Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I'll add some background to this post so you have some context.

I've had my hive/colony for around 15 months. We're approaching winter here in Sydney but its not a bad winter and we never even see frost on the grass in the mornings where I am.

ABout 3 months ago (Towards the end of summer) my bees started getting uber aggressive. Just going in the front yard within 3 or 4 metres of the hive would have the troops out and buzzing around your head. Usually one of them would fire a successful shot. This just kept getting worse and hive inspections were horrible. They were so gently last year that even 6 months into my hive I was inspecting with no gear and never getting stung.

So, I figured, from the copious amounts of reading I did, that a new queen was required. So I ordered one. I found only 1 of the 7 places I contacted actually had them - presumably because we're in Autumn?.

When the new queen arrived I spent forever looking for the old queen to no avail. Then on the second dday I found her and removed her. I put the new queen's plastic cage in the middle of the hive right where the majority of bees were and surrounded by brood comb. So excited that I nailed my first requeening. Now, I had read lots of pro's and con's of immediate requeening rather than waiting and honestly I weighed it all up and considering how unpleasant opening the hive was atm, I just did it straight away (well, about 30mins after removing the old one).

I waited about 11 days to inspect (yesterday) and I saw a lot of capped brood, but no eggs.

I just did another inspection today after some picture studying confirming what I was looking for. None.

But, here's the kicker, I found 2 queen cells. I don't know how long these take to build but I'm sure I would have seen them yesterday if they were there. One cell is uncapped (and had a bee in it, maybe getting it ready?) the other was capped.

This would suggest to me that the hive is currently queenless.

The hive is really strong and I recently put a honey super on. The bee's cover all of the brood come and are 4 or 5 bees deep in mounds on the bottom of the frame. If my hive is growing new queens I'm relatively comfortable (given our climate) that they'd be ok. But, maybe I should remove the super if the population is to thin out as there are not many up there yet. Do I also restrict the entrance? I have a toothed piece of metal that slides over the entrance.

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Christian.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,055 Posts
I think this may be a case of the workers having started their own emergency cells and not accepting the introduced queen. You likely have a virgin queen. The cell with a bee in it may just be a worker exploring. The other unopened may be a dud or it may have been repaired. It takes a bit of detective work sometimes to decide whether a queen emerged or cells aborted.

Here is a link to a thread with info that might be of use. https://www.beesource.com/forums/search.php?searchid=15247853
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I think this may be a case of the workers having started their own emergency cells and not accepting the introduced queen. You likely have a virgin queen. The cell with a bee in it may just be a worker exploring. The other unopened may be a dud or it may have been repaired. It takes a bit of detective work sometimes to decide whether a queen emerged or cells aborted.

Here is a link to a thread with info that might be of use. https://www.beesource.com/forums/search.php?searchid=15247853
Thanks Frank,

That link doesn't work.

Should I just wait and see what happens? I'll check with the supplier of the Queen to see if she was mated or not.

Thanks,

Christian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,055 Posts
You will see that there can be lots of confusion about what state they are actually in. It is important to eliminate or at least consider all the possibilities since some moves would be very wrong and risk losing a valuable queen. The possibility of having more than one queen seldom occurs to you after you have found ONE.

Drone laying queens, laying workers, caste queens that appear almost worker like, can all haunt you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Hi Guys,

I'm now 2.5 weeks since introducing my queen. I can't find her and I have no eggs still. My capped brood is dwindling and the uncapped queen cell is gone and the capped queen cell remains.

Do I wait now for the growing queen or do I chance my hand at introducing another queen?

Thanks in advance,

Christian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I have nowhere to move my hive to. So I went and picked up a queen yesterday afternoon and installed her this morning.
I removed the single Queen cell and I removed my almost empty honey super. There are now only very few capped brood cells and a lot of them were breaking out now (which matches my dates as the old Queen was removed almost 3 weeks ago.)

Fingers crossed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
So I inspected last weekend and it wasn't pleasant viewing with no capped brood at all and no sign of eggs.

But today when I went in I found a small amount of capped brood along with some larvae. The brood is definitely worker and not drone which is awesome!

Still couldn't see eggs but I think my methods aren't correct and I'm going to buy a magnifying glass with a light to make it easier to see them as I think I'm just missing them.

Going to open again in a few days to check the brood is increasing and try to spot some eggs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,124 Posts
If your Queen is just starting to lay or there are not enough bees to care for large amounts of brood you will find small patches of capped brood which is normal and sounds like what you have found.
Start looking at one of those frames from the edge of the capped brood outward. You should see larva about to be capped growing progressively younger until you eventually see eggs.
Sometimes you will find a thin semi-circle of capped brood towards the edges of the frame with the center being empty, this would be a frame of emerging brood. Sometimes the Queen will be back on that frame laying from the center. I find that on weak splits quite often or colonies that are brooding up in early Spring.
Happy Hunting,
Alex
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Alex, that's reassuring.

I'm so keen to find eggs now, I definitely want to be able to look for them whenever I do an inspection. I'll try to go outward from the brood and larvae.

Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Just to close this out, I did an inspection today and there was almost zero available comb. Honey/pollen and capped brood everywhere!! There wasn't any room for anything else so I put my honey super back on so they could at least expand a bit. The new queen is super productive!

Thanks guys, I think my hive is ok now, just in time for winter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,124 Posts
That's good news. Thanks for the update.

Alex
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top