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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Breckinridge County, KY
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    Default Getting a little worried....

    How long should it be before I start seeing eggs, larvae or capped brood? Installed two packages on the 18th, queen was released by bees when I checked it Friday. Other hive I screwed up and took wrong cork out, think she went into hive, but not certain. I couldn't find queen in either hive, they were marked too. I did take a pic of something on my suspect hive, how do I post the pic??

    Any advice????

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Rusk, Texas
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    93

    Default Re: Getting a little worried....

    There is a chance that the queen hasn't mated yet and is working on that, i might take a frame of capped brood and put in the weak hive until she gets mated.

    For the inserting pictures, if you post a reply, look on the row at the top of the box where it lets you bold, change font, etc. there is a little picture of a tree 3rd to the right, just click on it and you should be able to insert your picture.
    Potato Guns shouldn't be illegal in Texas!

  3. #3
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    May 2013
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    Breckinridge County, KY
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    Default Re: Getting a little worried....

    Here are some pics







  4. #4
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    Apr 2013
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    Jemison, Alabama, USA
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    Default Re: Getting a little worried....

    did you have any drawn comb in hive box ?
    are the bees drawing comb on the foundations?
    Insect farming is soooo interesting :)

  5. #5
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    May 2013
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    Breckinridge County, KY
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    Default Re: Getting a little worried....

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey man View Post
    did you have any drawn comb in hive box ?
    are the bees drawing comb on the foundations?
    I did not have any drawn comb in the box, and yes, they are drawing comb.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Rusk, Texas
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    Default Re: Getting a little worried....

    That cell in the middle looks like a queen cell (the queen cells are always vertical and look a little bit like a peanut) which means your queen probably died or got lost when she flew out to mate. My suggestion is add the frame of capped brood and maybe a frame of honey to keep the hive going until the queen hatches. Once she hatches the hive should fix its problems.
    Potato Guns shouldn't be illegal in Texas!

  7. #7
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    Apr 2013
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    Jemison, Alabama, USA
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    Default Re: Getting a little worried....

    sorry pics came through after I posted
    Insect farming is soooo interesting :)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Breckinridge County, KY
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    Default Re: Getting a little worried....

    Quote Originally Posted by spudrocket View Post
    That cell in the middle looks like a queen cell (the queen cells are always vertical and look a little bit like a peanut) which means your queen probably died or got lost when she flew out to mate. My suggestion is add the frame of capped brood and maybe a frame of honey to keep the hive going until the queen hatches. Once she hatches the hive should fix its problems.
    I don't have any frames of capped brood.... Can I put a replacement queen in there?

    In the hive where the queen released naturally, I don't have any brood in there as of yet.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Rusk, Texas
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    93

    Default Re: Getting a little worried....

    You can replace the queen from another hive, but i wouldn't recommend taking her from a hive that hasn't started laying eggs yet.
    If you can, take the queen from a strong hive and put her in the queenless hive, the strong hive should make another queen with ease.
    I am also a fairly new beekeeper so I would take recommendations from honey man more than from myself.
    Potato Guns shouldn't be illegal in Texas!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Windsor, Maine, USA
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    53

    Default Re: Getting a little worried....

    I would wait a few more days, and look for larva. Maybe the queens are slow starters for one reason or another. It's only been a few days since the queens were released anyway. Eggs are very hard to see.
    It's very unlikely that both queens were bad. Not impossible, but extremely unlikely.
    From the time the Queen lays an egg, it takes about 3 1/2 or 4 days for the egg to hatch into a larva. They feed the larva for about 5 days before they cap it. So you're looking at at least 9 days after queen release before you see the first capped brood. That's assuming the queen started laying right away after being released from the cage. Sometimes they don't start for a couple of days or more. That's probably what happened in your case. I wouldn't worry. I think you'll be OK. The thing in the picture is probably a Queen Cup. The bees build them so they've always got one around if they need it. Nothing out of the ordinary. If they start to raise a queen in it, that means they intend to supersede the current queen. Just let them do it. They know what they need to do. But usually they just keep a few Queen Cups around empty. Don't worry about it.
    If you still don't have any brood action a week from now, you should call your supplier and get a new queen.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Breckinridge County, KY
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    Default Re: Getting a little worried....

    Quote Originally Posted by Albatross View Post
    I would wait a few more days, and look for larva. Maybe the queens are slow starters for one reason or another. It's only been a few days since the queens were released anyway. Eggs are very hard to see.
    It's very unlikely that both queens were bad. Not impossible, but extremely unlikely.
    From the time the Queen lays an egg, it takes about 3 1/2 or 4 days for the egg to hatch into a larva. They feed the larva for about 5 days before they cap it. So you're looking at at least 9 days after queen release before you see the first capped brood. That's assuming the queen started laying right away after being released from the cage. Sometimes they don't start for a couple of days or more. That's probably what happened in your case. I wouldn't worry. I think you'll be OK. The thing in the picture is probably a Queen Cup. The bees build them so they've always got one around if they need it. Nothing out of the ordinary. If they start to raise a queen in it, that means they intend to supersede the current queen. Just let them do it. They know what they need to do. But usually they just keep a few Queen Cups around empty. Don't worry about it.
    If you still don't have any brood action a week from now, you should call your supplier and get a new queen.
    Thanks for the advice!!!! I truly appreciate it!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Windsor, Maine, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Getting a little worried....

    You're welcome. Please keep us updated on how your bees are doing. I expect that they'll be fine.

  13. #13
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    May 2013
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    Breckinridge County, KY
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    Default Re: Getting a little worried....

    I picked up a 5 frame nuc of Russians today. Gonna put them in a hive tomorrow!!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    2,437

    Default Re: Getting a little worried....

    Packages commonly supercede queens, if those cells have larvae in them the queen was laying. You couldn't have killed or, or she failed to return from a mating flight, she should've been a laying queen already.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Getting a little worried....

    Responses to this thread puzzle me. The pictures are reportedly from the the "suspect" colony. That is, the one where the OP lost track of the queen on installation? Why is there talk of "mating?" A package comes with a mated queen.

    The pics (from what I see) show what I call tentative acceptance. The workers accept a queen they don't know long enough for her to lay a few eggs. Then, they rear a queen from those eggs and terminate the queen. The new queen will be of their own doing. Acceptance is automatic. We don't know how long the stranger in the queen cage had been in the package, but apparently not long enough for all workers to endorse full acceptance.

    In the first few days after package installation the colony has not had time to build insurance cups on a standoff structure outside the comb face. (A second priority activity) So, they must supersede by the emergency process - select a cell of worker brood the right age to rear a queen and build a queen larval chamber around the worker larva. Since the distinction between a queen cell or cup is whether it contains an egg/larva or not, the emergency cell is a queen cell from the beginning - no cup stage.

    What I think I see in the first pic is 3 emergency type queen cells. (not cups) Is there not either larva of jelly in the worker cells between? If so, that's a classic case of tentative acceptance. The queen WAS there for a short period and is now terminated. She was not protected long enough to gain full endorsement by all the workers.

    Although it's late in the season, and the colony will lose ground in the interim, the recommendation from here is to let it ride. Check for brood in a month.

    Walt

  16. #16
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    May 2013
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    Breckinridge County, KY
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    Default Re: Getting a little worried....

    Quote Originally Posted by wcubed View Post
    Responses to this thread puzzle me. The pictures are reportedly from the the "suspect" colony. That is, the one where the OP lost track of the queen on installation? Why is there talk of "mating?" A package comes with a mated queen.

    The pics (from what I see) show what I call tentative acceptance. The workers accept a queen they don't know long enough for her to lay a few eggs. Then, they rear a queen from those eggs and terminate the queen. The new queen will be of their own doing. Acceptance is automatic. We don't know how long the stranger in the queen cage had been in the package, but apparently not long enough for all workers to endorse full acceptance.

    In the first few days after package installation the colony has not had time to build insurance cups on a standoff structure outside the comb face. (A second priority activity) So, they must supersede by the emergency process - select a cell of worker brood the right age to rear a queen and build a queen larval chamber around the worker larva. Since the distinction between a queen cell or cup is whether it contains an egg/larva or not, the emergency cell is a queen cell from the beginning - no cup stage.

    What I think I see in the first pic is 3 emergency type queen cells. (not cups) Is there not either larva of jelly in the worker cells between? If so, that's a classic case of tentative acceptance. The queen WAS there for a short period and is now terminated. She was not protected long enough to gain full endorsement by all the workers.

    Although it's late in the season, and the colony will lose ground in the interim, the recommendation from here is to let it ride. Check for brood in a month.

    Walt
    Walt, you are correct, those pics are from the suspect hive. I do not know how long that queen had been in the package with the bees. The sugar water can was full, so maybe not long at all. That was my concern as well, will those bees accept her as the queen as it was pretty much a "direct release." Like I mentioned, once I realized I took out the wrong cork I placed the cage over the hive almost immediately. She either fell into the hive (which I think is what happened) or flew away. It does look like eggs above those cups (or whatever they are) so I assume she stayed in the hive and didnt fly off. They are going through a quart of sugar water in 2-3 days, same as my other hive. I will take your advice and just ride it out and see what happens.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Breckinridge County, KY
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    Default Re: Getting a little worried....

    Just checked that suspect hive, no capped brood at all....
    Should I just let it play out and see what happens?

    In the hive that the queen released naturally they are drawing comb, have some honey stores, but I have not found any brood either. Should I be worried about this? Installed May 18th.

    I did pic up a nuc of Russians last Wednesday and installed them in a deep hive body so I do have some brood if needed.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Getting a little worried....

    It's your call, But I would give them both a little more time. Patience is needed sometimes in beekeeping. While it is true that a bad situation gets worse with delay, you can't hurry them if they are doing what they do best.
    Walt

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Breckinridge County, KY
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    Default Re: Getting a little worried....

    You know more than I do Walt, I'll let it ride!

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