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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Watauga, North Carolina, USA
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    Default Is this aggression towards a caged queen?

    So I've had some robbing of my main queenright hive because of feeding my late splits, and I had a queen in a cage on the top bars of a different hive during it all.

    So it's been four days since I put her in there. I haven't done anything since I tried to feed with Honey Bee Healthy in the feed, and like I said, set off robbing.

    I'll post a video of the reaction when it uploads.

    Meanwhilte, pics. When I first opened the cover:

    A few minutes later:


    Is this aggression? What can I do to help her be accepted, if anything? I have a robbing screen on the hive with the bottom door up.
    4.5 hives of Italians. 2 seasons of experience. And you-- yes, you! You're my mentor!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, U.S.A.
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    Default Re: Is this aggression towards a caged queen?

    ok so they were on the cage when you opened it and then a few minutes later they were all over it thick ....but this is after the four days right?
    If so I would not say it was agression so much as them protecting her....it is a queenless hive correct?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Tulsa, OK
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    81

    Default Re: Is this aggression towards a caged queen?

    This is a link to a Mike Palmer video "Mike Palmer Queenless Test". Very informative.
    http://vimeo.com/21327364

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is this aggression towards a caged queen?

    That video is very informative! This may not be aggression, after all. That wing fluttering happened when I opened the box and then they all moved towards the queen. I think I may see some bees doing the nasonov dance there, too. Maybe...

    This hive should be queenless. When I made the split I removed all questionable comb that could contain queen cells. I gave them a frame of really old larva and capped bees, and I may need to check that frame to make sure they didn't try a desperate supersedure.

    Well, anyways, I won't act on this until someone watches this video and tells me what they think. The bees were not stuck on the cage excessively, and didn't come off stinging. You may want to hike up the pixels to 720p HD if your internet connection can take it:
    4.5 hives of Italians. 2 seasons of experience. And you-- yes, you! You're my mentor!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is this aggression towards a caged queen?

    my opinion is they are simply greeting her and it is not agression

  6. #6
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    Oct 2010
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    Troy, IL
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    139

    Default Re: Is this aggression towards a caged queen?

    In the video, I don't see any behavior of the bees bending at the abdomen and attempting to try to sting the caged queen. In my limited experience, I would agree with the others.........looks like the girls are happy to see her!
    Please visit our Beekeeping Blog
    http://akhoneybees.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
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    Jul 2010
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    Default Re: Is this aggression towards a caged queen?

    I'm inclined to agree, and they still have the candy to eat through, so even if there is still some apprehension, hopefully that will be gone soon.

    So questions:
    If I open the cap tonight, should I:
    CHECK FOR
    1) Queen cells in the open brood I put in
    2) Queen cells on any of the frames?
    3) Assume there are no queen cells because I already checked last Wednesday and they look like they are queenless, according to the video above?

    FEED
    1) Feed 1:1 with no Honey Bee Healthy?
    2) Feed 1:1 and close the robbing screen, leaving only the secret entrance
    4) Feed all colonies plain sugar syrup, but only enough to last until tomorrow morning?
    3) Not feed?

    And finally, I leave this hive ALONE for at least 10 days after taking the cap off before checking for brood, right?

    Guys, thanks so much for your patience-- I won't create another thread for at least 10 days, and I'll only answer questions, if I can.
    4.5 hives of Italians. 2 seasons of experience. And you-- yes, you! You're my mentor!

  8. #8
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    May 2011
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    Default Re: Is this aggression towards a caged queen?

    I would look for queen cells just to be sure ...they could have one started

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Is this aggression towards a caged queen?

    Thanks so much, John!

    My plan of action is that tomorrow I will keep the queen in her shim on top of top bars, covered, while I quickly yet systemically go through the hive without smoke, pulling any frame that looks too suspicious and replacing it with foundation. Right now the split is 16 frames with only two foundationless for them to draw. I should be able to make more small cell starter strips for them to draw tonight.
    Then I'll pull her cap and be done with it for ten days.
    I'm deciding not to feed anyone again for a while, unless anyone has any good ideas to prevent robbing or thinks it's ultra necessary when I've given them so many frames of honey.
    In another few days, I'll restore Imirie shims to the tops of my larger hives and next Friday I will check to see if the queen in the robbed hive survived. My gut instinct says she's alive because I'm still being visited by their foragers. Since my other hive went queenless, I'm hardly ever visited by them anymore.
    4.5 hives of Italians. 2 seasons of experience. And you-- yes, you! You're my mentor!

  10. #10
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    May 2011
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    Default Re: Is this aggression towards a caged queen?

    is this a mated queen ....if she is and you want her to start laying I would feed just a bit every day but not enough to store ..that way they will think a flow is still on and she will lay better maybe ...might need to get some one elses opinion on that one though.Im feeding since southeast mo.'s flow is pretty much done for the year other than a bit in the fall and I still need mine to build up brood and bees for that...I have almost enough capped syurp/honey to go through winter but this year no risks are going to be taken on it.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Is this aggression towards a caged queen?

    Yes, she's a mated queen that had been banked in a nuc.

    Your logic is sound, and that's why I had thought about doing. Just giving them about a third of a gallon around sunset every night so that it's all gone by morning. That way, even if my other hives got the idea to rob, they'd have an awful hard time navigating to manage it.

    Thanks again. Sometimes you just need a second opinion, and you've been beyond awesome! I felt like I was flopping around like a fish on a pier today hoping for someone to give me a bit of advice!
    4.5 hives of Italians. 2 seasons of experience. And you-- yes, you! You're my mentor!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    New Bedford, Ma
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    Default Re: Is this aggression towards a caged queen?

    If it were me I would open the hive get a close look at what the bees on the cage are doing. If they are sticking there tongue's into the cage. They have probably accepted her. You can direct release her into the hive instead of waiting for them to eat candy. You can look for queen cells if you want but your queen will kill them ASAP anyway so they wouldn't matter. Your plan for feeding sounds like a good one.

  13. #13
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Is this aggression towards a caged queen?

    Gently try to brush the bees aside with your finger. Are they clinging and trying to sting the cage, or do they just move? If they are easy to move they are not aggressive.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
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    Oct 2010
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    Benton, Arkansas, USA
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    Default Re: Is this aggression towards a caged queen?

    Great info!! Kazzandra what method of feeding are u using?

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Is this aggression towards a caged queen?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Gently try to brush the bees aside with your finger. Are they clinging and trying to sting the cage, or do they just move? If they are easy to move they are not aggressive.
    Yes, even yesterday, they were easy to move off the cage. You can see me doing so in the video. They hardly even cling to the glove afterward.

    You'll never believe this-- I wish I would have gotten pictures, but they had used very large, c-shaped, just-about-to-be-capped larva and made six new queen cells and capped them. I denuded this split of queen cells Wednesday and these (and the workers from which they came) are now capped. There were big larva inside in royal jelly! I thought they couldn't use larva older than three days! These were easily six days old when I put them in. Now that's desperation!

    But they were even more accepting and crazy about her today-- they were fanning and dancing all over the place. I pulled the cork, but I wasn't brave enough to direct release. I just got back from splitting a half gallon of 1:1 with Vitagreen in it between all three colonies. When my queenright, four box colony was robbed, I had put in half Honey Bee Healthy to half Vitagreen. I learned that in robbing season, HBH is a no-no... It will be dark before anyone finds the Vitagreen feed. I'll go down there around 9 AM tomorrow and check on how much feed they've ate and make sure no other bees have found the feed.

    The queenless hive with capped queen cells last Monday is bearding on the front porch and clinging so tightly to the screened inner cover of the hive that I couldn't hardly see in there. Do you think that means we have some hatching? XD
    4.5 hives of Italians. 2 seasons of experience. And you-- yes, you! You're my mentor!

  16. #16
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    Apr 2011
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    New Bedford, Ma
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    Default Re: Is this aggression towards a caged queen?

    Its likely the cells made with six day old larva will be torn down. They will try out of desperation to become queen right!! I'm not sure about the hatching thing but bearding can just because it was way too hot in the hive so they put the AC on! Not brave enough to direct release huh!! If they don't want her they will kill her either way I think playing it safe in this case is just setting them back a few more days.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Is this aggression towards a caged queen?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottyd View Post
    Not brave enough to direct release huh!! If they don't want her they will kill her either way I think playing it safe in this case is just setting them back a few more days.
    I would think the extra time it would take them to chew through the candy would give her pheromone more time to work on them. I thought that was the point of the candy? Anyway, I manually tore down the old larva queen cells, so she won't have to worry about that. I would think that would, again, increase chances of acceptance-- they have nothing of their own genetics to replace her with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottyd View Post
    I'm not sure about the hatching thing but bearding can just because it was way too hot in the hive so they put the AC on!
    That and they really don't have anything to do, what with no brood to feed. And I got a peek in the split today and queen cells had been torn down and slashed. I say a "peek," because this was when a hundred angry bees came boiling into the air. I didn't want to smoke them and interfere with whatever was going on. I paid the price for that. More bearding tonight, and again with the tons of bees in the hive-top-feeder, too, but I just remembered that I accidentally left the IBM screens on the bottom after mite counts.

    I have higher-than-I-would like mite counts (40 after three days) because of the previous queen being a drone layer. And when I read of people with mite counts of five, I wonder if they put enough 'sticky' on the board. My Vaseline has rosemary oil in it, for extra varroa killing power. XD

    By the way, the feeding-at-night things seems to work great-- I checked my hives this morning-- no signs of robbing or syrup left. I'm going to feed every night for this week to stimulate a flow so that the girls think the caged queen brought it on and that they need her!

    So in ten days, anyway, I'll check to see if I see eggs or a balled queen...
    4.5 hives of Italians. 2 seasons of experience. And you-- yes, you! You're my mentor!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, U.S.A.
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    Default Re: Is this aggression towards a caged queen?

    good work ....I think you have it under controll.The angry bees thing is most liky from the dearth ,mine are doing the same thing right now and they are pretty gentle.LOL I fed them and they quit.I usulay do feed them in the morning on the day I plan on working them just for that reason.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Is this aggression towards a caged queen?

    Well, I read that it would be okay to check to see if I needed to manual release in four days-- so...
    I checked with a smoker on stand-by, but there was no aggression and she was out. There were three bees inside the cage that I had to get out-- they looked like they were the attendants, but I couldn't be positive. Looked unusually coloured. There were originally 8 attendants in there, which seemed cramped. So that was 8 days after I had introduced her initially. 5 days in cage and 3 to release...
    Here's hoping I see eggs in my inspection next week. She has the room!

    Meanwhile, the non-queen right host colony is still cranky. Here's hoping their queen returns from nuptial flights soon and gets to laying!
    4.5 hives of Italians. 2 seasons of experience. And you-- yes, you! You're my mentor!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, U.S.A.
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    Default Re: Is this aggression towards a caged queen?

    good news ....my split that had a queen cell open appers to have a new queen ...I put new eggs and brood in On Sunday and they are not building new queen cells after 4 days so I am assuming it is queenright

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