Totally Beefudled
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  1. #1

    Default Totally Beefudled

    I brought a 10 frame queen right medium to my outyard to boost and requeen a hive that had been struggling with EFB all season. I broke down about two weeks ago and gave them antibiotic and started feeding heavy. Well, I guess they thought it was spring because when I went to look for the queen they were full of swarm cells

    Question: If you have everywhere from capped cells to cells only half full of jelly does that point to a swarm rather then supercedure? My thinking is that they had more time to pick a variety of aged larvae rather then having all the same age to work in and emergency situation.

    I went to work taking out the cells. I would have been excited if it were spring and I would have made splits. I feel now it's too late to take a chance in the city in a new yard. Plus I had a good queen right there. I guess feeding them made them think it was spring. Hard to believe they wanted to swarm with hardly three medium boxes drawn out and the bottom box mostly empty.

    I made a nuc with at frame with four cells on it. There was probably 15 total from my poor little sickly hive! I had to check twice and I am glad I did because I would have missed some. In the middle of all this I did a sugar roll. Zero mites on about 2=cups of bees.

    I reduced them to two boxes and put the queen right medium on top with a newspaper combine, feeder on top of that. I looked for the queen but could not find her. I could not find eggs or young larvae. The larvae appeared to be at least a week old. I put queen excluders between every box 4 days ago to help with finding her.

    Question: What do you think happened to the queen. I know its hard to say for sure. The population seem the largest I have seen it.

    Well, lets hope they like their new mom!
    6 years-8 hives-T
    brooklyn-queen.com

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    6,034

    Default Re: Totally Beefudled

    I'd question the results of your sugar roll.

    Otherwise, staggered aged cells do point to swarm instead of supercedure. I've had a few colonies that just won't build, but instead want to swarm. They swarm, queen gets mated, lays up the hive and leaves with another swarm. Then repeat. Then repeat.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Medfield, MA, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Totally Beefudled

    Quote Originally Posted by jwcarlson View Post
    I'd question the results of your sugar roll.

    Otherwise, staggered aged cells do point to swarm instead of supercedure. I've had a few colonies that just won't build, but instead want to swarm. They swarm, queen gets mated, lays up the hive and leaves with another swarm. Then repeat. Then repeat.
    Did you happen to notice if the hive this was happening in had relatively old brood comb? I know pesticide residue tends to accumulate in brood wax, is it possible that they didn't like the "taste" of their brood area?

  5. #4

    Default Re: Totally Beefudled

    It's not the first time I got zero on this hive. I was a lot of bees 2+ cups. For other hive at this location, I got less bees in the jar, but they had one. I have decided not to treat, maybe oxalic dribble when they are clustered.

    Interesting on the swarming with the lack of build up. First time I have seen this.
    6 years-8 hives-T
    brooklyn-queen.com

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    6,034

    Default Re: Totally Beefudled

    nschomer, Their comb is no older than 18 months. There are commercial guys on here with combs "as old as time" who don't seem to have an issue. I'm not at all concerned that that could be the issue.

    Sugar rolls can be tricky, and more bees (two cups), might actual make the accuracy worse (how can the mites all through all of those bees)? Process is tedious to do correctly (vigorously shake for a minute then let them sit for 4-5 minutes, shake again and let set another 4-5 minutes. Then shake the snot out of them into whatever you're doing to get the count (water paper plate, etc)).

    Regarding the lack of build up... I think some bees just have a nest size in mind and that's all their going to do before they take off. Requeen them next year if they survive the winter. I'm going to put the ones I'm having trouble with into a 5-over-5 nuc and see what they do. Might be time to cut my losses with them and shake them out, distribute combs elsewhere.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Totally Beefudled

    Quote Originally Posted by jwcarlson View Post
    Sugar rolls can be tricky, and more bees (two cups), might actual make the accuracy worse (how can the mites all through all of those bees)? Process is tedious to do correctly (vigorously shake for a minute then let them sit for 4-5 minutes, shake again and let set another 4-5 minutes. Then shake the snot out of them into whatever you're doing to get the count (water paper plate, etc)).
    First I heard about shaking the sh.. out of them. I shook them pretty good and it's all relative so the hives I got 7 and 8 from yesterday and seasons in the past have the real issue. But I will try your technique.

    Quote Originally Posted by jwcarlson View Post
    Regarding the lack of build up... I think some bees just have a nest size in mind and that's all their going to do before they take off. Requeen them next year if they survive the winter. I'm going to put the ones I'm having trouble with into a 5-over-5 nuc and see what they do. Might be time to cut my losses with them and shake them out, distribute combs elsewhere.
    Like I said I just requeened them so lets hope that does it.
    6 years-8 hives-T
    brooklyn-queen.com

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