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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Carmel Valley, Calif. USA
    Posts
    23

    Default A New Novice Beekeeper in Carmel Valley, Calif.

    Hi, I am 2 years into beekeekping. Now I have a beautiful new swarm that I caught. These bees are gentle, golden and very happy. The queen is glorious, and I can find her every time I enter the hive. However, my first swarm which I caught last year and built into a 3 brood chamber hive lost its queen, and I have tried to requeen it with a small swarm a friend gave to me, but it didn't work. Now, all the drones have hatched, but there are still a surprisingly large community of workers in the hive, which I hate to lose. I hesitate to try to combine the two hives, the newest colony being gentle and the former a bit more agressive. Is it a truly a lost cause? I have not seen any mites, but there are some earwigs in the hive.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Thousand Oaks, CA USA
    Posts
    1,206

    Default Re: A New Novice Beekeeper in Carmel Valley, Calif.

    If they've truly lost their queen, they'll make a new one.
    Either let 'em do that, or order a queen.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Carmel Valley, Calif. USA
    Posts
    23

    Smile Re: A New Novice Beekeeper in Carmel Valley, Calif.

    Thanks for the encouragement. I really want to save this hive if possible, so I will order a new queen tomorrow, and hope for the best.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Thousand Oaks, CA USA
    Posts
    1,206

    Default Re: A New Novice Beekeeper in Carmel Valley, Calif.

    If you're gonna requeen with an ordered queen, make sure to remove any queen cells they may have already built. You don't want one of their queens hatching at the same time you're trying to get them to accept a caged queen.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Carmel Valley, Calif. USA
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: A New Novice Beekeeper in Carmel Valley, Calif.

    I will have no problem with existing queen cells. I have already been thru the laying worker cycle, and all the drones have hatched. I tried to get rid of them out in the pasture, but there are still quite a few. There are at present no new worker brood cells, so , as there are still probably as many workers as there are drones (maybe more workers) I hope to introduce a queen at this stage. I just visited the hive, and it felt like they are all in a "what next?" mode. So, maybe I'll get lucky with a new queen.

    I just visited my newer hive, and couldn't find the queen for the first time, so I am thinking of ordering 2 queens, just to be safe. I would have thought that there would be supercedure queen cells coming along, but there are none.

    So, I always try to have plan A and plan B. Plan A is to introduce both hives with new queens (I'll check the newer hive again of course). If I do find the queen at this time, I guess I can put the unused bought queen in a nuc and try to keep her? I haven't ever done anything like that before, but it seems it would work Lynda

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Thousand Oaks, CA USA
    Posts
    1,206

    Default Re: A New Novice Beekeeper in Carmel Valley, Calif.

    If you're seeing eggs/larva in the "good" hive, leave well enough alone.

    If you "nuc" a queen, she'll need nurse bees and a frame with some food in it at the very least.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Carmel Valley, Calif. USA
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: A New Novice Beekeeper in Carmel Valley, Calif.

    I saw no eggs or larvae today. In fact, I saw one drone cell--after the first hive, I am pretty sure I recognized THAT. I was surprised, still hunting for my beautiful golden queen. Now, I am even more glad I ordered 2 new queens today. I waited far too long--weeks-- (I was in severe denial that my queen was gone) before acting with the first hive.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tulare County, CA USA
    Posts
    1,380

    Default Re: A New Novice Beekeeper in Carmel Valley, Calif.

    I'm afraid that you'll find the problem hive to far gone for a re-queening effort.
    From the sounds of it what you have left is older bees. Old bees are foragers and don't do a very good job of caring for brood. Not being there to see what you have I would say from the description that you might want to combine the two hives now and then split the resources evenly into two when the new queens get there so that each queen will get some younger bees. Most likely one of the two will fail so be ready to pinch a new queen and combine the resources into a somewhat strong hive and feed, feed, feed.
    Don't worry about the temperment of the first hive as it will change according to whatever queen you install.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Carmel Valley, Calif. USA
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: A New Novice Beekeeper in Carmel Valley, Calif.

    Hi! Are you saying I could combine 2 supposedly queenless hives (here I am, in denial again--no eggs seen for a week) now or tomorrow, before the queens arrive on Thursday? I am assuming I would use the newspaper between the brood chambers method?

    I do have another complication--the hives are in different locations on my property. Would I have success if I take the older hive up to where the newer hive is located and combine them there? The distance is probably about 150 feet.

    Thanks so much for your advise. Sooner or later, I AM going to get this right!

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