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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Alabaster, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    165

    Default Post Cut-Out Advice

    I need to tap into the rich stores of wisdom out there.

    Yesterday, I cut out a hive from an old shed. I'm not sure I got the queen. In fact, I'm pretty sure I didn't. However, I did get 17 deep frames of brood, honey, pollen, some larvae & lots of bees. I don't know if the larvae is young enough for the bees to raise up a new queen.

    In 10 days I will be getting 2 packages of bees with queens.

    I was wondering if anyone had suggestions on a course of action to take.

    I think ideally, I would like to split the 2 deeps, introduce 2 new queens and have 2 new hives. However, I have been unable to secure 2 new queens.

    Do you think the colony will stay (not abscond) in the next 10 days until my packages arrive? If so, I could do a split then, and shake a package into each deep, introduce the queen and be a good bit ahead on my package hives.

    There is a possibility of getting a frame with some eggs/larvae from a friend nearby, but he has had problems in the past with disease (I think AFB, since he burned some of his equipment) and had a hive die over the winter (probably due to nosema). So, I'm not thrilled with this option.

    But if there are larvae in the comb that I cut out that could be used for a new queen, it would take longer for them to raise a new queen than it would for the packages to arrive.

    Unless I can get a new queen or two, does anyone have ideas on how they would proceed?

    I guess I could give it a few days and check for new queen cells and then decide. The bees were extremely quiet on the comb and the queen was a prolific layer from all the brood in the cutout. It would be great if I could keep those genetic characteristics.

    Thanks in advance for any insight.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Cookeville, TN
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Post Cut-Out Advice

    What makes you think you didn't get the queen? If it was me I would just wait and see what happens. One of two things will most likely happen, you'll find the queen or see new eggs being layed or they'll requeen it for you. After 4-5 days if you dont see either of those two things I would start looking for a new queen or a frame of brood.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    608

    Default Re: Post Cut-Out Advice

    Greg

    I do a lot of cutouts here and one thing I have learnt is to never assume you didn't get the queen. I have had new queens killed by cutout colonies on several occasions because I 'thought" they were queenless. For me one of the best things about doing cutouts is the ability to carry on that line of genetics. They could have been in that shed for several years. Those are the bees I prefer. I always wait a week to 10 days before I do anything with a cutout. They need to re-adjust, get things organized and clean up that mess as a result of the cutout. Often times the queen won't lay for a week until things settle down again. After they are undisturbed for a week go in and inspect them. More often than not your either going to find fresh eggs or queen cells being built. Once you introduce a new queen your genetics from that colony are history.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    706

    Default Re: Post Cut-Out Advice

    I think I would go with your last option, you said- "I guess I could give it a few days and check for new queen cells and then decide." More damage and hardship can come from wanting to help them sooo badly, it kills them! Give them several day alone to work it out, then think of possible solutions if need be.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Bryan, TX
    Posts
    115

    Default Re: Post Cut-Out Advice

    I did my first cut-out a couple of weeks ago. I was unsure about getting the queen as well because I did not "see" her when I moved the bees. i did see "signs" of her being in the box by the other bees behavior (e.g., fanning sent at the entrance, bees entering if dumped in front of the hive). I too WAITED a week before I opened the nuc they were in. Sure enough, there she was on a frame of brood.

    Wait a week or so and then check again. You might be surprised that you do have her.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Alabaster, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    165

    Default Re: Post Cut-Out Advice

    Thanks for the advice. I will let you know how it turns out.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Alabaster, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    165

    Default Re: Post Cut-Out Advice

    Here's the update.

    The bees had secured the bottoms of the comb and some of the sides to the frames. I didn't see the queen, new eggs, young larvae, or queen cells.:/ In the cells where the brood has hatched it looked like they were bringing in nectar or moving nectar from the feeder. Everything looked disorganized to me. I was expecting to see more comb being built to fill in the gaps.


    It has me leaning toward splitting the 2 deeps next week when the packages come and giving the packages a bit of a head start. If it comes to that, what are your thoughts on how well that might go? Should I expect all the bees to get along fairly well since the cutout bees would have been queenless for about 11 days by then?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    797

    Default Re: Post Cut-Out Advice

    You being in Alabama if you got all of the brood then you did have some eggs in there most likely or they could have just swarmed. If so you may have brought a virgin queen back. From what it looks like your original post was only about 3 days ago or so. I would seriously wait. I did a cut-out to get my start in beekeeping and I know I "didn't" get the queen because I found her on the porch about dead. I put her on top of the top bars to see if something would happen. Well In about a week I saw 2 q-cells. It took about a month for things to get worked out. The bees were fine. From the brood that I got from the original cut-out they were able to keep their numbers up until the rest was worked out. Just my personal thoughts. . . I'd leave them bee for a week, then go in and look and see what they're up to. If they're aggressive then there's a good chance they're queenless if you dont' see any open brood at that point. If you do see any open brood after a week then most likely there's a queen in there somewhere. I did my second cut-out in August of this past summer and I didn't think I got the queen either, but there were eggs in the comb so I know she was there. I let them do their thing (fanning at the entrance etc) and made sure there were no bees left in the original cavity and after a week to my great relief, I found the queen. They've been doing well ever sense and are looking great for this year.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Dripping Springs, TX USA
    Posts
    299

    Default Re: Post Cut-Out Advice

    I most always go back early the next day and get the remaining bees. If the queen got away during the cut-out, she'll return to the cut-out area, gather any remaining bees, and send scout bees out looking for another location to move to.

    Try "harvey's honey florida" (in our BeeSource forums) for some new queens. I just got some really nice ones from him!!!

    Also, I use a queen excluder to help trap her inside the hive so she isn't as likely to swarm away even though she may or may not be a little heavy.

    Wait about 2 weeks, look for the possibility of a laying worker, IE multiple eggs in cells.

    Good luck!!!

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