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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    18

    Default Swarm/Re-queen delimma I could really use some advice on....

    So, here is my bee keeping story as briefly as possible:

    I bought two nucs this spring and installed them in two hives in my backyard. Hive A took off, with new eggs/brood. Hive B, after two weeks had no eggs or larvae. I contacted the apiary where I got the nucs and no problem; they mailed me a new queen for Hive B which I installed and all is good there. Hive B is doing well.

    4 weeks ago, Hive A, which had been doing really well, swarmed. A few days ago, I checked and there are open queen chambers, but I cannot find a queen and no eggs/brood/larvae. So, I have ordered a replacement queen which will be here next week.

    So, here is my plan: I am going to check again this weekend and see if I can find a queen in Hive A, or if there are any eggs/brood/larvae. If there isn't, I am going to assume that the hive did not successfully re-queen and install the new queen when she gets in. If I do managed to stumble across a queen or eggs/brood/larvae, then I assume they have successfully re-queened. If this is the case, can I start a new hive with my new queen and some frames from my strong hive, Hive B?

    And advice would be so appreciated since I really don't know what the hell I am doing, but have dreamed of raising bees since I was a kid.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,696

    Default Re: Swarm/Re-queen delimma I could really use some advice on....

    hmmm, some times patience is key. Depending on how far along the cells were when they swarmed you should be seeing eggs around now or in a week. Queens take 2-3 weeks to start laying, sometimes longer depending on weather conditions. The queen may have emerged about a week after the swarm so you are right on the cusp of when to start seeing eggs.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Swarm/Re-queen delimma I could really use some advice on....

    I am not sure when my new queen will get to me. It could be as early as next Tuesday or as late as next Friday. Maybe I should wait until she gets in to make this call then?

    Oh, and does my third hive option make sense if it turns out the original hive successfully re-queened?

    Thank you so much for the advice.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: Swarm/Re-queen delimma I could really use some advice on....

    How often are you inspecting your hives? I try to inspect at least once a week. That way I catch queen cells. I had about 8 this spring and used them for making more hives.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Swarm/Re-queen delimma I could really use some advice on....

    I normally inspect once a week, or every other week. I have tried to stay out of the swarmed hive, though. Right after the swarm, I checked on the hive and found 4 queen chambers that were closed up.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Dallas, GA
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Swarm/Re-queen delimma I could really use some advice on....

    You could add a frame of eggs/larve from your hive that has a laying queen to the one that has no eggs. If they start building queen cells off of that, you don't have a queen. If the don't, you most likely have a queen that just hasn't started laying yet.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Swarm/Re-queen delimma I could really use some advice on....

    Oh! I forgot to mention that, too. On Monday, I did just that. I put a frame with eggs and larvae from my other hive into this hive. I don't know the results yet, though.

    Would they transport an egg/eggs from the cells in that frame to a separate, already built queen chamber or would they build a queen cell right there where the eggs were originally laid?
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 06-14-2013 at 06:03 PM. Reason: UNQuote

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,696

    Default Re: Swarm/Re-queen delimma I could really use some advice on....

    No, they use a young larvae and build a cell around it. If you find you have a queen, yes, pull two frames of brood and 1 of nectar/pollen and put in a nuc and introduce your new queen at the same time by putting the cage in. Just make sure you don't pull your queen from the old hive.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Swarm/Re-queen delimma I could really use some advice on....

    I am hoping that sun will come out later this afternoon so I can check on them. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,071

    Default Re: Swarm/Re-queen delimma I could really use some advice on....

    If hive b is doing really well, are you pushing the swarm envelope there?
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Swarm/Re-queen delimma I could really use some advice on....

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    If hive b is doing really well, are you pushing the swarm envelope there?
    Am I? I really don't know.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,071

    Default Re: Swarm/Re-queen delimma I could really use some advice on....

    The general rule is add on another box when they are filling 75 to 80% of the current space. With a new hive that can get a little off. Some queens will lay alot of frames a once, you get a babyboomer situation, lots of the same age bees hatching at once. They get over crowded at once. Not having drawn frames makes it a little slower fro them to move into the next box.
    You can force them to expand faster by moving 2 empty frames into the lower box and 2 brood frames up with an empty between. It is a balance of usable space and defensible space. You will know it after you have seen it.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,332

    Default Re: Swarm/Re-queen delimma I could really use some advice on....

    Hive A probably has a queen, could be a virgin or could be just mated. Wait another week and see if she starts laying. Giving them a frame of eggs/brood a week is good insurance. If the new queen fails to mate or doesn't return to the hive, you should see new queen cells. Otherwise, you should see new brood within a couple of weeks.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Swarm/Re-queen delimma I could really use some advice on....

    Quote Originally Posted by Ross View Post
    Hive A probably has a queen, could be a virgin or could be just mated. Wait another week and see if she starts laying. Giving them a frame of eggs/brood a week is good insurance. If the new queen fails to mate or doesn't return to the hive, you should see new queen cells. Otherwise, you should see new brood within a couple of weeks.
    Hmmm... So, what would your advice be for me to do with my new queen that I am expecting this week?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,332

    Default Re: Swarm/Re-queen delimma I could really use some advice on....

    Make a nuc. If you decide you need her in a couple of weeks, you can combine the nuc with the hive. Better than having her killed.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,071

    Default Re: Swarm/Re-queen delimma I could really use some advice on....

    Ross, in Tx would 1 frame and a laying queen work if the entance was 1 bee wide?
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Swarm/Re-queen delimma I could really use some advice on....

    UPDATE: So, I inspected the hive and found one queen cell with a large larvae in it, and it was being closed up by the workers.

    I have a queen that is supposed to get here today. So, do I start another hive or do I introduce the new queen to the old hive?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,332

    Default Re: Swarm/Re-queen delimma I could really use some advice on....

    Well, now you are pretty sure you are queenless, so you have the option. You can remove the queen cell, you can leave it to hatch, or you can start a nuc with the queen cell. As to your other question, it might. You may have to keep giving them some help for awhile. I prefer at least two drawn frames and an empty. I make one of those frames stores and the other capped brood if possible. I make 3 frame medium nucs pretty often. 5 framers are more common.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Swarm/Re-queen delimma I could really use some advice on....

    Quote Originally Posted by Ross View Post
    Well, now you are pretty sure you are queenless, so you have the option. You can remove the queen cell, you can leave it to hatch, or you can start a nuc with the queen cell.
    I didn't even think about starting a nuc with the queen cell. I like that idea. Thanks!

    (Got my new queen via UPS today. Dead. Bee Weaver is going to replace it, though. But I am going to pick this one up, instead)

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,332

    Default Re: Swarm/Re-queen delimma I could really use some advice on....

    At this point I'd let the queen cell hatch and mate. Start a nuc with the new queen when you finally get her.

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