Shooting from the hip....emergency split
Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Deer Lodge MT
    Posts
    859

    Default Shooting from the hip....emergency split

    I'll tell you what, the second year of beekeeping is a lot tougher than the first.

    What I consider our main hive has swarmed...probably twice.

    There are queen cells in there now that are capped. I elected to go in today to inspect what was going on. I discovered about 3 queen cells on the top brood box and 6-10 in the bottom. I've heard piping in there both a couple of weeks ago and today. I was told that piping can come from an umemerged queen and that the workers can keep the queens in the cells for an extended period causing several swarms.

    From the hip I decided to start tearing down the queen cells myself. I believe I got all the ones from the lower box. I put them in a jar. I left the three in the upper box...not sure why.

    Closed everything back up and was about to head into work. My wife noticed what looked like a queen in the jar. I came over and sure enough there she was a fresh virgin queen along with a handful of nurse bees. We took out the remaining cells and put some holes in the lid. I then went back out to the yard and created a nuc from another hive. I figure I'll try to put the virgin in this evening to see if they will accept her.

    At this point I have no idea what I am doing.
    4a

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    HOPKINTON, MA
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Shooting from the hip....emergency split

    That's crazy. Look forward to hearing how things shake out.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Derry, New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,220

    Default Re: Shooting from the hip....emergency split

    So I guess your scrapeathon of queen cells was to stop a swarm?
    I probably would have just split the boxes or put them in nucs. I think the pro's say less then half of queens come back and start laying.
    Totally agree 2nd year when you know more you worry more and have more to watch for. First year you are just holding on for the ride.
    Terrence

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Deer Lodge MT
    Posts
    859

    Default Re: Shooting from the hip....emergency split

    I split this hive once a couple of weeks ago. Thought that would stop it from swarming. It didn't for some reason. I figured I'd try to reduced the number of queen cells to prevent them from swarming a third time. Its numbers have drastically reduced. Not sure it could handle a third swarm.

    I do have another plan though if this time they don't stay put.
    4a

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Jordan, UT, USA
    Posts
    1,114

    Default Re: Shooting from the hip....emergency split

    Make the splits into nucs before this colony swarms itself to death. Those splits that fail can be recombined. You could end up with several new nucs to overwinter.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Jackson, Ohio (SE Ohio) USA
    Posts
    817

    Default Re: Shooting from the hip....emergency split

    FWIW, personally, I'll do one split to try to head off swarming, beyond that I'll do damage control after the swarm madness has passed. I've only had one colony that kept casting swarms, the last one was in early August which went into my mail box, the carrier had left open, it was about the size of a large orange. When things finally stabilized, had to feed heavily that fall, but they made it through the winter and now it's very mellow and productive. I'd be very interested to hear why some colonies keep swarming?

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    "Great Green Way", Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    394

    Default Re: Shooting from the hip....emergency split

    Zounds more like to me there is a problem with that colony - have a close look around at brood condition etc etc.
    Being as you chose to go with what you have do reduce the entrance so your laying queen cannot escape. Once you or they sort the problem remove the reducer.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Valdosta GA USA
    Posts
    202

    Default Re: Shooting from the hip....emergency split

    One year i found lots cells and did nothing the hive swarmed till nothing was left and no new queen showed up ,They will swarm to death left behind nice hive full honey pollen everything,Then one time same thing so i killed all cells i guess the queen had left i had nice hive but no eggs to raise a new queen tough mistake to make if you only have one hive.Try something dont just leave it to them good luck.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Deer Lodge MT
    Posts
    859

    Default Re: Shooting from the hip....emergency split

    I think I have elected to split this hive in two. I'll give each a another chance to re-queen and if they don't I'll attempt to go the store bought route.
    4a

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Deer Lodge MT
    Posts
    859

    Default Re: Shooting from the hip....emergency split

    Well I went ahead and split the hive in two today. I made sure both had at least one queen cell. I did notice that a couple of the queen cells were opened but not all. I did not see any evidence of an egg laying queen. I will check in another week and decide what to do at that point.
    4a

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Deer Lodge MT
    Posts
    859

    Default Re: Shooting from the hip....emergency split

    The main hive from this split has no brood. A lot of bees but no brood. When I split them a had my doubts.

    At this late date I elected to order a VSH queen. She should be here in two days. I'm going to steal a couple of frames from another hive and introduce her. I had good luck so far with the other VSH queen I bought.

    I'm going to let the other two hive have a bit more time. I think I may end up recombining.
    4a

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    "Great Green Way", Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    394

    Default Re: Shooting from the hip....emergency split

    Quote Originally Posted by Aroc View Post
    The main hive from this split has no brood. A lot of bees but no brood. When I split them a had my doubts.
    At this late date I elected to order a VSH queen. She should be here in two days. I'm going to steal a couple of frames from another hive and introduce her. I had good luck so far with the other VSH queen I bought.
    I'm going to let the other two hive have a bit more time. I think I may end up recombining.
    .....mmmm.
    Another option on that line of thought is to abandon that hive infrastructure.
    Remove remaining bees to a whole new hive you know is 'clean' wood and introduce your mailed queen there.
    Maybe store the old hive as a whole until next Spring to then try it again with a package.


    Cheers.


    Bill

  14. #13
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Deer Lodge MT
    Posts
    859

    Default Re: Shooting from the hip....emergency split

    Quote Originally Posted by eltalia View Post
    .....mmmm.
    Another option on that line of thought is to abandon that hive infrastructure.
    Remove remaining bees to a whole new hive you know is 'clean' wood and introduce your mailed queen there.
    Maybe store the old hive as a whole until next Spring to then try it again with a package.


    Cheers.


    Bill
    Can you expand on this? Are you saying to shake these bees onto an entirely new hive? Frames and all? Problem is I don't have and drawn comb. I would have to start with empty frames except for the brood frames I'm stealing from another hive.
    4a

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    "Great Green Way", Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    394

    Default Re: Shooting from the hip....emergency split

    Quote Originally Posted by Aroc View Post
    Can you expand on this? Are you saying to shake these bees onto an entirely new hive? Frames and all?
    Yes.
    Problem is I don't have and drawn comb. I would have to start with empty frames except for the brood frames I'm stealing from another hive.
    Sure, use known 'clean' brood frames but a whole new box in every other respect, lid and bottom board included. Effectively the way forward is to mimic a "quarantine" for the bees.
    Whilst it is late in the summer - assuming a NH location for your apiary - the bees have nothing to lose from this method of restructure.

    The motive comes from not knowing the causal factor to the breakdown of that colony, Changing what you can is maybe the only path to a rebuild of the colony.


    Cheers.


    Bill

  16. #15
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Deer Lodge MT
    Posts
    859

    Default Re: Shooting from the hip....emergency split

    A little update.....

    The hive I spoke about that swarmed a couple of times may have accepted a queen (VSH) and seems so far to be doing well. Looks like she's been laying for at least a week.

    I did another split from this hive a few weeks ago....actually two but they struggled. I combined the two last week sometime and discovered yesterday they had in fact made their own and she is laying. Saw uncapped and capped brood. I think I'm going to put them into a 10 frame deep.....they are in a double nuc right now. I'll just need to work on getting them built up for winter.

    I've discovered we have another hive that is queenless. Attempted to introduce a queen earlier this week but I'm afraid it didn't go well. I'll check next week.
    4a

  17. #16
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Deer Lodge MT
    Posts
    859

    Default Re: Shooting from the hip....emergency split

    Well just a bit of an update. I have 4 hives and all are finally queenright. I do have a nuc that I've tried a few things with that haven't worked out yet. Still not giving up on that one yet but I'm very excited to get back to the simple things in beekeeping like varroa control...
    4a

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •