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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Riverside, Ca.
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    Default how to keep Queen Bee that the colony is trying to replace?

    hello this is kinda long but I wanted to include as much info on what exactly I did to hopefully get some good advice. I started keeping bees in june of this year. I bought a nuc hive and ended up splitting it in august. The queenless hive managed to produce produce three queen cells I removed the smallest and left the two biggest to hatch, as I read that the largest queen cells tend to produce stronger queens. When I split the hive I kept a detailed record of when the split was made so that I can monitor the development of the queens and to know more or less when they are due to hatch. Well a couple days after they were due to hatch I inspected the hive the cells had hatched so I began to carefully look for the new queen. I am 100% positive that at the time I checked the hive she was not in it. So I assumed she must be mating. Well a few days later I looked again and there she was. She seems to be laying eggs as there is larva present and the hive seems to be growing in numbers. Today I found that on the otherside a few frames away from the queen the bees created a new queen cell in the middle of the frame that was already sealed. My question is do I need to kill my cuurrent queen off or can I still keep here while also keeping the queen due to hatch and what would be the best way to go about it??? Oh also how to tell if the queen is mated or not? I'm sorry if my question is dumb but I don't want to kill any of my bees if I don't have to can anyone offer some advice???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
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    3,846

    Default Re: how to keep Queen Bee that the colony is trying to replace?

    It being this time of year, if it was me I'd leave it alone and let the bees do what they want. It may be that they tear the cell down. It may be that they let it emerge and use two queens for a short time, before choosing just one to keep, this happens this time of year more often than some think. With only one queen cell, they should not swarm, so I would not worry about that. I can tell the queen is mated by seeing eggs.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Riverside, Ca.
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    13

    Default Re: how to keep Queen Bee that the colony is trying to replace?

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    It being this time of year, if it was me I'd leave it alone and let the bees do what they want. It may be that they tear the cell down. It may be that they let it emerge and use two queens for a short time, before choosing just one to keep, this happens this time of year more often than some think. With only one queen cell, they should not swarm, so I would not worry about that. I can tell the queen is mated by seeing eggs.
    Ok so you don't recomend I move the current queen and a couple frames to a new nuc hive and leave the cell in the current hive???

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
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    361

    Default Re: how to keep Queen Bee that the colony is trying to replace?

    If the bees are trying to supercede there is a reason. Don't know the weather there but I imagine it's pretty warm all year. If that is the case you can try to save her but the nuc may just try to replace her too. Like I said, there is a reason they are trying to replace her.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2013
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    Riverside, Ca.
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    Default Re: how to keep Queen Bee that the colony is trying to replace?

    =D Your right they would know what they need for their hive more then I would right. It gets cold in winter and fall its getting really cold now actually but I will follow your advice and just let them handle the queen issue. Do you know much about mites by chance???

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
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    1,018

    Default Re: how to keep Queen Bee that the colony is trying to replace?

    The bees are superceding the current queen. They have their reason for this, we beekeepers might not know what that reason is, but they do.

    The bees or the new queen will likely kill the current queen. I suggest you just let it happen without interfering.

    Do keep you eye out for swarming...are they back-filling the brood area with honey? If so, they are planning a swarm, if not, it's just a supercede the old queen with a new one rebellion, which happens whenever a queen is not performing satisfactorily or goes too low on pheromone production for too long.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Gaithersburg, MD
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    361

    Default Re: how to keep Queen Bee that the colony is trying to replace?

    Quote Originally Posted by markesp83 View Post
    =D Do you know much about mites by chance???
    A little. If it is getting cold it is getting too late to treat but you have to know you have a problem before you try to fix it. Do a search w/ the search bar here (on the left of the homepage) and you will find all kinds of questions being answered. Scientificbeekeeping.com also has good synopses on surveillance methods and treatments--as well as other info.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Riverside, Ca.
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    Default Re: how to keep Queen Bee that the colony is trying to replace?

    I will def check this site out I've been reading like crazy! =D I do think I have mites I see one or two maybe thre that have a little red bumbs On the backs. I love my bees a lot but want to bee a organic bee keeper so I'm looking for a natural way of treating them =D. I hope to open my own bee farm one day and produce all kinds of bee products as well as raise be colonies to release into the wilde to help the population =D

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Gaithersburg, MD
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    361

    Default Re: how to keep Queen Bee that the colony is trying to replace?

    Those red bumps are mites. Bees usually survive the first winter but the second winter is when they collapse. MAQS (mite away quick strips) is labeled organic. Works good too. I treated for the first time last month on a hive. If you want treatment free expect big losses for a few years and have enough hives so that you have a chance of having survivors. I may be close w/ one of my hives that almost died last winter but has build up good this year w/ no signs of mites (had a lot last year). I only treated my one hive because it is a warre and the drawn comb I made this year won't fit any of my langs. If this hive goes I will probably sell my warre stuff--too much of a pain on a strong flow.

    Good luck.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Palmdale, CA
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: how to keep Queen Bee that the colony is trying to replace?

    There are also some other 'natural' mite control techniques you can try, like powdered sugar, using drone foundation, breaking the brood cycle, etc. As for the queen, I would hate to lose a good queen if she has a good brood pattern. I might move one of the queens to a new location for safe keeping. I have seen hives raise a new queen even while a good queen is there when they are genetically different (i.e. when requeening an Africanized colony with an Italian).

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