any ideas re: what to do after swarming (and I see an open queen cup)?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Pitt, NC, USA
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    764

    Question any ideas re: what to do after swarming (and I see an open queen cup)?

    My super-strong hive swarmed 3 weeks ago. Huge swarm, and it left w/o moving into 1 of my bait hives.

    I've since reduced it from 2 deeps and a medium to just 1 deep. Checked it yest -- saw a queen cup, open at the bottom, and a few frames with some capped brood (scattered, but mostly in the center of the frame). Bee #s still pretty small, no pollen being brought in (that I can tell), and I never have luck finding a queen when I try, so .... if there's a virgin queen, or even a mated one, wandering around, I don't know.

    Any suggestions re: how I should handle this? Should I buy a queen, introduce her, and if she's being balled by the hive's denizens, pull her out and somehow (!!) locate the hive's queen and zap her, then reintroduce the fresh queen? Or ... should I wait, hoping the capped brood maybe came from a newly-mated queen and that maybe I've just missed seeing pollen coming in?

    Could be gasping a straws here. Any ideas/concepts/anecdotes would be appreciated .....

    Mitch

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Wise county,Texas
    Posts
    253

    Default Re: any ideas re: what to do after swarming (and I see an open queen cup)?

    See any eggs? Not knowing if and when a queen hatched, you really cant say when you should expect her to lay. If she hatched the day the swarm left, you should expect to see eggs by now, if she hatched 14-16 days after the swarm, should hopefully find eggs in a week or so.

    Before spending the coin on a new queen, I'd either find the virgin/queen, or easier yet, take a frame of new eggs from another hive, shake off all the bees and give it to the swarmed hive, you will know in a day or two if they make queen cells. Then you can decide if you want to order a queen or let them go ahead and raise one.
    “Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the Ark, professionals built the Titanic”

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
    Posts
    1,316

    Default Re: any ideas re: what to do after swarming (and I see an open queen cup)?

    There is likely a young Queen in there somewhere. It isn't always necessary to find her as they can be hard to find.
    After three weeks you should be seeing eggs and larva. If she emerged 4 to 6 days after the swarm, then a week to get to flying and mated. Bad flying weather could delay the timing some. Sometimes they just don't return.
    I would not be too worried yet, but I would be looking for eggs instead of a Queen.
    If your mated Queen left with the swarm, all of the brood should have emerged by now, except Drones.
    I would also carefully check the frames that were removed for eggs. Just to be sure.
    I am getting better at finding Queens since I learned to just look for Queens. It is easy to get distracted by all of the other things going on in the hive. I have to do an inspection or look for Queens, not both.

    Good luck
    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Pitt, NC, USA
    Posts
    764

    Default Re: any ideas re: what to do after swarming (and I see an open queen cup)?

    Thx, guys; I'd check for eggs but .... wouldn't see 'em. My visual acuity ain't so terrific, and -- to tell the truth -- in 4 years with bees, I don't think I've ever seen a bee egg (!). Tiny larvae, yeah, but no eggs.

    I'll give the deep a little while longer, then check to see if there's any development at all.

    Much obliged ....

    itch

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Wise county,Texas
    Posts
    253

    Default Re: any ideas re: what to do after swarming (and I see an open queen cup)?

    Next time you're at Walmart or some other store, pick up a magnifying glass, many are under 10 bucks. You'll be able to see the license plates on those eggs
    “Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the Ark, professionals built the Titanic”

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