Just some rambling here.
I was checking on my queens in the mating nucs yesterday. Most are laying (because I found nice single eggs in the bottoms of the cells) and most are in two frame nucs (so I only have to search two frames) and I could still only find about half of them. I can usually find a queen in a booming hive with five mediums for a brood chamber in just a few frames of looking, but these newly mated quees are about as shy and runny as a virgin queen is. The ones I found were often in the bottom of the hive or on the side wall and not the comb. One I spotted on the bottom and as I watched her (I was not doing anything) she ran right out the front entrance. I used my hand and chased her back in. I was wondering if she was going to try to fly.
Another hive I pulled the old queen cell cup that was capped and about to emerge when I put it in and found it had a queen larvae in it well fed. Further searching found a little comb out from the face of the regular comb, like they build when they don't like plastic, it was about three inches long by two inches wide and had three more queen cells on it also with well fed larvae. There were also eggs and larvae in the combs, so I'm sure there's a queen somewhere. These were hanging down like swarm cells. I never did find the queen, but I found one capped queen cell too, so I left it, in case there is a problem with the queen and put the others in nucs to see if they will finish them. It's hard to imagine that a two medium frame nuc is trying to swarm and it isn't even crowded. It did have a lot of eggs and some brood though. So it's also hard to imagine they are superceding a queen who has just started to lay and is laying very well.
I made a bunch of two frame nucs (a little wide to allow for a queen cell and maybe some fat combs). I really like them for mating nucs. I also made a 10 frame box with dividers to make it into four two frame nucs. I kind of liked the divided box, but it's hard to get a lid that isn't warped enough for a bee to get from one chamber to the next, and if I use a thin plywood top that I can weight down enough to keep that from happening, then it's hard to work with all four open at once.
Anyway, what I did was take some 10 frame deeps and cut them to 7 1/2" wide. I used 1 by eights for dividers and dadoed three grooves. The center one comes through the handle but the divider closes it. I drilled one hole for each chamber in the four directions so the queens won't get confused and go into the wrong nuc.
It seemed to work well and I think I will make a few more and see if I can work out the lid problems.
Hi micheal. On your 10 frame divided box use a peice of heavy canvas on top of the dividers. This will stop traffic the traffic when you have a loose lid. I have some double nucs that have canvas on them. I can lay the canvas back while working on the one side and not disturb the other nuc at all. Hope this helps.
That might help, but I have FOUR sections and only want one at a time open to be worked. Maybe four seperate but overlapping canvas pieces would work? Or one canvas "inner cover" and one manipulation cloth with a gap just wide enough for one section.
Maybe I'll try them both and see what I think.
What are the division boards made of. Mine are 3/4 in. If yours are the same you should be able to use just two pieces of canvas and staple to the division boards between chamber 1 and 2, Then between 3 and 4.
Yes, mine are 3/4". That could work really well! Thanks.
I wouldn't worry too much abuot the queen flying. As you might remember I happened to catch sight of one of my queens "returning" from a flight somewhere.
Scot Mc Pherson
Foundationless Small Cell Top Bar Hives
BeeWiki: <A HREF="http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/beewiki/" TARGET=_blank>
Yes, but this queen was fleeing the nuc, not taking a leasurly flight while I wasn't around. I don't know where she intended to go.
After the queen is mated, it takes another couple of weeks for them to settle down. And about a month for her to fully mature. You will notice how much larger and slower the queens are at that time.
Also some bees are easier on new queens than others. When a queen is not closely related to the hive bees, sometimes the bees will reject her and her offspring for awhile even if she is prolific.
>After the queen is mated, it takes another couple of weeks for them to settle down. And about a month for her to fully mature. You will notice how much larger and slower the queens are at that time.
For sure. I only found half of them the first look. It was cloudy and rainy, which didn't help, but those young laying queens are flighty too.
But I hadn't seen the queen running out the door when the hive was opened before.
>Hi micheal. On your 10 frame divided box use a peice of heavy canvas on top of the dividers. This will stop traffic the traffic when you have a loose lid. I have some double nucs that have canvas on them. I can lay the canvas back while working on the one side and not disturb the other nuc at all. Hope this helps.
This helped a lot. I put it on some double 2 frame nucs (made from 5 frame nucs) and some four way 2 frame nucs made from a 10 frame hive body. On the quadruple one I put a piece in the center that covers those two with staples down the middle and then two smaller cloths on the outside ones with the staples toward the inside divider. This works great. Thanks.
M.B WAS WONDERING IF THIS QUEEN WAS A RUSSIAN QUEEN. I BOUGHT ONE OF THE RUSSIAN BREADER QUEEN THE FIRST YEAR THEY WERE SOLD. HER OFF SPRING SOME TIMES WOULD RUN OUT OF THE HIVE ONTO THE GROUND. AND SOME WOULD EVEN AS YOU PULLED THEM OUT OF THE NUC WOULD START RUNNING AND TAKE FLIGHT OFF THE COME BEING FAT AND FULL OF EGGS THEY WOULD ONLY GO ABOUT 5 OR 6 FEET FROM THE HIVE. IF I HADN'T SEEN THEM FLY THEY WOULD HAVE JUST BEEN LOST. ALSO I MOVED SEVERAL HIVE ON TO A FIELD OF SQUASH AFTER A DAY OR TWO I WAS CHECKING THEM, 4 OUT OF ABOUT 20 HIVES WERE QUEENLESS I THINK DURING THE 80 MILE RIDE THEY MUST HAVE RAN OUT OF THE HIVE DURING TRANSPORTING THEY DID THIS ALSO ON THE NEXT LOAD I MOVED. NEVER HAD THIS TO HAPPEN IN ALL MY YEARS OF KEEPING BEES. THEY WERE A REAL NERVIOUS BEE.THEY ALSO WOULD WANT TO SWARM A LOT.ABOUT THE TIME THEY WOULD START TO GET A GOOD HIVE OF BEES THEY WOULD SWARM WITH JUST AN EGG IN THE QUEEN CELLS.
They were feral bees. From the looks of them, the old black German bees. They are a bit runny.