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  1. #1
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    Default hot queenless hive questions

    I did a difficult thing today—I had to kill a queen. This hive has been hot since spring of last year. It got worse through the summer and then after fall harvest it settled down some. The other day I was out there and it’s getting too hot again, plus other things I noticed that were not good. Very runny on the frames, and the brood build out was edge to edge on the frames. All signs of Africanized. These hives are too close to homes for me to feel comfortable leaving it. I went out today, found the queen and put her in a container of rubbing alcohol. Michael Bush said it’s the quickest way to kill them and it’s true, she seemed to die immediately.

    The hive is a 10 frame deep all seems full of bees. I wanted to do this before the queen started laying drone, as the build up has started here. There’s 3 frames full of brood with some brood on 2 other frames. Nectar and pollen on the other frames.

    My question—I have another hive the same size, one deep full, and I’d like to combine the now queenless hive to this one with newspaper or doubled mesh screen to one of the same size that then I would have a decent size hive. I messed quite awhile in the original hive as I found and lost the queen twice before I finally got her, and the colony was pretty worked up by the time I was done. Probably a bit traumatized. I thought it might be better to put the queenright box on top of queenless, rather than move the queenless hive. The queenright hive is about 30 feet away, within feet of other hives so I hope returning foragers will drift to other hives.

    Or should I take queenless and put that on top of queenright? Either way I will need to put an empty deep on top and move frame by frame as both hives I believe are connected to bb with plates and screws.
    Do I use a wedge at the lid to give the top box access in and out?

    Do I combine at all as one was hot/Africanized?

    I want to use the dead queen as a swarm lure. How do I do that, what prep, and do I still use Lgo?
    Thanks.
    Beverly
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  2. #2
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    Jan 2013
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    Fayetteville, WV
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    Default Re: hot queenless hive questions

    If it were me and I could get access to a fresh queen, I would just requeen the "mean" hive. Yes the bees that are already there have the temperment handed down from the old queen but all the new laid eggs will have the traits of the new queen and future generations will be much easier to deal with. Since you have already killed the old queen, and the hive is queenless there should be a pretty good acceptance of a new queen, but I would leave her caged for at least three days anyway. But if you want to go ahead with the newspaper method, I have heard the weaker colony should go on top, but it sounds as though both of yours were still producing well, so I would assume it doesn't matter which goes on top. Since it doesn't matter, I would agree with you it would be best to move the one that the worker bees have a better chance of drifting into other colonies. Like I said before with a new queen, once combined the mean bees will eventually die out leaving the offspring of the desirable queen, so I don't see a problem combining the two.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: hot queenless hive questions

    Remember they will have started queen cells by now, regardless of how you combine, you will need to deal with them. Otherwise you will likely have a virgin kill the queen of the hive you combine with.

    It doesn't really matter if you have a top entrance or not when you combine, as long as they have adequate ventilation (which usually means you need a top entrance )

    Matthew Davey

  4. #4
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    Default Re: hot queenless hive questions

    I'd split em down to three 3 framers in 5 frame boxes then get three queens from somewhere or graft from the nice one.

    Some of the meaner ones I've had. As soon as they get a queen they are happy with. They will be a lot nicer. Even if they are not her offspring.
    Don't laugh it's paid for. -- Manure draws more flies than honey.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: hot queenless hive questions

    Why laughing? It's a law of nature that showed the bees.
    Hi all..I am Emdad.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: hot queenless hive questions

    Quote Originally Posted by MattDavey View Post
    Remember they will have started queen cells by now, regardless of how you combine, you will need to deal with them. Otherwise you will likely have a virgin kill the queen of the hive you combine with.



    Matthew Davey
    After reading this I decided to put the queenless hive on top the queenright and I will check in 10 days or so for queen cells, remove if there are any.

    I didn't try too hard to find a queen. I like the idea of boosting the colony because I heard our orange blossom run is starting a month early. I will possibly split after that.
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  7. #7
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    Dec 2012
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    Polk Co, Oregon, USA
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    Default Re: hot queenless hive questions

    I know its too late but would it have been a good option to cage your queen in your other hive and intro her into the mean hive. Then the one you took her from would make a new queen. Presumably there would be drones available by the time she was ready to fly?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: hot queenless hive questions

    10 days from now will be too late. The bees make queens from larvae that are already at day 5 of the 16 day process.

    You need to check before 10 days from when they were made queenless.

    Matthew Davey

  9. #9
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    Alabaster, Alabama, USA
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    Default Re: hot queenless hive questions

    Or you could have left them alone for a week. Then gone in and killed all the queen cells that they would have made. Then give them a frame of eggs from your other hive for them to raise another queen.

  10. #10
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: hot queenless hive questions

    Bottom line is you have queen cells in that mean colony that are in day six. Ten days from now they will emerge or have emerged the day before. Make your check for cells a week or eight days if you want to end that genetic line.

  11. #11
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    Nov 2012
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    Davie, Florida, USA
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    Default Re: hot queenless hive questions

    Bevy...In my inexperienced opinion, even with a hot queen, why declare they are Africanized? Do you have something to support the frame to frame build out of brood to determine Africanization? I am not questioning you in the least, but truly, having seen some of the same happenings myself (and in your basic geographical area) and truly curious as to what backs these theories up. I have always been proud of my fastidious queen. Anything you have to back this up would be appreciated so I know what to look for.

    I can't help you on your re-stack questions...I would have split them into two or three at this time of year here, and either re-queened, or let them queen themselves. Again, that is just my inexperienced opinion.

    Hope it all works out for you! Looking forward to your input, too! Thanks!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: hot queenless hive questions

    Miami, I went to the Bee College last March including the Master Beekeeper program the day before the College up at St Augustine. I took workshops they had on Africanized bees because I sometimes do removals/cutouts, bait boxes, and I am not a fan of buying queens (not that I don't buy queens, I do if I need to). I took a class that's given for pest control operators, up until the part where they talked about the chemical extermination of AHB.

    From what I learned there, and as I have the comparison of my other hives, this particular hive has consistently been quite aggresive on days when the others are fine. Their flight even in and out of the hive is different--nervous, faster. I do anything around the hives and there's a bunch of guards out and buzzing me and on me. One time they scared me pretty bad by literally pouring out of the entrance, angry! We left quickly. I was pulling weeds and had help with me. I had not opened the hive. I split it after that and for a while it was ok.

    The most common thing I heard in the classes and what I read from the Fl University article on Africanized bees is about the kick test. I check entrances at all removal and trapouts and this seems to be my best indication. How do they react when you knock or kick at their front door? Inside the hive, as you pull frames do they consistently (not just one visit) run all over the frame, nervous, as you're checking them? Brood pattern--most my hives building out now have an outside ring of pollen/nectar/capped honey with brood in the center of the frame. This one had edge to edge brood on almost 3 frames. I've had the entrance reduced to a few bees mostly for protection of people than of the bees.

    I agree that I would rather just let them be and handle accordingly, but my hives are near homes. They are in the country but in an area where there are a few houses, and just the other day I watched 2 teenagers messing around at the pond that adjoins my apiary. Why I decided to do it now is because I know there will be drone cells very soon, and I don't want her traits in other hives via the drones. And seeing those kids so near my hives was the clincher.

    I kept the queen to use for a bait box. Last year I got 4 swarms in spring, 1 in fall. I will have more boxes out this year. I now have 17 hives and want to keep it at 20. I will use the queen in the 10 frame hive I'm going to put out soon--or the alcohol that she's soaking in, if that's all I need to do.

    I'm still a new beekeeper. I'm starting my 4th year. I read read read and there's always more to learn. In this case I was listening to the bees.
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  13. #13
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    Nov 2012
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    Default Re: hot queenless hive questions

    Bevy's Bees...Say NO more than listening to the bees!! I GOT it! Was most curious to the frame to frame brood, which I see in a couple of my hives, both of which have not been aggressive. You must trust instincts...and as you say, "listen to the bees". I was told that by Iddee on Beekeepingforums. "THE BEES WILL TALK TO YOU. LISTEN TO WHAT THEY SAY." You've done great! And again, anything that backs up the frame to frame brood? I have never experienced runny bees, but have seen frame to frame brood. Thanks!!! Great job pinching...she will bring you a swarm or two...sorry it came to that.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: hot queenless hive questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Bees In Miami View Post
    And again, anything that backs up the frame to frame brood? I have never experienced runny bees, but have seen frame to frame brood. Thanks!!! .
    I haven't found anything yet, my sources may have been speakers. I don't think that it's the frame to frame brood alone, but just an indication along with the other symptoms.

    Had I thought ahead, I could have sent in a sample of bees, I think they ask for 100, to the UF IFAS extention for analysis.

    Last year my inspector taught me a bit about africanized bees. He said it's "africanized traits" vs full blown africanized colony. I had a few like that. He showed me the nervous, runny on frames colonies I had. He told me that as these colonies cycle on, they become more and more africanized, then talked about the nearness of the homes and live stock and the danger to them. That's all it took, I really watch them now and will do what I need to keep them gentle. This time I didn't get a new queen to requeen. I won't always do it that way.

    In my search for documentation on this, I found the most wonderful site! An online library of beekeeping textbooks:

    http://bees.library.cornell.edu/b/bees/browse/a.html

    I think I will start a thread to share this site--I had never seen it before.
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  15. #15
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    Default Re: hot queenless hive questions

    Matt and Vance, I will go this weekend, thank you!
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  16. #16
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    Default Re: hot queenless hive questions

    Quote Originally Posted by MattDavey View Post
    10 days from now will be too late. The bees make queens from larvae that are already at day 5 of the 16 day process.
    And that's exactly what they did. I put the queenless hive on top and on Monday the 11th went through frame by frame, found one supercedure queen cell. I took that frame and one other with nectar and put those 2 into a 4 frame nuk box. I brought it home and it's on a stand right outside my back patio door. If she's truly africanized she would emerge before the 16 days, that's what I've read. My plan is to let her mate and then use her for queen juice. Does that sound cruel? Either way I was going to have to eliminate her.

    So why do queen distributors say to wait 24-48 hrs before introducing new queen in requeening hives?
    Ideally, remove queen and requeen immediately with queen in cage?
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  17. #17
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    Default Re: hot queenless hive questions

    >If she's truly africanized she would emerge before the 16 days

    If you make them queenless they will start with a four day old larvae (four days from when the egg was laid) and that means that, with EHB, you will have a queen emerging 12 days later. With Africanized bees it could be 10 in hot weather but probably 11 in normal weather.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #18
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    Default Re: hot queenless hive questions

    Your method sounds reasonable to me, bevy's honeybees. It would be nice if the queen that you intend to keep was marked before you combined, but you should be able to tell if you have a laying queen or a new queen if you check them before a queen could emerge, mate and begin laying.

    To my way of thinking, if a hive is hotter than I'd care to work, requeening is in order. I'd be less concerned about whether or not they are Africanized as I would be about their overall temperament.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: hot queenless hive questions

    Quite frankly I think they know they are queenless in the first hour or so.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  20. #20
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    Default Re: hot queenless hive questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieck View Post
    Your method sounds reasonable to me, bevy's honeybees. It would be nice if the queen that you intend to keep was marked before you combined, but you should be able to tell if you have a laying queen or a new queen if you check them before a queen could emerge, mate and begin laying.

    To my way of thinking, if a hive is hotter than I'd care to work, requeening is in order. I'd be less concerned about whether or not they are Africanized as I would be about their overall temperament.
    The hive I combined into does have a marked queen. I saw her when I went and pulled those two frames, so I knew that I wasn't accidently pulling her out with the capped queen cell.

    Michael was correct--I went into the nuk just a few minutes ago. They were made queenless on 2/2/13. The queen cell is open and it looks like they may have been tearing it down. The cap itself was hanging as if someone had used a can opener and left the lid with an edge attached to the cell. There were bees all over it, and on the side of the cell it looked like they were tearing it down. The last few days have been cool for us, 70's in day, rained all day yesterday and overcast today until now.

    I may have seen the virgin queen. Are they about the size of a drone but not round like a drone? I will have to look up some pictures.

    I really don't mind hot hives that much. It's the nearby homes, the teens on the other side of the pond that I saw that one day, they are the reason I decided to do this.

    It's been educational for sure! Thanks everyone for your help!
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

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