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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,949

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    >the hive has virtually no brood left (only a few capped cells),

    This is normal. They were hatching, getting capped and emerging while the queen is being raised and none are being layed.

    >they have been building a little bit of comb from foundation and there is one capped queen cell as far as i can see, but I may have missed some queen cells.

    They are easy to miss since emergency cells are seldom down low and all queen cells are so covered with bees all the time that they are hard to spot.

    >They are building another one in the middle of a frame but it is not capped yet and I don't think I see a larva.

    I'm sure there isn't a larvae. They just felt like building a cell cup.

    >Since there are no eggs there and I am uncertain about the existence of capped queen cells,

    I thought you saw one?

    >I wonder what happened. I expected several queen cells capped and getting close to hatching by now.

    Sometimes there are several sometimes one or two. Usually two or three for a small nuc is about normal.

    >I will try to order a queen, but should I? I would have loved to see a queen be born, mate, etc. but I may end up reaching the end of the season with a hive that is far too weak.

    My guess is, if you did see a sealed queen cell, that it is about to emerge. I didn't keep track of exact days, but it takes 16 days for a queen to emerge. And another week or so before she starts to lay.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    West Harrison, NY, USA
    Posts
    261

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    I did see something that looks like a queen cell but is rather small (clearly not a "textbook" queen cell). These are bees from a partially regressed hive. I wonder if they would biuld small queen cells. The queen should have emerged yesterday or before if there was one. I will look again closely. I certainly did not see any eggs yet.

    How common is it for a split not to result in a new queen?

    Jorge

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,949

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    Sometimes the queen wasn't healthy enough to live or two queen cells hatch and the queens battle each other to the death resuling in no queen. But usually you should end up with a queen. A regressed hive will raise a smaller queen. I've seen some that were pretty small compared to a "normal" oversized queen.

    It often takes a week to a week and a half after emergence before the queen gets mated and starts to lay. Sometimes a little longer. Virgins are very fast and very sneaky and very afraid of the light. They hide a lot. Also if there is an uncapped queen cell where one already emerged, they bees still seem obsessed with it for a few days and it's still hard to see.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    West Harrison, NY, USA
    Posts
    261

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    HI there,

    yesterday I finally saw eggs being layed in the hive I started with 4 frames 30 days ago yesterday (on June 26th). I thouhgt I had seen a samll queen scurry along last week and so I thought I would give it a chance to start laying before I merge this one with another week hive.
    So, assuming that the eggs i started this split with where one 1 day old, then this queen emerged on July 11th (it may have emerged a day earlier if the eggs where older). This means that it took this queen at the earliest 13 days before it started laying (if the eggs I see are 2 days old). However, it could be that it took perhaps even 15 days if the original eggs were 2 days old and those I saw yesterday were 1 day old.
    Q1: Isn't his rather long?
    Q2: Is it possible for a queen raised by workers born in 4.8-4.9mm cells to, like workers, also be born in less that the "standard" incubation period, i.e. <16 days?
    Q3: What are the chances of this hive growing enough and storing enough to survive the winter? (I live in the Northeast).

    Jorge

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,949

    Post

    >Q1: Isn't his rather long?

    No, I'd say that's normal. Here is a queen calendar for breeding and they would have you doing a first check for eggs on the 28th day and another check for eggs on the 30th day. http://queencalendar.markfarm.com/Default.aspx Put in 6/26/03 and you'll see you will be checking for eggs still on the 25th of July.

    >Q2: Is it possible for a queen raised by workers born in 4.8-4.9mm cells to, like workers, also be born in less that the "standard" incubation period, i.e. <16 days?

    Yes. Sometimes they emerge early even when they are not small cell bees. There are a variety of factors involved. One is the age of the larvae that the bees decided to use. One is the temperatures. One is the size of the bees rasing her. There are probably others too.

    >Q3: What are the chances of this hive growing enough and storing enough to survive the winter? (I live in the Northeast).

    Feed like crazy. Try to control robbing (small defensable entrance). Have a double screen board handy so you can put them on top of a strong hive if they aren't as built up as you hope. The weather is always unpreditable as is the decisions made by the bees to raise brood or not. I'd give it a try and see where they are by the time the weather turns cold.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    West Harrison, NY, USA
    Posts
    261

    Post

    >Q3: What are the chances of this hive growing enough and storing enough to survive the winter? (I live in the Northeast).

    Feed like crazy. Try to control robbing (small defensable entrance). Have a double screen board handy so you can put them on top of a strong hive if they aren't as built up as you hope. The weather is always unpreditable as is the decisions made by the bees to raise brood or not. I'd give it a try and see where they are by the time the weather turns cold.


    Michael,
    are you suggesting to put this week hive on top of another strong one separated by a screen ones the temps drop and over the entire winter?
    Wouldn't this cool the bottom hive too much?

    Jorge

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,949

    Post

    You can do this several ways. See the Double Screen Board plans in the plans section or a Brushy Mt. Catalog. You can use a double screen board if you have a really strong hive. Or you can make your own with a smaller hole in the middle for the screen. A 6" x 6" hole will provide plenty of heat for the top hive. Even a 4" x 4" would provide a lot. Also, if you don't think you have a really strong one to put it on top of and it's not strong enough to winter, you can unite it in the fall.

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