Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,661 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that I have all my colonies in three medium brood chambers I'm having trouble locating queens . Not only do I have 30 frames instead of 20 where she could be hiding but I'm finding fresh larvae in more than one box so its hard to eliminate any of the boxes making this once easy task much hard now . I've been trying to get some sugar rolls done for mite checks but don't want the queen to end up in my sugar jar . I'm thinking I could shake the bees off of a frame with fresh larvae and put it in a box above a excluder and give them 30 mins to a hour and go back and do my test but this process takes longer . Any other ideas ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,794 Posts
Look for the eggs that are still standing on end. it is the last location she was in . Usually she will not be far from them. I can pretty much track the travels of a queen through my hive by examining the brood. I can tell you the frames she was on yesterday , the day before and the day before that. Right on up to the day cells get capped. after that the trail goes cold. Plus I have little need to know where she was over a week ago.

Difficult in finding a queen is a relative thing. Such as finding one on 40 packed shoulder to shoulder dog piling bees. Leads me to the thought. if your hives is so populated you cannot find the queen. Do you need to find the queen?

In the case your answer is yes I need to separate her or something. here is a trick. split the hive with a queen excluder. Come back in a day or two and find the freshly laid eggs. that is the half you queen is in. If that is the one box portion you got lucky and know what box she is in. if it is the two box portion you can remove those two boxes and split them with the excluder. again return in a day and find the freshly laid eggs. that is the box your queen is in. If you actually need to capture the queen you now only have 10 medium fraems to search through.

Another way to find a queen is to place a queen excluder on top of the hive. place an empty super on top of that now shake all the bees off the frames so that they pass through the excluder into the hive. the queen will not be able to pass and is easily found.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,757 Posts
Now that I have all my colonies in three medium brood chambers I'm having trouble locating queens . Not only do I have 30 frames instead of 20 where she could be hiding but I'm finding fresh larvae in more than one box so its hard to eliminate any of the boxes making this once easy task much hard now . I've been trying to get some sugar rolls done for mite checks but don't want the queen to end up in my sugar jar . I'm thinking I could shake the bees off of a frame with fresh larvae and put it in a box above a excluder and give them 30 mins to a hour and go back and do my test but this process takes longer . Any other ideas ?
I tried running some mediums as part of the brood nest a few years back and went away from them for a number of reasons, one of which you just hit on. Given the fact that we find and replace queens on every hive every year we found (to my surprise) that we were spending a disprortionate amount of time looking for queens on hives with mediums. While that was only a minor factor in our decision to go back to all deeps, it was a source of frustration.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,604 Posts
I'm thinking I could shake the bees off of a frame with fresh larvae and put it in a box above a excluder and give them 30 mins to a hour and go back and do my test but this process takes longer.
If you don't want to take any chances and want to be "absolutely certain" the queen does not end up damaged in the sugar jar your idea sounds great to me. Yes, it's an extra step and takes a little more time, but you can rest easier at the end of the day knowing your queen is safe and sound. Not very practical for someone with a lot of colonies, but it sounds like a fairly quick and easy method for hobbyists with a handful of hives.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,661 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mike can I get enough bees for a sugar roll off one frame or should I do two , have you pretty much experienced the same with your medium setup .

Daniel hives looking great lots of bees working hard building fast , shouldn't I be always testing . I would like to base my mite load buy the activity of the hive but from what I have read on here it could be a false reading and the mites could build up and take out the hive before you could treat .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,757 Posts
Jim,
What is you re-queening method?
Thanks,
Larry
Briefly? It starts with a hive tool and ends with a queen cell a couple days later. :). In between we like uniformity at around 3 to 4 combs and relocation to a new site, allowing a full days flying time then even up as needed when installing cells if drifting was a problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,604 Posts
Mike can I get enough bees for a sugar roll off one frame or should I do two , have you pretty much experienced the same with your medium setup.
Bruce, if I were to move brood frames up as you described I would probably move 3 or 4 brood frames up just to be sure I had enough bees for the test. I would not want to have to go back and repeat it.

Your mite loads will probably be close to peaking right now in August. It will be interesting to see what your results are.

I just went through several of my colonies yesterday taking off supers and doing quick inspections of the brood nest. Yes, with the population of bees so high I find it difficult to find the queens too. I usually don't even try to find her, if the brood looks good that's all I need to see. Once in a while I'll spot a queen but I don't search them out. If the queen needs to be replaced then I will use a method as Daniel Y explained if I cannot locate her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,661 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Mike are you saying I could just check the frames for the test real good trying to make sure she's not on them without actually finding her .And go ahead and use those frames for the test .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,661 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I did two sugar rolls the first was a 5 frame nuc I purchased this spring , they have been very good bee's , calm easy to work and fast to build up , I found only one mite . The other was a strong hive that overwintered and I was afraid might have mites because last year this hive along with others had very hi mite counts , I only found one mite there also , this seems odd as last year I had alot of mites and haven't treated at all this year , even the nucs I purchased last year had hi mite loads , the nucs I got this year were from a different supplier . The only thing I did different was adding pro health to my sugar syrup this spring .Ant thoughts on what I should be looking for as I head into my goldenrod flow , its just starting to get the yellow color on top .
 

·
Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
54,199 Posts
Having done plenty of both finding queens in ten frame deeps and eight frame mediums, I think it's easier in an eight frame medium for several reasons. First, I can sweep across a frame from left to right and I'm done on a medium. On a deep I have to circle around several times or I may miss her when she moves. Second, if you listen for the queenless roar and you keep an eye out for where you see more bees and calmer bees and quieter bees, you can usually figure out what box had the queen in it. First, when you are going to work a box, lift it off and put it on a stand. A queenless box will soon be roaring. No need to look there.

If you really need to find a queen, an excluder between each box for four days will have eggs in only one box, the one with the queen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,794 Posts
Daniel hives looking great lots of bees working hard building fast , shouldn't I be always testing . I would like to base my mite load buy the activity of the hive but from what I have read on here it could be a false reading and the mites could build up and take out the hive before you could treat .
I tend to test if I have reason to test. Others have reached the point they do not bother testing at all. They give the reason that if you continue to not find mites long enough the effort becomes futile. Sort of like I can have my bees tested for radiation also. but why?

I do not do sugar shakes or washes to test for mites. I do not consider them reliable unless you are familiar with how to apply the variations of the seasons. Heck I am lucky if I can figure out what season we are in. I look for mites where I am concerned about them being, on brood. And then only if something about the hive causes me to consider mites a problem. I do not generally advise that sort of management but I simply have found that random checks provide no reliable results anyway.

I have only found mites in the drone brood of my hives twice in three years. Both times where newly acquired swarms. I am starting to suspect the best prevention of mites are strong colonies. Leading me to continue to believe that those that have found success at treatment free beekeeping have simply become competent beekeepers. Keep bees well and bees will remain well. At least as a general rule.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top