Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a First-time beekeeper and have two hives. All was well with them, and I had added both a second brood box and first honey super. Then, both Queens died/disappeared/went on vacation to the Carribean. I have Supercedure cells in both hives, and have removed all but two in one hive, and left two cells in the other hive as well (although there may be more I didn't see.)
The bees are frantically filling up both their brood boxes with honey and pollen, so I am wondering where the emerging Queen will be able to lay eggs if both brood boxes have capped honey in them? One box also has some capped drone cells. I had eggs and larva about two weeks ago, so I'm guessing I'm still many days away from having a laying Queen in either hive.
I'm in Northern Minnesota, and do not plan to over-Winter my bees, because there is minimal success with that here. Just need to get them through the season. Since it appears that both hives are replacing their own Queens...what should I do to make sure there is room for new brood? Halp!::s
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,533 Posts
Well I would put a super on and watch them to see what happens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,873 Posts
When they replace the queens like that, the hive goes broodless before new queen starts laying. With lessening and then no brood to feed, the bees backfill the nectar into the broodnest. When new queen starts laying, they'll start moving that honey up out of the broodnest to give the queenie room to lay. If they don't have room to move honey up, there could be congestion problems right away.

If your supers are sealed honey, you can remove them and extract and put them back on. This will give them room to then move the remaining honey up out of broodnest and into the drawn comb above. If you can't, but can add another super, then checkerboard the frames between the new and old supers to give the bees incentive to draw out the new foundation combs better for moving honey up. If you have supers of already drawn comb, then just put them on under the existing supers and above the brood boxes.

Once the new queen starts laying, they will turn the stored nectar and pollen in the brood area into brood also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you so much for that info! I am so relieved! I didn't realize they could move the honey, once they had placed it anywhere. I have plenty of empty honey supers to put on there (including the ones that I have on each hive right now.)
I'm going to give each hive about 10 days before I check them again. (The bees are kind of crabby right now!)

Thanks again for the good info...none of my books addressed this.:applause:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,144 Posts
What if you was a 1st yr beekeeper and only had new foundation and frames with no drawn comb. Would they still draw the comb first and move the honey in the supers?????? This was an interesting question that seems to take place alot in the beekeeping world! So i was just curious!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,461 Posts
Don't assume you are too far north to winter your bees. It looks like you are about at the same latitude as Grand Forks. Certainly bees are over wintered much further north than that. Keep the girls as healthy as you can. Use two brood boxes and make sure the top box is filled with honey -- feed in Sept. if they are light. When the weather gets cold, put a piece of homosote or build-rite on the top (under the inner cover) and wrap them with tar paper. The top covers are porous and absorb water so the bees stay dry through the winter. Make sure they have a reducer in place and cross your fingers. With any luck, you'll have at least one hive come through the winter and you can split it to get back to two hives. If they don't make it through the winter, you aren't out much.

For preparing your hives for winter, the University of MN has a nice poster available here. http://www.extension.umn.edu/honeybees/components/freebees.htm They use three hive bodies, but I've found two works darn well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
983 Posts
All advise given so far is a good plan. I agree that dont be so certain your hive wont overwinter. Getting the new queen mated and laying is priority.

One thing I would never do is cut out supercedure cells. I would leave all of them and let the queens decide who is the strongest. I have a hive this year that had 16 capped supercedure cells. I left them all and after the first 3-6 emerged the workers tore down the rest. That hive is very strong now.

Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So much great information and help! Thank you!
And... darn. I wondered about leaving more supercedure cells, so the emerging Queenlets could fight it out. I most likely missed some of the cells anyway...since this is my first year with bees.
As for overwintering here...all the local experts agree that we live in some sort of parallel dimension for bees, because they survive well North of us and South of us...just not HERE for reasons no one has been able to figure out. I might try to save my strongest colony over the Winter, and see if I can get them through. (Thanks for the link to the winterizing poster--I saved that to my computer for Fall.) It is kind of sad to have all those girls working so hard, and then just let them freeze or starve. (I have numerous other kinds of "livestock" so abandoning them is pretty abhorent to me.)
Well, thanks again folks for all the great advice. It's because of you that I didn't lose any sleep over this one (yet.) ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
I'm in Northern Minnesota, and do not plan to over-Winter my bees, because there is minimal success with that here. Just need to get them through the season. Since it appears that both hives are replacing their own Queens...what should I do to make sure there is room for new brood? Halp!::s
I think I might be north-er than you are, and I fully intend to overwinter my hives. If you give them enough space for food and the broodnest, I don't see any reason to think they won't make it.

eta: okay, you're a bit farther up than I am, but still. They do it in Canada, so we can do it down here!
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top