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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Mount Desert, Maine
    Posts
    13

    Default My girls have been busy

    Hi there,
    New beek with two new packages of Italians installed on April 15. Everything seems to be going well in both hives with many similarities in the amount of comb drawn and in very much the same positions in each hive. One hive is noticably more active than the other outside the hive though each has about the same amount of brood, pollen etc. stored inside. Their sugar water intake has very much decreased in both so I have not opened either hive for a week.

    I do however give each hive a quick check through the observation window each day and today I noticed a queen cell on the outer edge of some comb right next to the window. It is located a little lower than midway down the comb but no where near the bottom and is still open but I have not opened the hive so I have not looked up into the cell to see if anything is there.

    What would you experienced people do? I am tempted to let them do what they do and hope that it is just a supercedue cell if they cap it but I am also interested in increasing the number of my hives so if this would be a good time to start a little nuc then that may be fun. I am always more interested in the survival of my hives over any kind of production and I love a challenge.

    I do not know if there are more cells in there yet but I am assuming that there is. What would you do?

    M

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    644

    Default Re: My girls have been busy

    I would make sure they have enough space and other than that, leave them alone. It sounds like a supercedure cell to me. Monitor for swarms, however, and if they swarm you gain another colony!

    Best regards,
    Matt

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Denver, CO, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: My girls have been busy

    Here's my 2cents. Splitting an already incohesive colony... I wouldn't do it.

    As a 2nd-yr beekeeper, I spend hrs everyday in the various forums trying to glean bits of knowledge here and there. (Sad, I know.) I've noticed a pattern of packages superceding the queen they were delivered with. They are not all sisters. She is not their mother. And the theory that they will bond/she will be accepted during transit seems to be a bunch of hooey.

    I came to this conclusion after our pkg rejected the queen 2 months after being hived. The girls let her stay until they felt they had enough nurse bees and viable eggs and used them to raise a queen of their choosing. The raising of a queen really bonds them together as a colony. I would let them finish what they started. (It may even be nothing. Queen cups are ofter present in hives, just in case.)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Mount Desert, Maine
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: My girls have been busy

    The mason jars that I have been using for feed inside the hives may be crowding them a little though I know that they have three bars left to draw onto next to the entrance but I will move it back a bit more when I fill it next to give them a bit more space.

    I will continue just to watch and learn. I will also have my third hive box ready to go in case they do decide that the best choice is to swarm. Thanks for any and all advice.

    M

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Kingsley, MI. USA
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: My girls have been busy

    Brodes,

    Your bees are not going to abscond or swarm. Supersedure of a package queen is so common that I have found that it is rare not to have a supersedure occur within 2 months of package installation. I agree with bbhb as for the possible reasons, although having a marked or clipped queen may play a part also, as might things that we don't even understand. I'm always happy to see her go, anyway. Good ridence to the "professionally bred" queen. Your new queen will perform better and your bees will be more variant, interesting and hardy. As for the feeders, it sounds like you may not need them anymore. If the weather is such in your area that the bees have been able to forage daily or almost daily, I would remove the feeders. Your bees may actually become more productive once they are encouraged to forage for themselves.

    Regards,

    Chris Harvey--Teakwood Organics

    www.thewarrestore.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Dalkeith, Ont, Canada
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: My girls have been busy

    I agree with beez2010, just make sure they have some capped food before removing your feeder, in case of some kind of dearth, rain cold ect. Often they wont even bother with the feeders if they can get the real thing
    My blog @ Bee Crazy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Mount Desert, Maine
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: My girls have been busy

    Thanks everyone, I feel better now. I was waiting for them to wean themselves off of the sugar and they seem to be working their way to that point. It is supposed to be warm and sunny for the next several days so perhaps its time.

    M

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Mount Desert, Maine
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: My girls have been busy

    So no egg in the queen cell but I can see why they are thinking about it. They are fullly 20-30% behind the other hive in brood production. I removed the mason jars since it looked like they were barely touching them and there seemed to be capped honey at the top of every comb. I'll see what the next week brings.

    M

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    seattle, wa
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: My girls have been busy

    Hi- I was following your process here and wondering...what came of your queen cells? It was about a week ago since your last post. Just curious b/c I am thinking you are just a step or two ahead of me! Thanks!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Mount Desert, Maine
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: My girls have been busy

    Oh it looks like they just felt like having it around. It hasn't really grown in size since my last post but they still stick there heads in there as they are walking around so I don't know if there is is larva in there or not.
    The weather is supposed to be good here this weekend so if it isn't too windy I may take another look for larva but I may leave them alone as well.


    M

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Dalkeith, Ont, Canada
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: My girls have been busy

    I have a queen "cup" on one of my bars as well but this just means they have a spot picked out for when they want to raise a new queen, it isn't uncommon to see several of these, it looks like an upside-down tea cup.
    My blog @ Bee Crazy

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    seattle, wa
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: My girls have been busy

    Thanks for keeping me posted...I will keep my eye on your girls!

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