Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Possibly Urgent Queen Help!

    Ok so I need some Warre help. I bought a 5 frame nuc of Carniolans about 15 days ago. I am trying to transition them down as I do not think a chop and crop would go well from nuc to warre. I had one full nuc and one the same size, but completely empty. I fashioned an adapter from a queen excluder to cover all of the exposed areas. I installed by taking each frame off and brushing the bees down then putting the frame in the empty nuc. I did this for every frame. I then put the queen excluder/adapter down and then the nuc on top.

    I checked in on them on May 19th. I couldn't tell if comb had been built down in the new box or not. Bees seemed plenty active with pollen coming in. I saw plenty of very young larvae and capped brood. No eggs. Took that as a good sign and called it a day.

    I check in on them again today and I saw these.

    http://imageshack.us/g/685/dscn1754c.jpg/

    They were a bit agitated, but it really wasn't good weather to do an inspection. Thunderstorms last night and rain again likely tonight. It is humid around 70 and cloudy. So I guess that could be all. They sounded a little louder than the bees in my TBH, but I have no idea what a queenless hive sounds like. In the nuc there was some scattered capped brood, but no larvae or eggs. Remember that there is a queen excluder underneath the nuc and hopefully the queen is in the Warre. There must have been around 4-5 queen cups (maybe cells? I don't know when the term changes). I didn't see any clear indication of there being a larvae in any of them, but I am not sure what this is.

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/848/dscn1762.jpg/

    It may just be a big drone cell and I hope it is. I thought it looked a bit big for a drone cell, but that is the only thing that looked capped. All of the other cells were open at the bottom. Most of them were in the middle of the comb except for one of the queen cups was at the bottom.

    After seeing that I was a bit bummed and checked on the Warre box underneath. The combs are all still a bit new and I tried to take one out to examine it, but didn't check the sides for attachments. It had one and had just started to tear when I saw. So I left that alone and didn't try to take any more out. I know that I saw capped worker brood on the top of most of the combs in the warre. I also know that they have build out at least three combs. Not completely to the bottom, but I used comb scraps from my TBH chop and crop as comb guides or sorts. So the center three had been build out whereas the outer combs look relatively unchanged. Either way I know I saw brood comb, but wasn't daring enough to try to remove the new combs after my almost disaster.

    So.....am I queenless? My gut tells me no. My gut tells me that these are just empty cups and the queen can't get to them to tear them down. My gut tells me that the one capped cell is just a bigger drone cell (sorry pics weren't good. It's hard to hold a frame one handed and take a picture. Forgot my stand). Is it possible the the nurse bees above aren't getting enough contact with the queen and are instinctively building cells from lack of pheromones?

    I think my next move is going to be finding a different way to make an adapter and remove the excluder and see what happens. Seeing the capped brood in the warre was a good sign. I just worry that as soon as I remove the queen excluder they will move back up into the nuc and I will be right back to where I started. I still have that extra nuc at my house. They have nonremovable bottoms and I just cut the bottom to much. So I think I can just cut a smaller hole and make it work without a complex adapter....anyways....thoughts???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,554

    Default Re: Possibly Urgent Queen Help!

    The cups may or may not have larvae in them. The big cell, is hard to tell as I don't know what orientation I'm looking at it from. Queen cells ALWAYS point down. That's where the opening is and when they close it off it looks like a peanut that is attached an the top and pointing down. Drone cells do not point down. They may be at some angle horizontally, but they don't point down.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,828

    Default Re: Possibly Urgent Queen Help!

    From what I think I understand of what you did, you now have a queen in the warre laying and the bees are drawing comb and all is well, is how it sounds to me. Above the excluder as the brood emerges are you going to remove the nuc? I think you should, the only thing leaving it there will do is they may fill it with honey for you as the brood ages and emerges if you are in a flow. What you see in it now, they might be making queens as the top nuc is now kind of a queenless section of the whole hive. Can't tell from the pics but I'm betting those are just cups that are empty, and they won't be used. You can be more concerned if you look into the cups and see a white larva growing, but it's common to find cups around on the combs of a healthy hive so I bet that's just what those are, empty cups that were there already.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Possibly Urgent Queen Help!

    I know the orientation is all funky. I was trying to hold the frame and take pictures at the same time. XD All of those cells were pointing down. The one that I suspect is a larger drone cell seemed to have a slight point that pointed down, but didn't seem quite big enough to be a queen cell.

    Ray, yes I am planning on removing the nuc when the brood emerges. Right now it's getting filled with nectar and pollen. Should I wait until it's capped honey?

    Also Should I leave the excluder on until I remove the nuc or should I take the excluder off now?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,828

    Default Re: Possibly Urgent Queen Help!

    Yea, you are in a flow and they are filling the nuc with nectar as the brood emerges. You can wait and let them cap the honey in the nuc then pull it off and extract the honey. If leaving the nuc on for capped honey, I would keep the excluder on it until you remove the nuc and extract. You don't really want the queen up there in it, you want her down below in the warre, and it obviously is not hampering them moving nectar up into the nuc.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Possibly Urgent Queen Help!

    So another possibly silly question. I don't have any equipment for extracting honey. I was planning on crushing/straining my honey. Hence the top bar hives (warre and kenya). What is a good way to get that honey out of the frame and into a container? Thanks for the help btw!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,828

    Default Re: Possibly Urgent Queen Help!

    Micheal Bush has excellent website for information and this is a link to a page of his for harvesting honey with crush and strain.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesharvest.htm
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Possibly Urgent Queen Help!

    Will that work with a lang frame with foundation and wires?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,828

    Default Re: Possibly Urgent Queen Help!

    Yes, you just have to cut the comb out of the frame and wired and crush and strain it. A bread knife works pretty good for cutting the comb out.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads