Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: egg laying

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Tiller, Oregon USA
    Posts
    209

    Question

    I checked my newly hived swarm today. They are drawing comb and working hard. I didn't see any eggs or larva started. It's been a week. None of the comb is fully drawn out. When should I expect to see some brood started, if I may ask?

    ------------------
    the ~ox-{ at www.singingfalls.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Julian, NC, USA
    Posts
    252

    Post

    Under normal circumstances a queen from a hived swarm will start laying within a week (most times within a few days) .
    It sounds as if you may have hived an afterswarm with a virgin queen. If this is the case, you should expect to see eggs in a few days.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,121

    Post

    Eggs are hard to see. Larve that is several days old is easier to see. As mentioned one possiblility is the queen is a virgin and will need to mate. This could take up to ten or twelve days, depending on the weather, before she actually starts laying. But even if she's bred it will take a few days before the eggs are big enough for you to see easily. I also see better results in a nuc than a 10 frame box because they seem to be able to keep it warmer and they seem to get some brood going quicker.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Tiller, Oregon USA
    Posts
    209

    Post

    Thank you for the replies.
    I am fairly certain this is not an afterswarm. There had to be 8 - 10 pounds of bees in the swarm. (the largest I have ever seen with my limited experience). The hive it came from is still very strong and I have been watching it carefully (It's within eyeshot of my bedroom/computer room window).
    I placed the swarm in a TBH and I have been feeding syrup because it has been cool and wet this past week.
    That said, I will take advise an be patient for a few more days . I'll keep you posted.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Tiller, Oregon USA
    Posts
    209

    Question

    Now I'm totally paranoid! I was just out checking the new swarm (sorry to say I spend hours just watching the entrance) and out comes her majesty with one wing clipped. If shes a virgin I'm cooked! I assumed that she was the old queen from the original hive since it was the first swarm. Any ideas or strategies would be helpful. Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,303

    Post

    Are you saying you clipped the queens wing after you hived this swarm,but before she started to lay?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,121

    Post

    The primary swarm is almost always the old queen. Are you surprised to find the old queen? She still won't lay for a few days while the get organized. But she must have been laying before.

    She must have crawled up the tree you found the swarm in.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,303

    Post

    Sometimes the clipped queen does make it out with the swarm.These will be low and close to the hive(obviously)or right on the ground.If she is lost the bees will return and then swarm out with the first virgin.There will often be lots of dead bees in front of a hive that keeps trying to swarm with a clipped queen.I dont know why.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Tiller, Oregon USA
    Posts
    209

    Post

    Oh man! Now I'm going to become the bee forum dumb ox!
    When the swarm refused to be hived after the second attempt. I built a TBH while trying to trap the swarm. Details are here:
    http://www.beesource.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/001641.html

    After I had 50 gizillion bees marching up the ramp to the new hive I decided to watch for the queen, clip her wing and I would make them stay. First time I ever tried it. I had never had a hard time hiving a swarm before so I thought I would take drastic measures. Now I'm having some serious second thoughts. My assumption was that she was the old queen and I'm still hoping the same.
    Generally speaking when I get in panic mode I bungle it good. I hope not this time. But after seeing her try to fly with one wing I felt REAL BAD and decided I won't do it again.

    BTW she was very large. I think virgin queens are smaller aren't they?

    [This message has been edited by ox (edited May 21, 2004).]

    [This message has been edited by ox (edited May 21, 2004).]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,121

    Post

    >BTW she was very large. I think virgin queens are smaller aren't they?

    Queens vary in size, but as a general rule a virgin queen is smaller at first. She needs a few days for her ovaries to develop. I've seen virgins laying nothing but drones that were normal size at that time, though.

    You do need to always keep in mind that a swarm may have a virgin or a very old queen (actually usually one or the other). So attempts to confine the queen can backfire.

    So you clipped her. It's very possible she is a virgin and that's why you have no eggs yet.

    But even a laying queen takes a while to start laying again after she slims down to swarm.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Tiller, Oregon USA
    Posts
    209

    Post

    Well I found her out on the orchard ground this morning about 50 feet from the hive with 20 or so bees around her and the rest of the bees looking for her. Looks like I might need another queen but will wait a few days to see what happens. sheesh I feel pretty dumb.
    Then again it might be a good thing to get some new blood in the local bee gene pool. There must be some good threads on types of queens etc. Is it too late to order a queen?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,121

    Post

    Sounds like she's a virgin trying to mate. It probably won't work, but MAYBE if you clip the other wing she can fly a little and she MIGHT succeed. But my guess is she won't.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,303

    Post

    Look in the old hive.If it hasnt been too long there may be an extra queen cell in there you can use.Otherwise you can give them some eggs to raise a queen or else buy one to try and speed things up.I just got 50 Italians,but I think Carniolans winter better in the Cascades.Old swarm queens arent good for long before the bees replace them anyway.If she was a virgin shes toast now.But it could have been the old queen just rejecting the new hive again.Did you put her back in?If so give her a few days to settle and start laying.But if its a virgin that cant mate she will be a drone layer.I clip my queens ,but I dont until they have been laying for several weeks so I know they are well accepted and they have an OK brood pattern.We all operate on assumptions,mostly it works out but sometimes not.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,303

    Post

    Are you getting all the rain and lightning like we are in the southern Cascades?If so look for an afterswarm to maybe come out when this blows over.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Tiller, Oregon USA
    Posts
    209

    Post

    loggermike, I see you are not far from me really. On a clear day I can see Mount Shasta way south of me. We're just north of Medford (about an hour) in Umpqua National Forest. So we're considered Southern Cascades also. We're actually warmer that the NE Calif. area I think.

    "If she was a virgin shes toast now.But it could have been the old queen just rejecting the new hive again."

    My only consolation! I may have been unsually fortunate over the years but I've never had to rehive a swarm. One try and they've gone up the ramp like happy campers. After two attempts with this bunch it was too much and clipped her. I was pretty unprofessional about it and wasn't even sure I got her the first time. When she showed up with a half a wing missing I knew I did. I took Mr. Bush's advise and clipped the other wing today but my insides are saying, "she toast".
    These are dark Italians I think.
    I have split hives successfully with fresh laid eggs for requeening trying to prevent swarming. I was talking to my wife about doing as you mentioned, earlier in the day.
    But since there are still very few bee hives up in this neck of the woods, what do you make of getting "new blood" in the area? The shepherd in me is probably talking here. We never inbreed or backbreed with our herd. First cousins is the closest we get.
    I should probably do a search for queens etc. just to find out what's going on. There's a neat old guy down in Eagle Point who is a bee man. He was going to go the route of Russian or Hygienic bees but opted for mineral oil fogging. But since my wife is 100% Ruskie I thought I'd try a Russian. Any thoughts?
    Side note: I've never seen my hive this big and strong. Maybe my bees have finally adapted to this area and I should go with this strain.... decisions decisions...

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,303

    Post

    I dont care for inbreeding either(used to breed Walker hounds).Inbreeding is particularly harmful for honeybees causing low brood viability and lack of disease resistance.So for that reason,I always have some other strains than my favorite Italians.I have some Russian ,SMR,Carns, crossed in.I didnt see much in the Russians I like nor the SMR.The russians were just too swarmy(although this has been a very swarmy spring for all strains here)They are just mixed in there to add diversity to the gene pool hopefully adding something positive.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Tiller, Oregon USA
    Posts
    209

    Post

    I sure would like to get a hold of a relatively local queen. Any leads?
    Yes, we are very careful about our breeding practices with our angora goats. Studies show a 25% loss in frame size, disease resistance and overall productivity in the first backbreeding. Don't know if the same applies to bees. I watch the drones and there sure seems to be a fair amount of difference in color etc with mine. I imagine the AI purebreds are more likely to have problems. hmmmm wonder if bees can get hip displasia?

    [This message has been edited by ox (edited May 23, 2004).]

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,303

    Post

    I dont think it is usually a problem with bees,unless one uses II and breeds one line intensively without bringing in 'new blood'.In the normal course of events I think there is enough diversity out there to not worry about it.The first sign is a very 'peppered' brood pattern -lots of misses maybe 50% ,where the bees are cleaning out non-viable brood.But some empty cells in the brood are normal and may indicate hygienic behavior.An inbred colony lacks energy and disease resistance and nature will weed them out.
    Theres bound to be someone in Oregon selling local queens.Ed Allen 530- 221 -1458 in Redding sells Italians and will ship small orders(some have a minimum size order)Pat and Russel Heitkam 530- 865- 9562(Orland)sell Italians and Carniolans. Strachans 530- 674-3881 in Yuba City raise carniolans.The northern Sacramento Valley probably has more commercial queen raising going on then any place in the world.

    [This message has been edited by loggermike (edited May 24, 2004).]

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads