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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default A hive Post-swarm

    Tried an experiment with a hive I have at a farm, to see if bees would fill the cavity or swarm as soon as they had a compete brood nest.

    The hive was an old 8 frame box. When I put on the next brood box it was about 3 weeks before swarm season. I only moved one frame up into the second box. the new frames were foundationless except for a small strip of foundation alone the top as a guide.

    The owner told me he thought they had swarmed on Thursday 6th after a few days of bad weather. So I went and checked them today, the 10th.

    The bees built comb in the frame where the previous one was, but the one moved up was abandoned and resources moved once brood had emerged. There was only a small patch of foundation on the frames next to it that had be started to be drawn out.

    Found 8 queen cells, all along the bottom or the very edge of the frames and the old queen gone. But I could hear a queen piping and it wasn't from the queen cells. I found this virgin queen after following the sound. So I started cutting out the queen cells. The first one was made of new wax, was open and it just broke apart. I was able to cut the rest out. I then found another virgin queen wandering around! I then noticed that one of the cells was open that I thought had be closed when I first separated the frames with queen cells.

    Since there was only capped brood, no eggs or larvae, the main flow is on, and good weather forecast for the next few days I decided to checkboard the two boxes to encourage wax building. I thought that this should also discourage any further swarms. The only pests in this area are wax moth.

    As I was finishing putting the hive back, another virgin queen flew back to the entrance and wandered around. I managed to get a few photos of her.

    When I looked the the queen cells I found two were open (the third was squished), they still had the cap on them like it was hinged. (But they soon broke of with the heat.)


    The first two photos are of the each of the two queens I found on frames (sorry the second one is not real clear)

    The third is the queen at the entrance.

    The fourth photo is the seven remaining queen cells. Notice they are mostly old recycled wax.









    Matthew Davey

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Aguadilla - puerto rico
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: A hive Post-swarm

    must it been a fun day for you that day ,nice photo shots of the queens and the queens cells

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,256

    Default Re: A hive Post-swarm

    very cool pix matt, thanks!
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland. U.S.A.
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: A hive Post-swarm

    I would be curious to know what happens if you nadir ? Cut bottom frames to 1"w and raise ? Nice pics !

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: A hive Post-swarm

    Quote Originally Posted by Maryland Beekeeper View Post
    I would be curious to know what happens if you nadir ? Cut bottom frames to 1"w and raise ? Nice pics !
    Not sure what you mean. Are you talking about put a new box underneath instead?

    Matthew Davey

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: A hive Post-swarm

    Checked this hive today.

    They have a laying queen but it is not any of the queens in the photos above!
    This one is solid orange. The ones in the photos above all had a black tip.

    Numbers were a lot less than I had expected, but then I found two more queen cells, both emerged. They were in a hole right in the centre of a frame, both hanging straight down inside the middle of the comb. With only a small gap around them. No wonder I didn't seen them!

    So it looks like they swarmed again.

    So alternating the frames made no difference. They have only drawn out two new frames, only the rear 2/3 of both. These are the ones closest to the entrance. The cluster now only covers the rear 2/3 of five frames, and have very little nectar and honey.

    Matthew Davey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,442

    Default Re: A hive Post-swarm

    Nice looking queens.

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