Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I checked my two hives today; both packaged 5 weeks ago. Two weeks ago they were both healthy and had 5ish frames of brood/eggs each. Well, now they are both queenless!

One hive had four separate frames with capped queen cells in the center of the frames; total of about 10 cells. The other had no queen cells and only a few brood hatching out... But they have more workers than the other.

So, I took a frame with 4 capped Queens on it and swapped it for an empty frame in the other hive with no queen cells. Leaving the first hive with 5-6 capped queen cells (one being the largest cell) and the second hive with 4 capped queen cells.

What are my chances of this working out?

Thanks,

MT




p.s. - I also snagged a good size swarm this week, so at least I have that going for me. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
338 Posts
Your chances are excellent. Congrats on the swarm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,272 Posts
But that high up they could have been superstager (sp) cells so keep a eye on them.
David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Update today:

The first hive (with all the capped queen cells) has just a bunch of empty queen cells that look all chewed up and torn down. I did not see any queens running around, but I did here a high pitched chirping that came from two distinctly opposite sides of the hive a mere second apart. I read that virgins will do this when they are fighting... It was definitely a different sound... Quick high-pitched buzzes that were almost cricket like.

The hive that I gave a frame with capped queen cells on it has at least one queen. When I popped the inner cover up, she was the first be I saw right on a top bar. She quickly scurried down and I closed them up.

The swarm (one week hived) seems to be petering out... Drew out some comb, and some queen cups on the bottom of one frame. No queen found and about half the amount of bees.

Any thoughts?
 

·
Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
53,986 Posts
>Two weeks ago they were both healthy and had 5ish frames of brood/eggs each. Well, now they are both queenless!

Very doubtful. Bees usually manage to raise a queen if they actually are queenless. The one with cells may still be in that process. The one without likely has a virgin who isn't laying yet...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Very doubtful. Bees usually manage to raise a queen if they actually are queenless. The one with cells may still be in that process. The one without likely has a virgin who isn't laying yet...
I hived them on 5/17 and checked them quick on 5/24 to make sure they were building straight comb and if they were laying... No eggs. They weren't building weird, so I left them for 2 weeks. I checked them on 6/7 and both had 4-5 frames of eggs/brood/capped brood.

I checked them again on 6/21 and one had all the Queen cells, and the other had just a ton of capped brood (no eggs, no brood).

The swarm had a queen (saw her) and about 4lbs of bees... One week later they have about 1/2lb of bees hanging around couple of Queen cups on the bottom of one comb.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
A swarm often has a laying queen and they may start queen cells immediately or they may not. You said they had queen cells. Are they just cups?
They were cups (3-4) on the bottom of one newly drawn comb; foundationless, so they were on the tip of the comb. This is where the bees were all clustered, but there was only a softball size group. They were a soccer ball size when I nabbed them off the limb. They had no eggs or larvae, and I could not find the queen they had with them when I hived them.

There are bees flying in and out, with maybe 1 in 30 having pollen in tow. I know they haven't wandered to the other hives next door because the other two hives are very light-colored bees and the swarm is noticeably dark bodied.

They have not drawn out much comb, like I was hoping, as I thought they would be comb building machines like everyone says swarms are. They aren't storing much either. Just sorta seem to be bringing in enough to feed the current bees. I have about 100 acres of alfalfa in bloom (too wet for farmers to chop) and yellow sweet clover in all the ditches, with white sweet clover right behind and beginning to open a bit...so we aren't in any dearth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
So, I just checked on these hives.

First hive (that made all the queen cells) is still queenless and has about 5 lbs of bees (and a ton of pollen). The swarm has a drone layer and half a frame of bees.

The hive I put a frame of Queen cells into, is now queenright and has 5 full frames of open and capped brood.

So, my question is.... Do I just combine them all? Is there enough season left in WI to have the one queenless hive raise a queen if I give them some eggs?

Suggestions?

Thanks,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Update:

I was going to combine all my hives last week, but life (i.e. - work) got in the way and I never had a chance. I checked the queenless hive on Saturday morning so that I could prepare to combine them later in the day (near dusk).

Well, the queenless hive now has 3-5 frames of open and capped brood.

So, I now have two queenright hives after they successfully raised queens and they made it back. Now hopefully they can build up enough to make it through winter.

Thanks for all the help.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top