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Thread: Clipped queen?

  1. #1
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    Default Clipped queen?

    Howdy folks, As I have stated in earlier threads I'll be starting 2 hives of russians in april. These will be my first hives and I'll be using HSC frames exclusivly for the brood box's. I've requested that the queens be clipped. Will the fact that the queens are clipped keep the bee's from absconding. I talked with a local beek and he has never used HSC (wax only) but said that if the queen is clipped she will not abscound. I would like to know yal's thoughts on this. thank's, Brad
    Last edited by RangerBrad; 02-15-2009 at 12:46 PM. Reason: mis spell/ message not understood corectly

  2. #2
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    The hive can eventually swarm with a virgin. To succeed with bees you want to help them do what they want to do, not fight their basic impulse every step of the way. Swarming is the reproductive impulse at the colony level. I like to help them here and divide them when the swarm impulse is strong thus saving them a trip 40 feet up a tree. Clipping can be a good way to keep track of important queens, but is not really a swarm control measure in my opinion.
    Last edited by JBJ; 02-15-2009 at 10:03 AM. Reason: Addition
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  3. #3
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    clipped queens result in near 100% supersedure rate for me, so its use here would be of little help in preventing swarming. cant say that i have ever had a hive abscond. perhaps you meant "swarm". good luck,mike
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  4. #4
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    I have a clipped and marked breeder that is three years old, so I would say clipping does not necessarily = supersedure, however I would not rely on clipping for swarm control.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  5. #5
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    "clipped queens result in near 100% supersedure rate for me"

    Interesting! I can't say that I've ever had a queen superseded for having clipped wings? I have on occasion had queens superseded but I can't say that it was the clipping that caused it. My yards are loaded with clipped queens.

    But to answer your question Brad, it would be kinda tough for a queen to abscond if she can't fly. I would be more concerned why the bees would want to in the first place.
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

  6. #6
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    I've clipped them and not clipped them. I don't see a lot of difference unless I happen to be around when they try to swarm. Otherwise they swarm anyway eventually. I haven't had many abscond over the years, so I don't see that as a big issue. I have had many of the clipped queens for several years as they were breeder queens. They were not superseded until they failed.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
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    Clipping and marking queens that you are buying from a supplier usually comes with a price tag. Do it yourself and save the money, I don’t clip her wing but marking is a good way to see if supersedure has taken place and makes it easier to spot her.
    If you’re a little nervous about handling the queen pay for the marking and save the money on clipping. Work with the bees not against them.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  8. #8
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    I'm sorry fellas, Maybe I didn't make myself clear. I'm not talking about swarming or supercedeance as I'm just getting the bees in april and that is not an issue for now. What I meant to say is Will The queen being clipped reduce or stop the bee's from absconding due to using HSC frames? I know that absconding seems to be a real problem with folk's starting bees on HSC. Sorry for the confusion. Brad

  9. #9
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    Why would want to keep bees on frames that were so strongly repugnant to them?

    Regular absconding (as opposed to swarming) usually is an emergency situation that bees employ when their situation is hopeless and/or dire. Initially hived swarms sometimes abscond if the queen is not hived with majority of the bees or they find there new dwelling unsatisfactory.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  10. #10
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    Well, The reason is, they were recomended to me by one of my dads friends who is a long time beek. He stated he went with these last year and was very pleased with them. He stated he had no mite problem and because the bees were not required to build comb that they built a very strong hive in a very short period of time. He also stated he used HBH and lemongrass oil and had no refusal by the bees. Having no prior experience with bees I hadn't heard any negative about HSC until later when I started asking questions on certain boards and like alot of oppinions some loved them and some hated them though I found that the ones who hated them for the most part had never used them for any number of reasons,and were simply stating their oppinion of them which is perfectly fine. Some folk's said they felt the bees might abscond and that I should put a queen includer above the bottom board. I was just wondering since she is clipped if that would cure any problem with the possibility of absconding. I ordered and recieved a case of 20 so I'm commited as of now and am just looking for ways to insure my best chances for success. Thank's, Brad

  11. #11
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    Default supersedure

    Quote Originally Posted by mike haney View Post
    clipped queens result in near 100% supersedure rate for me, so its use here would be of little help in preventing swarming. cant say that i have ever had a hive abscond. perhaps you meant "swarm". good luck,mike
    i need to clarify this a tad. when i was younger, i bought packages that had clipped AND marked queens. this resulted, for me, in nearly 100% supersedure. i countered this by adding frames of brood to the package, then gradually progressed to "splits" of my own hives. this was, on further reflection, decades ago. stupid of me to think this would have any bearing on todays world, or todays packages.
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  12. #12
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    Brad,

    Yes it will likely help to keep them on HSC. Spraying the
    frames will help to with sugar/HBH. If these are package
    bees you can also screen off the entrances with 1/8"
    hardware cloth and keep them on it for a couple days
    or so.

    The key is to give them no other options on introduction.
    Once they work it, they'll be smiling.

  13. #13
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    Thank's, folks for all your thoughts. Brad

  14. #14
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    An "entrance guard" or a queen excluder on the bottom (if you have a bottom entrance or the top if you have a top entrance) will keep the queen in. It only matters until they get some brood going.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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