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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I split my hive leaving the capped and uncapped queen cells in the original location and the old queen in the split.

The bees build some additional queen cells after the split... 9 total.

Yesterday, we heard several queens "Piping" and this morning the piping continued and we saw them dragging out a dead queen larva about 11 a.m.

About noon I went out to mow the lawn and saw about a 8"x10" square (mostly flat) "pile" of bees on the ground. Maybe a quart of bees total. They were balling a virgin queen and had ruffed her up pretty good.

While they were balling her the bees at the entrance were fanning to beat the band, like 40-50 of them.

Tonight more piping but only two "voices" IE different tones could be heard , not 4 like last night.

  1. My concern is that they will swarm. Will they swarm with a virgin queen?
  2. Will they have a virgin queen fight? Could the victor be damaged?
  3. Do they "choose the best queen" or is the next Queen-of-the-Hive, the one that emerges first and/or wins the fight?

I think they are culling/allowing the queens tp be culled down to one and it is all just fine. This is my first one so I don't really know what to expect next or what to watch for.

RKR
 

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>My concern is that they will swarm. Will they swarm with a virgin queen?

They certainly can. Will they is another matter. Afterswarms are always virgin queens. You made the primary swarm (so you'll lose a lot less bees if they do decide to "afterswarm")

>Will they have a virgin queen fight?

Yes.

> Could the victor be damaged?

Doubtful, but possible.

>Do they "choose the best queen" or is the next Queen-of-the-Hive, the one that emerges first and/or wins the fight?

The one that wins the fight. I watched this whole drama in an observation hive once between a queen with crumpled wings and one with good wings. Crumpled wings won. The hive ended up with laying workers as she tried to fly but couldn't mate or get back. it kind of made me wish I had intervened but I was curious to see how it would play out.
 

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Piping is close to a cricket cherp but higher pitch

i think there is some videos on Youtube that have piping queens

i have had some soo load that you can here them without opening the hive

i had one hive that had 8 queens running around piping to each other -- THAT A MESS - i had queens hatching on every frame i pulled out - but it filled up my mating nucs real fast !!!!!!!!!



also to hear 4 one day and 2 the next is nature taking course and queens being killed - they will sometimes sting unhatched virgin queens -

they can pipe even though they are not hatched yet
 

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Oh ya..piping is soo cool to hear, I had purchased two queens this year and while my nucs where learning they where queenless I had the queens sitting on my dresser and they went to piping back and forth and did it non stop for hours.
 

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I pulled up brood above excluders last night on several hives. I will probably grab them on my way home tonight. Sure is easy... shake the bees off of a few frames of brood... grab a frame or 2 of honey and pollen also...put them in a box above the excluder. Then return the next day and take them to a dif yard.

Hopefully i will postpone any piping! Im thinking its too late though.

JoeMcc (Who's borderline off thread topic)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
That would be called quacking right?
It reminded me of when I duck hunted a lot; when an old Mallard hen would let out a "WACK-WACk-WAck-Wack-wack-wac-wak-waqu".
It has a similar cadence to ducks calling, but a different pitch to it.
It was pretty cool to hear.

It is my understanding from a search here on "piping" that the Virgin-queen still in the cell make a lower pitch sound more like a duck and the Virgin-queens on the loose make a higher pitch "peeping" sound.

I heard both sounds in the last few days. I have not checked this morning yet.

RKR
 

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i heard it for the first time not too long ago. Was the coolest thing i have witnessed in a long time. I was looking at the queen when she did it on a frame of bees.....the hive had just requeened itself and she was on the warpath. Needless to say when i checked on the yesterday she had laid every cell on bothe sides of 2 frames...and when i say every cell, i am not exaggerating. Top to bottom, left to right!
 

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I split my hive leaving the capped and uncapped queen cells in the original location and the old queen in the split.
When I do a split like this I try to only leave swarm cells that are about the same age. For example, if there are capped and uncapped, I will cut out all of the uncapped. In my opinion it reduces the prospect of a secondary swarm.
The bees build some additional queen cells after the split... 9 total.
I go back about a week after the split and cut out any emergency cells....again, I believe that it reduces the possibility of a secondary swarm. Just my method...there are surely others as good or better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
They did swarm. Next time I'll take Beemandan's advice.
I went out to the hive and heard piping this morning.

About noon I saw the swarm emerging.

My wife put a few drops of Lemon Grass Oil on a low hanging limb and that is exactly where they landed.




We cut the limb off and put it in a 3 deep medium.


My wife saw the Virgin queen fly out the entrance after they started fanning.
about 25 min later she came back and walked back in. Mating flight or orientation flight??? I saw no mating sign. So I'm not sure what that was about. She was pretty though.

We put a frame of pollen, nectar, eggs, larva, and a little capped brood in the new hive to attempt to anchor them there. I hope they will stay put.


RKR
 
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