Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
714 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm a first time beekeeper that recently acquired two packages of Italian bees. I put them in their hives almost two weeks ago and took a second look at them today.

One of the hives I inspected seemed to be doing well. Even though I couldn't spot the queen, there was a lot of eggs, brood, some capped brood, honey, and pollen in the foundationless racks. That was the first time I've seen that so it was pretty exciting!

The second hive had a decent amount of drawn comb but very little brood (almost nonexistant) and some capped queen cups. See pictures. They had several frames of honey (clear, probably from sugar syrup I had fed them) and pollen. I did not see a queen in the hive but could very well have overlooked her.

Should I let the bees try to produce their own queen or start trying to buy one? Should I take a frame of brood from the hive with the good queen and trade it for a frame of honey in the second hive? Any other suggestions on what to do?

Thanks so much for any advice!



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
Could possibly be honey bound, queen not having room enough to lay. What does the volume of bees look like, how many frames do they cover? You may have to consider splitting or at least opening the brood nest. Have you seen the queen in the hive in question? I would let them make their own queen if you have enough drones for proper mating. Keep a close eye on it. Hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,186 Posts
Sure doesn't look honeybound. The queen that came with them is being superceded. I would put the colony back together and do nothing and stay out for a minimum of two weeks. Consider taking a frame of mostly eggs out of your good colony and brush the bees off and donate it to the superceding one so they have a population boost coming and stay out. In fact in two weeks those capped cells will only just be mated and thinking about laying. So be patient.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
714 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It looked like a queen would have room to lay eggs. They had filled out about 1/2 of the rack space of an eight frame medium. All the drawn comb was completely covered in bees. Would I even have enough time for the queen cups to hatch, mate, lay eggs, and raise new bees before the package bees die of old age?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
714 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sure doesn't look honeybound. The queen that came with them is being superceded. I would put the colony back together and do nothing and stay out for a minimum of two weeks. Consider taking a frame of mostly eggs out of your good colony and brush the bees off and donate it to the superceding one so they have a population boost coming and stay out. In fact in two weeks those capped cells will only just be mated and thinking about laying. So be patient.
Thanks for the response. So you think in two weeks the queens from the cups will have hatched and mated and will be close to laying eggs? And you think this approach is probably better than buying a queen, right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
I am having the EXACT same issue with a package installed on a 10 frame medium. Currently, they have about 5 frames drawn out and plenty of space. I inspected today and did not see eggs queen cell.JPG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
779 Posts
So a new queen would emerge 8 days after the QC is capped, mate in about 6 days after emerging and begin to lay about 5 days after that.
Is this consistent with a failed queen?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,237 Posts
Looks like supercedure cells. No biggie. They will be a little behind due to no eggs being laid for about a month, but they will recover.
This is a good educational experience for you.
I'd leave the colony to do it's thing. That's just me though.
Agree 100%
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
887 Posts
So a new queen would emerge 8 days after the QC is capped, mate in about 6 days after emerging and begin to lay about 5 days after that.
Is this consistent with a failed queen?
that would be best case .....likely will be 1 to 5 days more than you figure. Twenty eight days from a freshly laid egg to a laying queen is about the minimum usually.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
779 Posts
that would be best case .....likely will be 1 to 5 days more than you figure. Twenty eight days from a freshly laid egg to a laying queen is about the minimum usually.
Right, about 7 days from layed egg to capped cell
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,869 Posts
I had a package discard their queen as well, thought it was growing slowly, even though the original queen dumped 3 frames of eggs on drawn comb almost immediatly. I was stunned to see yesterday during an inspection that one cell had hatched and another killed. side torn out, I think thats the sign. Hope she gets knocked up soon by some of my VSH drones..... G
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
714 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well I'll plan on letting the bees handle it on their own.

A sincere "thank you" goes out to everyone who responded. Your suggestions and information are invaluable to new beekeepers like me! Much appreciated.

That being said, if anyone else has something to add to the discussion I'd love to hear it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
685 Posts
Well I'll plan on letting the bees handle it on their own.

A sincere "thank you" goes out to everyone who responded. Your suggestions and information are invaluable to new beekeepers like me! Much appreciated.

That being said, if anyone else has something to add to the discussion I'd love to hear it.
I kept this video by Michael Palmer in mind when I installed my packages.

http://youtu.be/N_-jNK18aYY
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,433 Posts
I have a package doing the same thing. Queen laid a patch of brood about fist sized on two combs, and one patch has three nice queen cells in it. Mine look more like emergency cells than regular supercedure cells, so it's possible I squished her removing the queen cage.

At any rate, I have a good crop of drones flying from my other hive, so I expect to find eggs in a week.

Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,433 Posts
Well, someone laid a couple frames top to bottom with eggs a week or so ago in my package hive, since there are now two nice frames of capped brood, pretty as you please.

I suspect the original queen (didn't go digging to find her, I'm quite content to see brood and eggs) rather than a supercedure queen, but I'll keep any eye out for the remnants of a drone comet on the ground in front of the hive anyway.

They are busy, building out another pair of frames already so all is well.

Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
478 Posts
Michael Bush, this is very interesting about two queen colonies. Where can I learn more about this? Did you discover just by observation?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,373 Posts
They're usually called "frames" in the U.S.A. vs "racks", and queen cell cups never contain anything, if they contain an egg or queen in any other stage of development, especially capped, they're then actually "queen cells" and no longer just "cups".

As has already been mentioned, it appears that your resident queen is in the process of being replaced by her workers. This is normal and it is usually best not to interfere with the process.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top