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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Harpers Ferry, WV USA EEUU
    Posts
    47

    Question

    Checked my 3 new packages 15 days after installation, and saw an acceptable number of larvae in all three boxes. Great! Also saw them beginning to build a queen cell on the bottom of one frame in one colony, and what looked like a beginning for a supercedure cell in another. Oh no! Swarming drives me nuts. I had thought that starting over with three new queens and packages this spring would mean I wouldn't see much chance of swarming.

    Both of these two queen cell/supercedure cell-building colonies have TONS of extra room at this point. They have 4 of the 10 frames totally unoccupied. I have been feeding them 1:1 syrup with HBH in it in a top feeder. Could the HBH have started this tendency?

    On the supercedure cell colony (high in the middle of a frame) I looked at the number of larvae, and it didn't look puny compared to what the other two colonies are doing. All three are the same amount of time "out of the gate" to use a horse-racing term.

    How does a colony "decide" when a queen isn't doing well enough and go for a supercedure? Should I let that supercedure go ahead if they rebuild that cell by the next time I check them later this week? I trimmed it out using my hive tool.

    I thought swarming was mostly about ventilation and overcrowding. These colonies have SBB and good ventilation. No crowding yet. What's the best thing I can do to keep ahead of this "problem?"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Post

    >How does a colony "decide" when a queen isn't doing well enough and go for a supercedure?

    Pretty much if anything hasn't been like they think it should be. If you move a hive they often supercede. A package often builds a cell and then changes their mind. I woulnd't destroy it unless you are certain they have a queen and you're pretty sure you know the cause. I figure if I keep track and make sure I remove it before it emerges I can let them get more of it out of their system becuase they usually tear it down themselves anyway and if I let them come to that on their own, they are less likely to rebuild it.

    >Should I let that supercedure go ahead if they rebuild that cell by the next time I check them later this week? I trimmed it out using my hive tool.

    Personally, I tend to let them. But it depends on your philosophy. Do you want to keep pure bred store bought queens or queens that have bred with drones from and adapted to the locale.

    I just read a Pink Pages that says that makes me a beehaver becuase a beekeeper would buy a good queen instead of letting them raise their own.

    "Having mentioned the Buckfast and the Midnite, I might as well mention the other hybrids
    found in the U. S. - The Starline, The Double Hybrid, and of course Uncle Joe's, Cousin Bill's,
    Aunt Mary's, or YOURS if you don't have a planned requeening program. If you just allow your
    bees to take whatever nature provides for them via your virgin queen being bred by a whole flock
    of boys just drifting along the flyways in your area maybe carrying all kinds of disease germs,
    mites, another race and who knows, maybe an Africanized drone from a swarm that escaped from a
    tanker cruising up Chesapeake Bay, you are the classic example of a beeHAVER and certainly not
    a beekeeper! The Africanized bees were not brought across the Rio Grande in a chauffeur driven
    limousine, but rather swarmed across the river from Mexico unnoticed."

    So you see there are various opinions on the subject.

    And according to George I'm a "classic example of a beeHAVER". I have a lot of good company though.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,360

    Post

    Me too.I buy queens ,raise some and let the bees raise the rest.No queen breeder on earth can raise a better quality queen than the bees themselves under swarming or supercedure conditions.Emergency queens can be pretty poor,but otherwise the bees know what they are doing alright.How could it be otherwise?

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