bone head split so far, somebody save the day.
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  1. #1
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    Default bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Ok, I caught a swarm yesterday. Found queen cells in my biggest hive. Today, moved hive ten plus feet sideways and looked for the queen. I set a box with two honey frames in the old hive location to collect the foragers. I looked through every frame looking for the queen but did not find her. I have never found a queen on my own and so maby she is still there and maby not. I had seen some uncapped swarm cells yesterday but today I also found some capped ones.

    Since I could not find the queen, I took one partial frame of brood that had a capped queen cell and two not quite capped ones on it and put that in the old location where the two combs of honey are. The rest of the hive is full of foundationless frames.

    The old moved hive has lots of capped brood honey and pollen. It has queen cells and maby a queen and maby not a queen.

    I was looking for open brood and had thought I saw some eggs but then I seen the same later and believe it was just the way the sun was shining on the wet cells. I did not see any larva but I took a brood frame out for the swarm yesterday and did not see but maby three larva in the three or four frames I looked at. I saw lots of giant drones while looking for the queen and so if she was thinned down I might not have seen her anyway.

    I guess my question is, what have I done and what will probly happen?

    To me the hive still seems crowded and the swarm was big and I just don't see how that hive could have had that many bees in it. It was only a three medium hive.

    I didn't want after swarms and so I did what I did by splitting bees by age.

    I was hoping to give a freind some of the queen cells when they got capped.

    If the queen is still with the hive, I am assuming that the bees in the young bee hive will start tearing down queen cell. Is this correct? If it is correct I will be wishing I had just did a teranov split and put a cell in each hive.

    The foragers with no comb but two full honey combs, very little brood, queen cells and the rest foundationless frames. What is going to happen and will it work or need more work to make it work?

    I don't mind you guys calling me stupid. I thought I was going to find a queen today.

    Any advice?
    Thanks
    gww
    zone 5b

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Stupid is as stupid does and at least your attempt successful or not had a rationale. Stupid is just wringing hands and doing nothing. I do not know if your plan to segregate age groups will work. I have never tried that so I can't say. I would reduce your herd of queen cells. Those just capped are too delicate to transport well to your friend. Your parent hive may have swarmed if you have no eggs or open brood. Save the best two queen cells on the same frame and eliminate the rest or move your friends to the nuc on the original stand and watch the cells for evidence of the bees chewing the wax off the bottom of the cell. That means the virgin is soon going to chew her way out.

    When in your situation, a good first action is a taranov swarm recently discussed in a couple threads. Another beginner and blind old man ploy is to shake and brush all the bees thru an excluder. Its all a learning experience

  4. #3
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Vance
    I wanted to do a teronov but was afraid that all that shaking would destroy all the queen cells. My friend was going to come over monday and help me move stuff around but yesterday we thought it was only extended uncapped cells and that my hive had not swarmed yet. So I looked up bee math and got scared that the hive would swarm before monday and I did not want that. However, yesterday we were hard up time wise and so only tipped boxes and looked from the bottom. Today on finding the capped swarm cells, and not seeing any larva which is about the best my eyes can do right now, I figure we got it wrong and the swarm did come from this hive.

    I thought about taking every frame that had queen cells and dividing up the resources as even as I could to match the cells but don't really want to mess with to weak of hives untill I learn more plus, it might be a pipe dream, but I am kinda hoping I might still get a little honey off of the young brood hive due to all the comb starting out full right now. I should have put some empties in the brood nest earlier but it was only in the sixties and I was afraid it was still too cold. I thought I was good till the 15th of april no matter what cause I caught my first swarm in early may last year. My big mistake.

    This bee keeping stuff is pretty hard when you are new.

    I spent most of the night last night and this morning reading up on queen cells. Since these look like new wax and some are still not capped. I was thinking that monday they might be 4 or 5 days from when they were capped. So I was hoping monday when I got a little help might be soon enough to start destroying cells and hoping that the splitting the age groups would stop after swarms if I was wrong.

    I am almost sure the swarm came from this hive but just don't see how that many bees could have fit in the hive.

    I guess I have done what I have done.

    I am not trying to over load anyone with my issues but have a couple of things going forward that I would like to maby get a little advice on.

    On the hive with the old bees and partial frame of brood. If it takes eight days or a little less for the cell to hatch and two weeks for breeding, Then should I leave the hive alone for 20/24 days? I don't know how fast it will take for the bees to draw the medium out with comb but at that 24 day mark, will I have to extract to give the new queen a place to lay? Have I got all of this wrong?

    Also on the old bees, will I sometime in this process need to ad another frame of brood?

    I figure on the young bees that they have three mediums full now and since there is no foragers for a week or so that they will eat some room into the comb that is already there. Is this right or wrong thinking?

    I thank you for your comments above, believe it or not, they made me not "feel" quite as dumb as I really am.
    Thanks
    gww
    zone 5b

  5. #4
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    I've done just what you did many times and it worked out great. The way I figured it was that the old bees fly back to the old spot over a period of a week or more, so the hive you moved won't swarm without enough foraging bees to go with the swarm. That was always my way of thinking anyway.

    The older bees going back, they should do fine. Keep in mind that bees go for their orientation flights around day 6-10 then come back to the hive as house bees for almost two more weeks before they become foragers. So, over the next couple weeks, bees will be going back to the older aged bee hive. Most will go back in the next 1-3 days, then the amounts going back will reduce quite a bit, as some bees that oriented to the old location will still re-orient and stay at the new location also.

    All in all, the older aged bees hive will lose populations so that by the time new brood is emerging from the new queen, they'll be quite a bit smaller than when they started out. Yes, check them in 24 days or so, and when you see eggs being laid and larva being fed, then it might help them out to give them a frame of sealed emerging brood.

    As the queen mates and needs to lay, the bees will move honey around to give her room, They will draw wax then if needed to clear her some space.

    OK, keep in mind, all beehives are not the same, they are individual organisms with their own attitudes. I think you did great, that both hives will become queen right and all will be good. But, one or both may still decide to swarm on you, that's just the way it sometimes works out. But for the most part, they both should work out just fine with what you've done.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Ray
    I've done just what you did many times and it worked out great. The way I figured it was that the old bees fly back to the old spot over a period of a week or more, so the hive you moved won't swarm without enough foraging bees to go with the swarm. That was always my way of thinking anyway.
    I was hopeing this might help with the after swarms.

    The older bees going back, they should do fine. Keep in mind that bees go for their orientation flights around day 6-10 then come back to the hive as house bees for almost two more weeks before they become foragers. So, over the next couple weeks, bees will be going back to the older aged bee hive. Most will go back in the next 1-3 days, then the amounts going back will reduce quite a bit, as some bees that oriented to the old location will still re-orient and stay at the new location also.
    This was something I hadn't thought through and is a big help in my understanding. I knew the oreintaion flight but did not put two and two together untill you wrote this. Hope I remember it. Very happy to have it explained to me.

    All in all, the older aged bees hive will lose populations so that by the time new brood is emerging from the new queen, they'll be quite a bit smaller than when they started out. Yes, check them in 24 days or so, and when you see eggs being laid and larva being fed, then it might help them out to give them a frame of sealed emerging brood.
    Thanks

    OK, keep in mind, all beehives are not the same, they are individual organisms with their own attitudes. I think you did great, that both hives will become queen right and all will be good. But, one or both may still decide to swarm on you, that's just the way it sometimes works out. But for the most part, they both should work out just fine with what you've done.
    Yes, Its all good. I am new and learning and maby I learned something in all this. I gave away the swarm to the guy that I bought this hive from. I lost half a hive but he was happy and I am a little on the good side rather then just a user and so all is good. I will get good brood breaks and probly no honey but more drawn comb and maby, just maby learn a little too.

    I hate to go to the pump too often but have one more thing that is of interest to me. I am not too worried about stores cause the young bees have lots of honey including in the old brood nest. I also figure some type of flow is on or they would not have swarmed and over all the bees were pretty calm and this sorta says they are to busy to worry about me. So, my question: As the hive will mostly be young bees, will robbing be a bigger issue then I am hoping it will be. My view is I will probly be ok. I have reduced both entrances down fairly small. The old bee hive is even backing up at the entrance a bit. Not to much coming into or leaving the young bee hive. Is the young bee hive going to be more open to robbing under these conditions and expecially since I am not feeding?

    I really thank you for your comments. I am a very indecisive person when I have what seems like choices and so I am always thinking I picked the wrong way to go.
    I can take losses but will still be kicking my self while I take them.

    Your post has really helped and I don't feel quite so helpless now.
    Thanks
    gww
    zone 5b

  7. #6
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    gww
    leave the small opening on till the hive is full of bees and your ready to move them to a larger hive.
    I have 19 nucs started from swarm cells + ones with Queens.
    Remember the bees will fix our ma-stacks.
    Zone 6b 1400'

  8. #7
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    hootowl
    The hive is still big, three medium big anyway. I was just worried that the leaving foragers would remember and the hive full of young bees might not gaurd. I am willing to wait and see what happens now since nothing glaringly stupid seems to have been done by me, yet. I will watch the entrances for the next 24 days and maby on the forager side pull the top in a week or so to make sure they have room since they are in one medium and I don't know how long it will take to draw it out.

    I may sound stupid posting this stuff, but you guys that answered have made me feel not quite as edgy as I was. I read a lot but am still new and you guys have helped.
    Thanks
    gww
    zone 5b

  9. #8
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Gww, it sounds like you are growing more colonies there. Though I would watch for robbing, you should have a good spring flow going on, and that helps to reduce or eliminate robbing. Its going good here with extra stores being collected. Warming is just around the corner here and I have been adding space and doing swarm prevention on hives. They are definitely considering it.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Danial
    Yes easter is sorta getting in the way of bee stuff right this second, but good grandchildren stuff going on. I have a couple of scouts checking a trap still and so maby I will get it in time and maby not. Monday I think I will tear into the brood nest and slip in a bunch of empties. It is still in the forcast for a 60 degree day but after one swarm, I will take my chances on splitting the brood nest and the hive are full of bees.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  11. #10
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    gww, I wouldn't get overly aggressive with empty frames in the nest. Of course, I don't know what you mean by a bunch of empties. If I don't see backfilling of the brood nest, I would only add an empty frame on the side of the nest in a couple places. When I find them drawn and used, I would do it again. If I find backfilling, or it's warm out, or already a strong hive, I then add a random empty frame in the nest, maybe after the first brood frame from the side, in a few places. I have done up to 4 empty frames at one time in a nest that spanned 3 10 frame boxes, favoring the top more, and was a strong colony. I don't know if that's correct, but that's what I have done. I understand that you just have to tell the bees they have empty space and not ready to swarm. Empty space above is good too.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Danial
    The hive that swarmed had built out most of three frames in a two week period right before the swarm and still filled the brood nest, (if I know what I am looking at which is questionable). The other two hives are smaller drawn comb wise but have lots of bees. I have a fairly big incentive of getting some drawn in the brood nest cause they draw them so much nicer and not as fat down there. My very best drawn frames where putting one dead center in the brood nest and pulling the middle frame up to the super and the frames they drew each side of that were good also. It was 95 degrees last year when I was doing that though. I will head your advice (maby, cause sometimes I plan one way and end up doing something differrent) and only hit the edge or edges of the brood nest.

    I have a very hard time with seeing brood, larva and eggs. I found some decent size larva in my smallest hive but it looked like only a couple cells had hatched and there would be two or three that I could see here and on another side a couple. Funny laying pattern when I compare it to pictures but the hive is just overloaded with bees and so I don't think there is a problim but each hive looks a bit differrent from the few times I actually pull brood frames. I just need more practice reconizing what I am seeing.

    I will just keep plugging away and asking you guys every time I get in trouble and hope you guys bear with me untill I become a bit better.
    Thanks
    gww
    zone 5b

  13. #12
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    The hives being fed are the hives that get robbed. Weak hives also do, usually weaker mating nucs and such. As it is, from what I can understand of what you have, you should have no worries. Just don't stick a feeder on ok? I'm betting your flows are on, or are starting, you won't need to feed. The thing is, they'll back fill the brood nest until the new queen is mated and laying, That is when they'll need to move honey out to give room for the new queen to lay. By then temps will be warmer and flows will be on and they'll start drawing wax. I'm guessing of course 'cause I am not aware of what your weather is and what your hives look like, my binoculars don't work so well from this distance! But, it's that time of year where if you are not in the far north, flows should be on or at least starting, I'm betting flows are even starting further north than you are. Don't stress and enjoy the weekend.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Ray
    Good dandilion and tree bloom right now. No clover but it might not be too long.
    The foragers have two capped combs and the young bees have lots, lots, more then that. No feeding in the plans. some comb is being drawn in the hives.
    Hopefully all is rosy. Just need to keep the other two hives from getting any ideals now.
    Thanks
    gww
    zone 5b

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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    gww, to clarify, I do add frames right into the brood nest when it's warmer, like it is now, for a larger hive especially. I plan to keep feeding them a couple frames every time I find the brood nest mostly occupied with brood, eggs, and food. You can find areas of empty polished and shiny cells sometimes, which tells you which way the brood nest is about to expand. If I find areas of empty cells like that, I consider that they have some room yet.
    You surely have a good flow going on, as we do here. Dandelions are going good.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Danial
    I run all this through my head and plan and stuff and then I get to the hive and things just sorta happen. Sometimes it is sorta like I was thinking of doing before hand and other times it does not resemble any of my plans. So many timing flow wether issues that when I open the hive, I have a general ideal of somethings that could be done but also have fears of the current wether, bloom, bee density and yada yada that I very seldom reconize what I really do.

    I do think that thinking about it helps prepare a little but I will be honest, I really have no ideal what I will really do most of the time. I can not believe my bees are alive, I can actually look at the comb and they haven't attacked me due to my ineptness. If I wasn't so off ballance all the time I would have to say bee keeping must be easy if a guy that feels as lost and indecisive as I do still has some alive. Of course there is always tomorrow, ha ha.
    Thanks
    gww
    zone 5b

  17. #16
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    RayMarler, do you have any references to early orientation flights and going back to being house bees before foraging. This seems very pertinent to some manipulations but I do not remember coming across this information in my reading.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    RichM

    The exact age of the first orientation flights are not known precisely. Different researches and writers give slightly different ages in days for the first flight. I've read so many literatures about bees that I forget who said what. I've heard and read anywhere from days 6-12. What I go by myself is the worker bee emerges and cleans it's own cell and is a brood nest house keeper for 3 days, then it feeds older larva for 3 days, then it feeds younger larva and maybe the queen for another 3-6 days. The first orientation flight happens somewhere in that time period, probably towards the end, of the duties of feeding youngest bees and/or queen. I myself count it as 9-10 days old. Next tasks are in the wax drawing, honey storage, and nectar handling tasks, then guard duties and then foraging. Here is a link to a PDF from the West Plains Beekeepers Association that gives a good simple overview of the tasks by age of honey bees as they understand it...

    http://www.wpbeekeepers.org/presenta...ofHoneybee.pdf

    http://www.wpbeekeepers.org/resources/presentations

    So, nurse bees are what I call the bees that are working in the broodnest area, 9-12 or so days old and under. First orientation flights somewhere in here, around days 9-10 is what I have always figured, I forget just where I got that number from. There are other daily cleansing flights and further orientation flights after this age. Nectar handling, wax drawing, and honey storage with guard duties I count as another 14 days or so. That gives me approximately 4 weeks in the hive, then another 1-2 weeks as a foragers.

    It's been my experience that foragers also contribute to wax drawing in the honey supers, probably more as night duties. I say this because I've found much more wax drawing gets done when there is a good population of foragers. Just house bees by themselves, even with feeding syrup, do not seem to draw the wax as much as when there are also lots of forage aged bees.

    Hope this helps

  19. #18
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    RayMarler
    Thanks for the great reference. I mainly consult Winston's Biology of the Honey Bee. He indicates the mean age of orientation flights is one day less than the mean age of onset of foraging. But since there are successive orientation flights and there is much overlap in age related tasks it makes great sense. I guess if you are just taking a short orientation flight, you have lots of time to do other things that day.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Well, today I gave my friend 2 queen cells. I then looked through the other hives and I found queen cups with larva in one. I said heck with it nd tried a teronov split.



    As you can see, I am kind of a slob on set up. I figured it would work though. The inner cover I was using for shade that was getting the little ball of bees on it blew over.

    I did not shake the frames compleetly empty of bees and did not brush the rest off but the big portion come of with shaking. It took some time cause I also fixed a little wonky comb.

    This is where the foragers were going back to after I put the hive back together but before I put the double screen board on and the young bees on top.



    It is the far right box on the stand. The top box is compleetly empty because I forgot to pull a frame or two up. I was about to die of heat stroke and it is not even hot out yet.

    I hope I got the queen in the young be part cause I did not put any brood in that part and it only has two partialy drawn honey combs in it. The shaken part seemed smaller then I was thinking it was going to be and was about like my second biggest swarm that I have ever caught. I guess I will let it go for a week or two and check for eggs and hope for the best.

    I will have to add feed on it and also on my other young be split, cause it felt light though I don't see how they could have went through all the capped honey it started with this spring.

    I sure hope the queen is in the young be split but I never did see her.

    I did get stung about 5 times and so must be pretty rough or did not move them far enough from the origional spot. I did ok till my gloves ripped which did not take too long as they are just hospital gloves. I did get one sting through the glove which I didn't mind cause you just lift up on the glove and it pulls out the stinger. Got stung once on the top of the head when I was messing around while cooling down a bit and a bee got caught in my hair.

    The hive was only a two medium frame hive and I was dissapointed I had to split it but oh well. I am hoping to get a bit better at this cause it took me over two hours to do all this, it is no wonder my bees were getting upset. What I did find interesting is how much honey these hives had just two weeks ago to what they have now. They are not gaining weight I don't think.

    I am trying to decide how to feed them. I am guessing on the three medium young be hive with drawn comb, I may just put the hive top feeder two gal of two to one and the small hive with young bees and no real drawn I guess I will give a pint every evining untill at least the first medium is drawn out and maby till two mediums are drawn.

    Did I mention that I really don't know what I am doing and think it is all going wrong everyting I mess with them. I also can not believe how many time I forget to do things that I planed to do, like moving a comb up in the empty box and I also may start some robbing going on cause I tore out about a third of a medium comb while fixing comb and left it on top of one of my long hive and had a bunch of stuck bees in honey on top of the hive where I used it as a table and fixed my wonky comb. I was going to put the comb on the inner cover of one of the hive or something but forgot.

    Oh well, whats done is done and I am not sure I am going back down there yet as I just washed all the sweat off.
    Thanks for reading and if anything I have done is glaringly stupid, please tell me as I would like to learn.
    gww
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    Last edited by gww; 04-18-2017 at 06:22 PM.
    zone 5b

  21. #20
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    gww, your bee farm keeps growing and you can't stop it. Keep building that wooden ware for them. You are being blessed with bees.

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