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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Josephine County,Oregon,USA
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    Default Confused as usual..... queen status Q s

    Hive One made it through the winter and has built up to bursting but has not a sign of a queen cell being made. I was sure they were getting ready to swarm but now after inspecing each bar I guess not.Drone comb but no queen cells at all started. The front of the hive-usual brood nest- was very spotty ,then near the back I found a tight full comb of brood on both sides.....just one....like the queen had moved but was still doing fine. ??? The bees are Super active and defensive (haha)and have filled spaces I made within days with new comb this last month ,etc but I'm not sure if I should get a new queen or wait to see what they are doing.....

    Hive 2 just installed April 16 is building some nice comb,on the tops of 5 bars but none built up to fill their space, but when I looked today all I saw was open syrup/nectar and pollen.....no capped brood. It's hard for me to see eggs or tiny larvae but all I saw were nectar partially filled cells. Last year I had capped brood and larvae from the first week. Is she just slow or not even there? The bees are flying and clustering as if they have a queen but would they do that anyway???? It's nice weather. They've taken syrup too. They are not lethargic,but not building comb fast either. Experience anyone? My first install and queen last year were VERY fast to have capped brood.....

    PS-I Never see my actual Carniolan queens ....it just seems to be to hard for me to See them (thank goodness I know from this forum I'm not the only one!)

    Thank You!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Lincolnton, NC
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    1,106

    Default Re: Confused as usual..... queen status Q s

    Everything is probably okay with the 2nd hive. But if you don't see capped brood in a couple of weeks or so, give them a frame which you think contains eggs/young larva from the other hive to be able to make a new queen. Brush all the bees off first. I can't see eggs or young larva either, but I keep some high powered reading glasses for just that purpose.
    Lawrence Heafner
    15 hives; 15 years; TF for 10; Zone 7B

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,810

    Default Re: Confused as usual..... queen status Q s

    When they decide to swarm they rear a lot of drones, then they backfill the broodnest (usually) and then they start building queen cells. From the time they start building queen cells until they actually swarm is typically 8 to 10 days. Usually right after those cells are capped (weather permitting) they swarm.

    Things happen quickly this time of year...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    5

    Default Re: Confused as usual..... queen status Q s

    I'm curious, I recently checked my TBH (a nuc that was installed in the fall last year) and they've been doing great all fall and spring. Earlier this week I noticed that most of the bars at the back (there are 20 total and I only looked through about 10 before the girls got mad at me and made it hard to see) were almost completely filled with nectar except in the center of each was a peppering of drone brood.
    There's still worker brood in the bars closer to the front, so I wasn't worried about the queen having left or having problems. I added two bars among the brood area at the front since the bars they have are nearly all built out (at least 3/4 of the way). Is the drone brood and nectar everywhere a sign they're preparing for a swarm like HappyBeing's might be? Will adding bars be enough to prevent that? It's my only hive so I don't have a bar of eggs i can add.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,810

    Default Re: Confused as usual..... queen status Q s

    >Is the drone brood and nectar everywhere a sign they're preparing for a swarm like HappyBeing's might be?

    Or they already swarmed...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Tucson, AZ
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    5

    Default Re: Confused as usual..... queen status Q s

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >Is the drone brood and nectar everywhere a sign they're preparing for a swarm like HappyBeing's might be?

    Or they already swarmed...
    Oh, drat! I hope that's not the case - I really did like the genetics of that queen. This is a total newbie question, but is there a way to know if they've swarmed already? Honestly, I don't notice a difference in the number of bees present when I checked the hive last, but would I really miss a football sized amount of them? I don't know. I do know there was a lot of nectar, and most of it uncapped - only one bar had more than 40% capped honey and every honey bar save one (out of 9 or so) had drone brood.

    Here I thought I was doing so well :-)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Confused as usual..... queen status Q s

    > This is a total newbie question, but is there a way to know if they've swarmed already?

    A definitive sign is the queen cell the new queen emerged from (opened like a tin can) and the torn down queen cells of the others, but sometimes the bees tear them all down. A decrease in population, of course, is pretty good evidence. But sometimes you don't see that much difference. A total lack of open brood and eggs shortly after is a pretty sure sign...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Tucson, AZ
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    Default Re: Confused as usual..... queen status Q s

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >A total lack of open brood and eggs shortly after is a pretty sure sign...
    Ok, thank you. I will inspect either today or tomorrow and see how things look. I'll keep an eye out for open queen cells and eggs/young larvae. Anything else I should look for?

    My biggest concern with a swarm is not the loss of population, but more the locally mated queen. If the new queen stays in the hive (which seems logical) and mates here, that a queen mated in my neck of the woods might end laying eggs with nastier AHB tendencies. My hive is in a suburban area behind a wall, but 15 feet from a sidewalk, I can't allow any nastiness. And being a first year beekeeper, I don't yet have confidence in my skill at pinching a queen (never having done it).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Confused as usual..... queen status Q s

    Quote Originally Posted by HappyBeeing View Post
    Hive One made it through the winter and has built up to bursting but has not a sign of a queen cell being made. I was sure they were getting ready to swarm but now after inspecing each bar I guess not.Drone comb but no queen cells at all started.
    HappyBeeing, I'm sorry I didn't mean to hijack your post/thread! It's only been a couple days since you posted, but I'm curious to know how your hives are doing?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    5,320

    Default Re: Confused as usual..... queen status Q s

    Hives being ready to "burst at the seams", sounds to me like they're either ready to be split, or should be supered for the flow. They really wouldn't be able to build up so much, if there weren't resources available to do that - resources available usually equates to a honey flow in progress.

    If they're not working vigorously to take advantage of the honey flow, it either has ended, the colony is queenless and likely broodless too, or there isn't any additional empty space inside the hive to accommodate it. In situations like this it is good to have other colonies, potentially in a different state, to compare to, also making these determinations easier to make.

    If colony A, is queenright, has brood in all stages, and is filling their honey supers, then it is a sure bet that there is a honey flow in progress. So, if colony B isn't being robbed, but showing no signs of working the honey flow, then it might be prudent to assume other factors are interfering with their process.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 05-02-2014 at 01:33 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Josephine County,Oregon,USA
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    Default Re: Confused as usual..... queen status Q s

    OP here. Gosh,I thought I'd responded a week ago ....THANK YOU to those who shared! Thanks for reminding me of sequence Michael...I needed that ! and no prob LaurelAZ, I like knowing what others are experiencing too!

    short story: When I posted I got AHEAD of what my bees were doing for the First time!!! (year 2 month 2).hahaha Last year I was behind them alllllll year......

    The slow hive,hive 2 is doing perfect now. They just weren't warm enough yet when I wrote. This year I got a marked Carnie queen in that new bunch and what a joy to See her today with that yellow dot! I prefer things "natural" but dang! that mark was Worth it! She was sooooo nice to watch. I Needed a good look at a live queen because out-of-cage I never got a look last year. They now have good brood pattern,no drone brood,a few full size combs, and are speeding up in the warm weather and filling out bars.I gave her double space today in the front full bars because the cluster is thick when I look in the evening. They've been a real quiet and gentle colony. Interesting to me because hive 1 isn't "mean" but it's always been feisty!

    Hive 1 having overwintered was more acclimated and going Fast even in cool weather and no syrup! I did my first split of 5 bars into a nuc last week and hope to get them into a bigger hive soon. In the Nuc by the 5th day I noticed some nurses became fliers from the nuc that were orienting and it's small but seems just fine. A big queen cell in there hasn't hatched yet and I Hope I didn't disturb it today! It was on a safe area of comb when I lifted the bar so I think all is well. I'm not touching them again for a month!

    Hive 1 I put double space in while filling the new nuc but there was Such a crowd it may have been too late for that short Golden Mean TB. Today looked a little bare even with mid day fliers gone......oooops.If a swarm left I will have totally Missed the 3rd swarm to leave me in just over a year. I'm in dry conifer woods,cedar,madrone,oak and manzanita and there Must be Some place they Like to go that I can't see a thing. When I look in their window at twilight tonight I'll know for sure if a swarm left. I still saw a good number of bees though and now that I have other colonies I'm going to just keep on learning and not fret. HB

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Josephine County,Oregon,USA
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    Default Re: Confused as usual..... queen status Q s

    Another update
    I guess the near full hive I split didn't swarm yet after all. Apparently all the drones were flying that day as well as the workers and it just looked rather empty to me with no bees on the window like I'd been seeing. I sure am into "jumping the gun" these days mentally but I'd rather have it this way than last year when I couldn't keep up with them. My nuc from that same hyper-active hive is acting like a mini version! I guess I did OK with my first split because there are lots of fliers now that are really busy acting just like the mother-hive! It's such a thrill to feel like I'm Really becoming a bee keeper and not just a guesser! I'm excited about a queen happening in there but still going to wait until she has a chance to breed and start laying and not open up til then. Hive 2 seems to be a slow and steady colony. Starting with Them last year would have been SO much easier on my brain! Ha. But, will They have the smarts to overwinter like my feral bred mutts? Time will tell and it's all a delightful learning experience for me!

    QUESTION How long do you keep a nuc as a nuc during this build-up time of year? My plan is to transfer them to a new hive but when? They are a fast strain,that's for sure,and it seems like they'll fill that nuc in no time. Would it be anytime after the new queen has capped brood? or??? Thanks in advance! HB

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
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    1,258

    Default Re: Confused as usual..... queen status Q s

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    > This is a total newbie question, but is there a way to know if they've swarmed already?

    A definitive sign is the queen cell the new queen emerged from (opened like a tin can) and the torn down queen cells of the others, but sometimes the bees tear them all down. A decrease in population, of course, is pretty good evidence. But sometimes you don't see that much difference. A total lack of open brood and eggs shortly after is a pretty sure sign...
    When I opened a Lang a couple of days ago there were several QC along the bottom of 2 frames. Some were capped and some had an open hole at the tip. Not like a tin can with lid hinged to it...like a can with no lid or an egg with the end lopped off. There was nothing in the open cells and bees were not clustered on them. I had assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that the open ended cells had already had Queens emerge. The edges of the hole were not ragged.

    The hive looked like it had already swarmed as I saw no open brood, plenty of drones and lots of nectar in the cells.
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
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    1,258

    Default Re: Confused as usual..... queen status Q s

    Quote Originally Posted by LaurelAZ View Post
    Ok, thank you. I will inspect either today or tomorrow and see how things look. I'll keep an eye out for open queen cells and eggs/young larvae. Anything else I should look for?

    My biggest concern with a swarm is not the loss of population, but more the locally mated queen. If the new queen stays in the hive (which seems logical) and mates here, that a queen mated in my neck of the woods might end laying eggs with nastier AHB tendencies. My hive is in a suburban area behind a wall, but 15 feet from a sidewalk, I can't allow any nastiness. And being a first year beekeeper, I don't yet have confidence in my skill at pinching a queen (never having done it).
    If your bees pick up nastiness from local drones you won't be alone in your area with hot bees. I wouldn't worry much about it.
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Josephine County,Oregon,USA
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    134

    Default Re: Confused as usual..... queen status Q s

    Original Poster Here Again. I bumped my old thread today and I had a New question but WBVC was writing to LaurelAZ on this thread at the same time. Not wanting my new question to get buried, I'm re-posting! Thanks. PS- hyjacking doesn't bother me but this time I had a new question I wanted to be seen!
    QUESTION:
    How long do you keep a nuc as a nuc during this build-up time of year? My plan is to transfer them to a new hive but when? They are a fast strain,that's for sure,and it seems like they'll fill that nuc in no time. Would it be anytime after the new queen has capped brood? or??? Thanks in advance! HB

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