i determined the queen was the only remaining live bee in the cage, the attendants were all dead. i then decided to remove the cork from the other end of the cage, move the dead bees and allow her out. Any thoughts on why the attendants were all dead? Would the workers in the hive have stung them to death because the werent originally part of the colony?

    thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Central Square, NY, Oswego County
    Posts
    814

    Exclamation

    Hate to tell you this but I would have left the queen alone till the candy was eaten by the house bees. The workers died keeping the queen alive and protecting her. If the house bees were holding on to the screen (biting it) then they did not want the queen yet. She has not gotten the hive smell on her and she has not given them enough of her phermones to spread around. She may have gotten balled and now you have no queen in the hive. The candy is 'packed in there tight' for a reason. It should take 5-6 days for the house bees to eat it and release the queen by then she will have picked up the hive sent and the hive hers. I hope I'm wrong with my assessment. Good luck.
    Dan
    PS Never ever shake a cage with a queen in it. You will damage her ovaries, or hurt her and she will not lay eggs. Brush off the bees.

    [This message has been edited by bjerm2 (edited July 27, 2004).]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Attleboro, MA, USA
    Posts
    18

    Post

    crap.. the follies of being a newbie beekeeper. You know, I thought they may have killed the attendants, but it didnt click in my brain that it would be because they were not accepting the new queen yet. It makes sense considering the bees had just been taken from their original hive and still have the 'loyalty' to the original queen. I hope they didnt kill the new queen after i let her out. Well if they did, i guess i have two options. To order another queen or to let them raise their own. One of the frames i added was mostly eggs on one side and capped brood on the other. So they will have the eggs.. I just dont know if it's enough time to get the hive up built up more before winter. It's about a month from egg to laying queen correct? Is late august too late to start raising more brood for the winter?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Central Square, NY, Oswego County
    Posts
    814

    Post

    No not to late if you get another queen and I would try to bust them once in a while with sealed brood. Also try feeding them that would take some stress away from them. Open the hive with as little smoke as possible and take a look to see if she is still there. Try not to disturb the hive to much. If she is not there and no new eggs laid then I would get another queen. Time is really against you. If things are still not going well combine the two hives and use the newspaper between the brood chambers to unite them.
    Dan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Attleboro, MA, USA
    Posts
    18

    Post

    Well, great news! I opened the hive on friday to find the queen was alive and laying.. what a relief!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Central Square, NY, Oswego County
    Posts
    814

    Big Grin

    Great! See they don't read books. Guess they had enough time to get use to her. Glad it worked out for you.
    Dan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hotlanta, GA
    Posts
    475

    Post

    Kosh, thats actually happened to me a few times before. They won't ever kill a queen by stinging it, but they will attack and sting the attendants as intruders immediately. Since they can't ball the queen thru the cage(the only way they will kill a queen), she usually survives long enough until they accept her. Your experience sounded pretty normal, but resist the temptation to be impatient(my problem too). The best way to see if a queen is accepted is to check the way the bees act around the cage...if they're trying to feed thru the cage, if they're biting the cage, if they're scurrying over the cage hurridly(bad), or if they're just calmly walking around the cage(good).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
    Posts
    1,966

    Post

    To facilitate queen acceptance and keeping things calm, the attendants should be released before the queen goes in the hive. It's tricky but can be done.

    Dickm

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