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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Plantsville, Ct.
    Posts
    176

    Default Dumb, Dumb, Dumb!!!

    When inspecting one of my queenless hives today I forgot to consult my notes first... Upon not finding any capped queen cells I promptly moved over a frame with 2 from a smaller hive that had 4 capped. Now they each have 2 I figured.
    Upon returning home and consulting my notebook I now see that this big hive had several capped cells on Sunday!!
    Seems like one has emerged, killed the others & the bees have already broken down the cells?? This hive has been queenless for 18 days now. Would they be this organized to clean up the hive so quickly?? This really threw me for a loop!! I may have just wasted 2 good capped queen cells!!!
    Also of interest I found 2 swarm cups that had eggs in them!! No other eggs in the entire hive. Weird. If I had a laying worker would they do that?? I have rotated in a frame of open brood to suppress that.
    If only I had looked at my notes first... I really disturbed that hive something fierce when going thru it. Hope I didn't lose her in the whole process...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Default Re: Dumb, Dumb, Dumb!!!

    >Seems like one has emerged, killed the others & the bees have already broken down the cells?? This hive has been queenless for 18 days now.

    Is it queenless or is there a virgin queen?

    > Would they be this organized to clean up the hive so quickly??

    Sometimes, but not usually.

    >This really threw me for a loop!! I may have just wasted 2 good capped queen cells!!!

    Wasted? They are cheap insurance...

    >Also of interest I found 2 swarm cups that had eggs in them!! No other eggs in the entire hive. Weird. If I had a laying worker would they do that??

    Yes, laying workers will lay in queen cups, but usually they lay several eggs in each cup. The bees often raise the larvae and even cap the queen cells with drone larvae in them.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,996

    Default Re: Dumb, Dumb, Dumb!!!

    As per MB you have not wasted the cells you've taken out insurance.

    In fact, sounds to me like the original queen cells were produced by the bees from eggs laid by a worker. The larvae in these cells are male and perish immediately after capping, and the bees tear them down quickly as there is no cocoon. If there was no other normal brood in the hive at the time, this is what happened.

    And agree with MB again, the eggs in the 2 queen cell cups you found were almost certainly male, from a laying worker.

    So putting the brood and other queen cells across was exactly the right thing to do.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #4

    Default Re: Dumb, Dumb, Dumb!!!

    See my ad in the freebie classifieds for a free sample record keeping tag that attaches to the outside of your queen mating nucs. It's called the "Burkes Ready-Date Calendar, and it utilizes push pin thumbtacks to identify the current status of the mating nuc with no need for writing. Most of my paper notes ended up as smoker fuel anyway.

    We developed these when we did small scale queen rearing twelve years ago, and it helped us avoid having to unnecessarily disturb productive nucs.


    JB

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