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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Brookfield, CT
    Posts
    35

    Default Another Queen? Gezzzz

    Quick history:
    2 weeks after I installed my package I still had no eggs or larva, so I requeened. That went well and within a couple weeks I had capped brood. Doing a quick inspection yesterday on that hive, I noticed 3 capped queen cells, they looked awesome never seeing one except in pictures, and one uncapped QC. It was a bit late in the evening (not much light) so finding eggs, for me was impossible, but I did see some larva. I am assuming something happened to the new queen or the other bees didnít like the way she was producing. I just left everything the way it was, allowing the bees to do their thing. Plenty of room in the deep.
    Was this the correct move? Is losing two queens within a month common?
    My second hive is doing ok, brood and pollen. Not much capped honey. I thought I would be on my second deep by now, but only half of the frames are drawn. This is some adventure

    Rob

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,032

    Default Re: Another Queen? Gezzzz

    Rob, packages are an abnormal situation in the goings on of a hive. It's like a swarm but not really. It's an artificial condition.

    That being said, here is what I think happened given my limited familiarity with your hive. I would estimate that there was in fact something wrong with the original queen and so you replaced her. Now the bees are superseding the new queen either because there is something wrong with her or because the natural way of things is that queens that recently swarmed are often replaced a few weeks after the event. And in this case, a package represents a swarm.

    My advice: Leave it alone. You don't know why it's happening but the bees do. You have fresh comb so these cells should be well formed and should produce good quality queens. If the hive were doing better, you might try splitting, but it doesn't seem that this hive has built up a whole lot yet.

    In beekeeping, there are only a few situations where doing nothing will make the situation worse.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Brookfield, CT
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Another Queen? Gezzzz

    Thanks Solomon Parker,
    I figured there was some logical/Illogical reason. I’ll let nature take its course
    BTW, enjoyed your website.
    Rob

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,032

    Default Re: Another Queen? Gezzzz

    It is my pleasure. If you have any suggestions for topics or questions that need answering, don't hesitate to ask.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Trumbull, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Another Queen? Gezzzz

    Hi all, this thread is pretty new so I hope I may post here... my situation also has to do with a new QC. Hive's at my in-laws house, they love the bees so I moved it down there beginning of May as I had some more packages coming this Spring. Yesterday they described what sounded like a swarm to me, no bee ball visible in tree, just a crap load of bees flying around in circles by a tree about 20 feet from the hive. This happened a few days ago.
    I did inspection today, last time I looked was 2 weeks ago and I did not see anything, but did not pull every frame, maybe half and looked around between frames. I still worry about rolling the queen when I pull each frame, so basically try and observe brood and eggs to confirm all is OK. Hive has 2 boxes and it had a honey super... they seemed to be doing well. Second frame pulled in first box had a QC, hanging close to the middle of the frame not on bottom, with 2, (I assume) nurses shaking around on it vibrating their wings weirdly. Still lots of bees in hive, so if original swarm a few days back took some bees with it, it seems a lot still remain. I am looking for some guidance, I'm a 2nd year beek, hive in question was the only hive out of 2 that successfully overwintered from last year and I thought I had left plenty of room for them. Closed up the hive after finding the 1st QC to try to come up with a plan for tomorrow. It may be too late to split by now in CT? Maybe destroy all the QCs and requeen or maybe bait a couple of empty hives for the swarms which may be coming and hope for the best? Could use some advice, what would you guys do? If this matters... the bees were super docile today when I was in there, would hate to lose the hive... but understand it may have to run its course.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,025

    Default Re: Another Queen? Gezzzz

    Quote Originally Posted by gbeek View Post
    Closed up the hive after finding the 1st QC to try to come up with a plan for tomorrow.
    On your last inspection, did you see eggs and open brood? If not, then what your in-laws saw may have been a swarm. Otherwise it may have just been orientation flights. If it was a swarm, then it doesn't make sense to split the colony or destroy queen cells. On the other hand, the QC you described sounds like a supersedure cell. Usually there are many swarm cells, just one or two supersedure cells. I'd probably just let them be an see what happens. Lastly, if you're wanting to make a split, it's not too late.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Trumbull, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Another Queen? Gezzzz

    Quote Originally Posted by indypartridge View Post
    On your last inspection, did you see eggs and open brood?
    Thanks indy, I appreciate it. Leaning toward doing nothing.

    Yes, eggs and brood 2 weeks ago. And yesterday there was still capped brood on other frames.

    Got freaked after seeing a QC on only the 2nd frame pulled out of 20 frames, and assumed that there would surely be many more cells spread through the hive. Do you think the placement of the cell on the middle of frame may be a strong enough indication that its a supersedure, or should a thorough inspection be done to check the total # of QCs? Or does that even matter at this point? Thinking it might not be the best time to bother them if they are in the middle of working out some bee stuff.

    As far as orientation flights vs. a swarm a few days back, maybe, but they were not in front of the hive. More off to the side on other side of backyard. From what I have observed in my brief experience last year, the orientation flights seemed to be more above hive entrance and above front of the hive.

    Was also watching the traffic at entrance, and it may be a little slow, at least compared to my newer packages which are about 2 months in. They're bringing plenty of pollen though. I had read that if they swarm, old queen may take 50% or more of bees with them. Do you think I would have noticed an obvious drop in #s if they did swarm a few days back?

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