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Thread: Queen in supers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Arnold, MD USA
    Posts
    48

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    Yesterday I pulled four capped supers off one of my hives. I left two partially capped supers on the hive. I used a fume board with bee quick, and still had to blow out a lot of bees. This afternoon, I was preparing to extract, and found some small areas of eggs, and newly hatched larvae. Obviously the queen, or newly mated queen got through the excluder. That would explain their umwillingness to get away from the bee quick. I went back to the beeyard this evening and could not find her in the grass, and the bees didn't appear to be acting any differently from the outside. I did not open the hive, as darkness was approaching. I'm concerned that I damaged or killed her during all the commotion, or that I blew her out on the grass. I feel kind of dumb for taking the excluder for granted. My plan is to take off work early tomorrow, and do a through search for the queen in the hive. If I can find her, I'll make sure that she is below the excluder. If I can not find her, I will make sure that they have eggs to raise another. I have three more hives so that shouldn't be a problem. I will be more carefull next time

    Q1. Can the queen find her way back into the hive?

    Q2. Has this happened to anyone else? What did you do?

    The good news is that this colony has produced about 250 pounds of surplus already this year.

    Thanks to all for your input.


  2. #2
    BILLY BOB Guest

    Post

    Q1. Can the queen find her way back into the hive?
    Q2. Has this happened to anyone else? What did you do?


    Yes the queen can and most likely will find her way back into the hive.

    I have shaken entire colonies out on the ground in front of a hive. The queen found her way back in every time. All you can do is check to see if she is there. If she is she is if she isn’t she isn’t. You know what you did. If you only have a few hives to go through and harvest then I guees you can check and see if the queen is in the super.

    BB

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Arnold, MD USA
    Posts
    48

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    Well four days later I got the hive opened up again. I could not find the queen in the supers, nor any new eggs or larvae. I found about four frames of eggs in the brood boxes, but never did find the queen. I suspect that she found her way back into the hive and proceeded laying again. If not, there are plenty of eggs for them to make a new queen.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,650

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    Well if I remember right, my best harvest was in DE hives, B. Weaver's Buckfast bees, with three deeps for the brood chamber and six medium supers all of them full to the top. Four hives like this, so I think it was good timing of the weather among other things.

    That's about the same amount (which I won't mention again) mentioned above per hive.

    That was in a rural setting. But I have had close to that in an urban setting sometimes too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Arnold, MD USA
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    48

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    My hives are in a rural setting, and placed in a 15 acre meadow. There is clover and mint in the meadow, various amounts of brush and laurel, holly, poplar, and locust trees. I think MB hit it right with the weather. We had a wet March and April, and a very dry May. Lots of ground water, and many good foraging days during the main flow. Last year was almost daily rain, and no surplus worth mentioning. The two hives I have in my back yard (more urban) produce about half as much.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    hermiston, oregon
    Posts
    458

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    Bill,

    Watch out for the mint. Over here if mint goes into the supers with flows then the honey comes out very dark and has a storng flavor(but still yastes good). If you plan on selling the honey then this may lower the price you get - it does over here. Light color, mild flavor is the most favored.

    Although I much prefer a stronger flavored honey myself

  7. #7
    dcromwel Guest

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    Bill, I'm flabbergasted at your productivity. But mostly, you've left me more optimistic than ever that there might be some productivity from all of this in addition to the rest of the fun that comes with beekeeping. I'm just north of Baltimore. Mapquest says you're about 35 miles from me (Arnold, MD that is). I had read that the midAtlantic region was not optimal for beekeeping. Sounds like you're "knocking the leather off the ball."

    Looking forward to hearing more about your techniques.

    How many hives do you have?

    Thanks,

    David in Baltimore

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Arnold, MD USA
    Posts
    48

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    I only have four hives. Two in the meadow, two in my yard. I also have a six frame observation hive. I don't think I'm doing anything special. Two deeps. Re-queening in late summer. Light feeding in spring. Reversing hive bodies 2-3 times in spring. Adding supers early and often. Treating for v-mites as needed, which by the way I've had very low mite populations this year.

    My most productive hive this year was an afterswarm I captured from my observation hive last August. Very small, about the size of a softball. I fed them heavily all fall, and they managed to have enough bees to get through the winter. In March both brood boxes were loaded with bees, and very motivated. My other three hives have filled 4, 3, and 1 super.

    How are your bees doing, dcrom?


  9. #9
    dcromwel Guest

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    Thanks for the info, Bill. I have 4 hives now as well but started the spring with only one. The 2nd hive came from a split of the starter hive, and the 3rd and 4th were nucs that I purchased in late April. So, admittedly, I'm more in growth stage than production stage, but even the original hive has been somewhat of a dud on production this spring. They have hardly made any progress on building out comb with the 2nd super I added this spring (but I should add that either they or I killed the queen and they spent much of the nectar flow prepping a replacement). The 2 nucs are much quicker comb builders. I'm very likely to requeen this late summer and look forward to getting your advice/input on that later.

    Again thanks,

    David in Baltimore

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,262

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    Bill, are your bees on small cell? You know, small cell bees?


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Arnold, MD USA
    Posts
    48

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    No, just normal beeswax foundation. I have tried some of the plastic foundation with wax coating, but the bees seem to draw the beeswax better. I've been reading a little on the small cell and might be willing to try it. However, if I keep using the same frames in the brood nest, won't the cell size naturally decrease?

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