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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    greer south carolina USA
    Posts
    141

    Default 1 laying queen 60 bees

    I did some late splits. October and November I fed them all winter so far. lost some but less than 10 percent. l opened a hive last week and there were as many shb as bees. l killed as many as l could but when l opened them today l expected a dead out. to my surprise l found capped brood and open brood. l took tweezers and killed every beetle l could find, this queen does not quit. it from Michael Palmer queen will update

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    412

    Default Re: 1 laying queen 60 bees

    Hand killing the beetles is instinctual They are so annoying. I usually smash them which doesn't work out so well on wax foundation. Tweezers sounds like a good idea I will have to try that. Glad your bees are still going. I think we are coming up on the home stretch toward an early spring at least I hope.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    863

    Default Re: 1 laying queen 60 bees

    Tweezers work real good on shb, especially the ones that go into the comb.
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    600

    Default Re: 1 laying queen 60 bees

    Perhaps transfer them to a nuc and hose the box down?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Roseville, CA
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: 1 laying queen 60 bees

    Virginia Wolf -

    Will that soothsayer Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow this year?

    Also, I hope your bees are not as temperamental as poor Virginia was......

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,486

    Default Re: 1 laying queen 60 bees

    Over wintered nucs can surprise you. I have saw a 1 1/2 frames of bees in Jan. become large hives by mid March.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    greer south carolina USA
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: 1 laying queen 60 bees

    well Mrs 60 bee queen died off in early February. yesterday l found a queen with less than 50 bees. l moved them into my basement today. lt is warm there and l put a screen under them and l will keep them penned in for a few days then maybe l will give them a frame of brood. we will see

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    740

    Default Re: 1 laying queen 60 bees

    Seamus - Good luck with that tenacious little queen! I think I would shake some nurse bees, hold them queenless for 2 hours, and then newspaper combine them to help her out, in hopes of keeping her and her colony alive. Just a thought...your call all the way. Again, best of all possible luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    greer south carolina USA
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: 1 laying queen 60 bees

    So i looked in on the tiny hive. they were all hanging from a frame, all 30 of them, no movement. well l thought they did not make it! but when i breathed on them one of them twitched her wings! it was colder in my basement than outside so i took the frame with the queen on it and sat in the sun, it was in the low fifties. one by one they started moving, the queen especially. so l put them back in the box and brought them back to the bee yard. thinking they will not survive another night l decided to give them some brood. l opened my busiest 6 frame nuc and pulled out a frame on the outside, BROOD, 6 FRAMES OF IT! THE UPPER DEEP HAD HONEY IN IT! So l went though the hive to find the queen and the very next frame l pulled was wall to wall brood! half of it drone. At first l thought my mighty little nuc had gone drone layer but no, half of it was worker cells. the next frame was wall to wall with the queen on it so l am guessing that the rest was wall to wall except for the outside frame. l put the weak hive in the strong ones place and now l will have to wait and see if they accept the queen, if not there will be some queen cells l hope. there will be plenty of drones to mate only problem it will be their sister, but that has been done on this street, we have a very close family nearby and l am not talking a bee family! has anyone in South Carolina ever heard of a swarm in early March? with that many drones these girls are predicting an early spring!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    740

    Default Re: 1 laying queen 60 bees

    Seamus - Your post #7 was not up yet when I wrote post #8. Sorry about the lost queen.

    I would NOT add brood to a tiny hive (not enough bees to keep the brood warm), but instead combine the tiny hive to a stronger one (better chance of survival) and feed it.

    If you intend to keep the tiny colony and queen separate, consider a double nuc sitting over a double screen board on top of a strong colony (strong enough to produce excess heat). They benefit from the heat and the "morale support" of the larger colony to keep going. Feed the tiny colonies by spraying sugar water into empty comb. I have covered brood and pollen with brown paper bags cut to fit while spraying brood comb with sugar water. 2 to 1 did not come out my sprayer very well, so I thinned until it did. Also consider insulating the hives if you don't already, as the tiny colonies need it even in Southern latitudes.

    I would also make use of "hive dummies" - fake comb frames that are really just empty wooden boxes the shape of a frame - to take up excess dead air space in a very small nuc. This should help bring up survival rates, as their use results in much closer to an "ideal" amount of air space to heat and thus more efficient use of available food stores. Colonies that small - 50 to 60 bees - are probably best combined with a stronger colony (perhaps except for Russian bees, which somehow survive in extremely small numbers).

    I'm at a similar latitude out here on the Left Coast, and have had swarms take off in January. They are very UNlikely to mate with their own brothers!

    Again, Best of luck!
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 02-19-2013 at 12:21 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    greer south carolina USA
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: 1 laying queen 60 bees

    well the tiny hive queen made it! l opened it up and there was a ball of bees around her and she looked bigger. l found another weak queen and gave her some brood as well. we will see

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    740

    Default Re: 1 laying queen 60 bees

    Go girl, GO!

    Again, make up a double screen board, a double nuc box, and some hive dummies. Put them on top of a strong colony to keep them warm and motivated. Give her her best shot at surviving. You really WANT tough bees that don't quit to make it - great stock to breed from next year!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    greer south carolina USA
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: 1 laying queen 60 bees

    l just opened the hives with the queens that got down to less than 100 bees. One had a tennis ball sized patch of brood on 2 frames. Interesting how she lays the eggs on either side in the same spot. The other was running around like queens do but no brood yet. eggs maybe but l did not see them.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,280

    Default Re: 1 laying queen 60 bees

    When they get down that small , best to give adult bees. We will shake the bees off an inner cover into a spot created by pulling 2 frames out. Shake 2 or 3 inner covers from strong hives and then replace the frames that were pulled out. A little bit of syrup in the frame to help them unite. This assumong that the queen appears healthy and is young enough. Later on when you have say 3 good frames of bees you can switch positions with the very strong one on a day where thee is good flight. This will help the weak one and slow down the swarm impulse of the strong one.

    Jean-Marc

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    740

    Default Re: 1 laying queen 60 bees

    I agree with Jean-Marc, add adult bees. Even set a trap box out in their usual flight path in the late afternoon when adult forager bees are returning from their last flight, then leave them queenless for 2 hours and combine them directly or just newspaper combine them. Don't forget to switch the boxes back!

    BTW, one of those mini hose vacuum attachments really helps get rid of SHB's! Shwooooop! (Now, THAT'S what I call Beatles music!) Make sure the pickup nozzle is too small for bees, and you may want to get a valve to control how much vacuum you are applying. Good Luck!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    greer south carolina USA
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: 1 laying queen 60 bees

    l opened those 2 really weak hives that the queens nearly died. one has a patch of brood the size of the palm of your hand the other that got chilled has a smaller patch but is getting stronger. l have a reducer on each. no robbing yet

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    740

    Default Re: 1 laying queen 60 bees

    Flowers popping in Greer yet? Things are going 1/2 swing here - more flowers every day, not that much yet.

    Are they above a double screen board on top of a strong colony? What size chamber are they in... 5-frame nuc, 8-framer, full 10-frame box? Did you make up some hive dummies? Getting the air volume very close to optimal would be a big benefit - less energy making heat, more brood earlier. Gives them a chance to increase earlier if the nectar flow comes. When it does, add more adult bees, replace dummies with open comb + honey + pollen, still paying close attention to balancing air volume (as the nectar flow takes off, it gets intensive). If they are up to 8 frames by early summer flows, they'll probably make the year, so you can relax a bit on the intensive beekeeping.

    I would be ready to move the bees to the best nectar / pollen flows I could find after they are at 5 frames of bees. That could make all the difference. Move them at night, and don't pry the frames apart before you move the bees. Leave the propolis - they survive travel better that way.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 03-23-2013 at 12:19 AM.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    greer south carolina USA
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: 1 laying queen 60 bees

    opened up the two weakest hives with those struggling queens, l wanted to cry. one had a frame of wall to wall brood. but no go the cold and lack of honey did them in as well as all my early splits. gambled and lost lesson learned you cannot rush bees!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,863

    Default Re: 1 laying queen 60 bees

    How many of the "struggling queens" came from Mike Palmer? Everybody claims that Southern Queens do not do well in the North. May be it is a two lane road and Northern Queens also do not do well in the south? Or queens do equally well everywhere?
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Litchfield, CT, USA
    Posts
    414

    Default Re: 1 laying queen 60 bees

    Seamuswildflower,

    Holy cow this thread was like reading a tragedy. I was really pulling for you and your little nucs. Sorry to hear it didn't work out. Well at least you can say you gave it your all.
    "Someday we will look back and realize someone was right...and conveniently forget we were the ones that were wrong."

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