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Had a strange one today;

10 frame deep parent colony of a split decided to go back to nature I guess. They had one honey super on and seemed to be doing OK as a single deep. Today I noticed lower entrance activity and on inspection showed many open queen cells. About 24 vacant, one still capped with a purple eyed queen and 2 duds still capped. The strange thing is that of the 20 or so cells with neatly opened ends, none had been opened from the side.

I did not see any virgins but that is par for me as I am not gifted at seeing even mated queens. Cell openings are all fresh looking and there is still lots of capped worker brood so I am guessing not the product of multiple after swarms.

I have read something about workers sometimes protecting remaining cells but never anything to this extent; 20 or so and not even 1 from the typical side hole.

Thoughts.
 

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IF they were the same age and were chewing their way out at the same hour then none really had the upper hand of maturity.
the bees may have reduced the numbers. I opened a hive a week ago seemed to have superseded, seen two balls of bees, upon further inspection there were queens being stung.
One was already dead the other was not. As an experiment I tossed her on the landing board of a hive I was not particularly impressed with. She was marked different than the one in there so I will find out if "running in a virgin" works or not. either way she was on the extermination list. Also do see multi queen hives so you will maybe see 2 or 3 in the future or not. Later season the birds and dragon flys get more so perhaps 10 flying out to mate will get you at least one back.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter #4
IF they were the same age and were chewing their way out at the same hour then none really had the upper hand of maturity.
the bees may have reduced the numbers. I opened a hive a week ago seemed to have superseded, seen two balls of bees, upon further inspection there were queens being stung.
One was already dead the other was not. As an experiment I tossed her on the landing board of a hive I was not particularly impressed with. She was marked different than the one in there so I will find out if "running in a virgin" works or not. either way she was on the extermination list. Also do see multi queen hives so you will maybe see 2 or 3 in the future or not. Later season the birds and dragon flys get more so perhaps 10 flying out to mate will get you at least one back.

GG
I just hope that they did not ALL leave with the swarm. I did destroy the one apparently viable cell left in the process of removing them all. I put in a test brood frame this morning to see if they think they have a prospective queen.

I am having more fun recently than I have had in a long while. One of my grafts into a 5 frame nuc apparently hatched and the time frame said mated so I marked her. Have been waiting for her to start laying but 40 days from graft date I gave up. Examined her close before pinching and she seems to have something amiss with the ovipositor. Bigger than a stuck egg and not the mating sign I originally thought it was. History now!

Another nuc I split off and ran in a laying queen dipped in honey did not accept her. Dont bet the farm that you can always get away with putting a laying queen into a fresh split! Today I saw a few eggs but unless it is a messed up new queen, then I have the very beginning of laying worker. 2, 3, and 4 eggs to the cell. Hope is is not LW. There were none yesterday afternoon.

I was planning those nucs to sell in the spring. I can get a couple of mated queens mailed next week but the mail is iffy with the Covid overload. The seller has not been mailing this season but I may take a chance at my own risk. Getting late here to get a queen mated and up to speed though I do have a few 48 hr. cells on the go.

It keeps me out of the poolroom anyway;)
 

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Thanks for the update Frank,

i have a couple that just stopped laying, My first pass i did not find the queen, I "think" a dearth caused some shut down but I am not sure, and do not really want to start feeding now, I'll check more thorough in a couple weeks. They are Russians and at times they do "take a break". drives me to drink some times but its still fun.

Bet the eggs do not get a QC started and you are good, queens are funny sometimes.

I may try a 1/2 pollen patty, and some Syrup, on 1 and nada on the others to confirm is it is dearth or not just for a test.

GG
 

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Russians shouldn't stop laying completely.

Russians are also really swarmy - they drive me bonkers.

One of my queens just flys out of her nest like it's a parrot in a cage trying to take a flight around the house.

I wouldn't recommend russians if you can't easily catch swarms.
 

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Russians shouldn't stop laying completely.

Russians are also really swarmy - they drive me bonkers.

One of my queens just flys out of her nest like it's a parrot in a cage trying to take a flight around the house.

I wouldn't recommend russians if you can't easily catch swarms.
they Do stop completely as in "no sealed brood" see the queen , in a week they start.
Bonkers is a yes


GG
 
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