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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
    Posts
    8

    Exclamation Swarm cells last week need new queen?

    I had swarm cells last monday 6/2. I was thinking of doing a split and someone talked me out of it since it's the beginning of June. My bees thought there was no room (I had a second box on top that they wouldn't really use), and the brood cells were backfilled with honey. This is my first year. I destroyed the queen cells and kept the bees together. This week I found maybe ten cells with eggs, a few had a couple of eggs with some layed on the walls of the cells, couldn't find the queen (could've missed her), and it looks like the honey had been eaten out of many of the cells so plenty of room to lay. Do I need to get a new queen? How long can I go before I need to get one. This coming Monday will be two weeks. I was going to double check the hive one more time to see if there is any change. If I do find the queen should I re-queen anyway because the bees don't seem very productive?

    Unrelated question...but if I'm going to re-queen I was thinking of trying to buy a Russian queen. I've read good things and know they can be a little more aggressive. I would like good mite resistance and wintering capabilities. I'm doing foundationless as well. Any thoughts and help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Bledsoe County, TN, USA
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Swarm cells last week need new queen?

    Hi,
    Just from what I've read and experienced in a few years, it sounds like your queen may have swarmed out already or died. Those queen cells may have been needed to make a new queen. Well, it happens to the best of us. I would say now that you do indeed need a new queen. We will wait for folks to answer with a lot more experience than me though. I will learn from what they have to say too.
    As for the Russian queen. I agree. We need hardiness as much as anything. I would give anything for some old feral German blacks, if that's what they were.
    Cumberland Plateau, 2300 Feet, East Central Tennessee

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,553

    Default Re: Swarm cells last week need new queen?

    Usually when you find capped swarm cells, the old queen left yesterday... destroying queen cells is a very reliable way to end up queenless...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Swarm cells last week need new queen?

    Quote Originally Posted by jrose1970 View Post
    Hi,
    Just from what I've read and experienced in a few years, it sounds like your queen may have swarmed out already or died. Those queen cells may have been needed to make a new queen. Well, it happens to the best of us. I would say now that you do indeed need a new queen. We will wait for folks to answer with a lot more experience than me though. I will learn from what they have to say too.
    As for the Russian queen. I agree. We need hardiness as much as anything. I would give anything for some old feral German blacks, if that's what they were.
    Thanks for your input. The day I saw the swarm cells they were almost capped and she was still there. Michael I read your books and that's why I was going to do the split. I shouldn't have listened to the person I'd asked. I had a feeling I should have just tried to split anyway. Do you know if they will be okay for 2 weeks without a queen?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,553

    Default Re: Swarm cells last week need new queen?

    They would be better with a queen... or at least some open brood. Do you have another hive you can get some open brood from?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Swarm cells last week need new queen?

    I only have the one hive and don't know of anyone doing mediums. I wouldn't be able to get a queen till monday or tuesday when the local shop has some coming in. There was some brood left in different stages.

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