Swarm 1 week ago and I think I destroyed the new larvae
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Racine, WI, USA
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    Default Swarm 1 week ago and I think I destroyed the new larvae

    My bees swarmed a week ago. I'm guessing it was due to some overcrowding since I haven't been able to check on the hive lately.

    After the swarm, I added an empty large super on top. I went into the hive yesterday and there hasn't been any building of new comb in the new super. They have also built a bunch of supersedure cells between the top super and bottom super which were pretty much destroyed when I opened the box and started inspecting frames. I'm guessing they were using that space because they had nowhere else to go. I'm afraid I may have ruined my chances of them re-queening themselves.

    I am not seeing any eggs and only a tiny amount of larvae so I don't think they've re-queened as of yet. The two supers are full of nectar and honey.

    Any advice as to what I should do? Should I purchase a new queen or hope that they have some more supersedure cells laying around?
    What should I do going forward? They need some brooding room, but haven't started on the top super - is that because they will only focus on storing honey at this point?

    Thanks much!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Boaz, KY, USA
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    1,163

    Default Re: Swarm 1 week ago and I think I destroyed the new larvae

    morrben:

    While there are much more experienced beekeepers on here that I hope will reply too, I might be able to offer some input.

    Specifically, if you are sure your hive swarmed a week ago and you had queen cells between boxes, it seems likely that those were swarm cells. Assuming it had been a full week after your colony swarmed before you inspected, it is possible that one of those queens could have already emerged and would be in residence but may not have started laying yet. Did you look closely at the cells to see if any looked like they were open at the end rather than capped?

    Thinking through the math:

    Queen Cell Capped: 8 - 9 days after egg laid - swarm issued.

    Queen Emerges: 15 - 16 days after egg laid - 7 days +/- after swarm issued.

    Assuming a queen begins laying approximately 28 days after the egg was laid, you could:

    1. Wait another week and inspect for eggs.

    2. If you have another hive (or a friend with a hive) you could get an open brood frame with freshly-laid eggs and put it in your hive as insurance.

    3. Buy a queen, knowing she might not be well-received if there is a new queen in residence already.

    I have included some hyperlinks relative to swarm timing below which have been helpful to me, and might be of benefit to you:

    http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/swarmprocedure.html

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm

    Otherwise, queenless versus queenright hives will respond very differently to your manipulations at this point so I would probably try to get this issue settled first before addressing the top super.

    Also, it might help to add your location such that folks can give seasonal development advice which is appropriate to your locale.

    Good luck with your efforts the rest of the season.

    Russ

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Racine, WI, USA
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    2

    Default Re: Swarm 1 week ago and I think I destroyed the new larvae

    Did you look closely at the cells to see if any looked like they were open at the end rather than capped?
    No, I did not, but there were definitely larvae in the ones that were torn apart.

    Thanks for the information. I'm learning that I need to keep learning here .

    I will check again next week and post an update (with some pictures hopefully).

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Boaz, KY, USA
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    1,163

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by morrben View Post
    I will check again next week and post an update (with some pictures hopefully).
    Morrben:

    Please do keep us updated- one of the many joys of beekeeping is it seems there is no way to plumb the depth of learning everything there is to know. In my humble opinion, I think you are on the right track by learning all you can and not being afraid to get into your hive and observe what is going on- knowing that you can (and likely will) draw false conclusions from time-to-time.

    Best of success to you!

    Russ

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