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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Cameron, MO
    Posts
    595

    Default Hived Swarm is weak how to better it?

    I hived a swarm(basketbal size) 2 weeks ago Sunday. The size has dwindled to about half last Sunday, I didnt see the queen but it looked like some queen cells where being built, and alot of pollen being collected but no brood to speak of. Bee's are mellow.
    Last Sunday also I caught another (small melon sized) swarm(possibly from the declining hived swarm?) 1/4 mile away.
    Today I looked into my hived swarm and saw alot of lavae. Alot is being capped off as drone and I see a small capped queen cell. In the smaller swarm I saw the queen. They are building comb and busy. I had planned on combining these 2 swarms if I didnt see any progress in the declining hive. Now I see progress but could it be a laying drone? or could the drone brood be part of the plan since there is a capped queen cell?
    My main concern is keeping these bee's through the winter. I dont need a certain number of hives to make me happy. Will these small swarms make it in time?(I know you dont know what I have here to eat but I could feed them if needed). Or should I combine them making 1 stronger hive.
    I have 3 other stronger hives from a nuc,cutout and a swarm also that could be implemented if needed?
    Whats your thought for this newbee?
    :confused:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

    Default

    Zane it is not possible to have a laying drone. You may have a laying worker but if that was the case you wouldnt have a queen cell. A laying worker will only produced drones which is a unfertlized eggs. my guess would be you have a weak queen. But there are other variables involved. To figure out what is going on we would need more information. Are you feeding are the on foundation or drawn comb ETC.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Cameron, MO
    Posts
    595

    Default

    Ok I meant a laying worker! really!!!
    I'm feeding extra honeycomb from a previous cutout.
    I am using foundation,starter strips along w/ some capped brood on old comb from the cutout banded to the frames . They are building on foundation and new comb but only 2-3 frames. The bee's are real mellow. There is a fair amount of pollen in the drawn foundation comb along w/ nector. I just picked up a small swarm tonight. Would they accept this queen if I used the paper spacer method and removed the queen cell? I would think not but just asking?
    I dont have enough brood laying around these 5 swarms and nucs since they never have been BIG yet(just getting their feet wet now), just starting to build finally! Hope that helps on the info?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

    Default

    If you use the newspaper method to combine It will work. I would let the new queen hatch. make sure she is laying good then pinch the old queen from the new swarm then do the combine. Most primary swarms are headed up by old queens. keep feeding and keep a watch on the hive to make sure the hive does not get honey bound.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Cameron, MO
    Posts
    595

    Default

    Ok can do.
    We saw all open queen cells last Sunday so she can only be 6 days old at the oldest right? or do you start counting before she is capped(ie-once laid)?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

    Default

    it takes ap. 13 days from the time the egg is layed till the new queen emerges. then about 10 more days before she starts laying. was there eggs in the queen cells or was they just cups

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Cameron, MO
    Posts
    595

    Default queen cell eggs

    I didn't see anything obvious. I'll keep an eye out for herthe next time I look.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Cameron, MO
    Posts
    595

    Default

    I went ahead and combined the 2 small swarms and added "superboost" to them. I checked yesterday and only saw 1 queen cell(The other cells disappeared!!) it was not capped and couldn't see any egg. I fed them some honey and will watch their action. I see brood so I have a queen. They dont seem as busy outside as the bee's w/o superboost but it could be a colony size issue. I also saw alot of drones flying in and out of the hive yesterday. Could this bee orienting flights for the new generation drones?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Tomhannock NY
    Posts
    228

    Default

    I would have just let them be. Keep them small with a follower board, no feed except maybe a little honey as you mentioned. Keep the entrance reduced too.

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