Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have three hives, started in mid March from Nucs. All three were doing amazing, building out, growing. One was ahead of the others, added second brood, it’s doing awesome. Other two were growing great, but weren’t quite to 80%, so held off on adding second brood. We missed queen cups and strong rains came, we’re going to add second brood, but both swarmed. We caught one swarm in tree, put it in a Nuc, but were gone next day. So I have two hives, where I can’t find the queens (with two people looking) and each has 4-5 closed queen cells, and numerous drone cells.

Should I give it a few weeks for queens to hatch and work it out themselves? What are the odds of success?

Or should I buy two queens, clear the Q cups, and introduce queens? How do the odds compare?

Any better options?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,593 Posts
So I have two hives, where I can’t find the queens (with two people looking) and each has 4-5 closed queen cells, and numerous drone cells.
If you *knew* they swarmed, and there are queen cells present, why 'look' for queens? They aren't there, they left with the swarms.

If they were my hives, I would just leave the queen cells and let them do their thing. In the meantime, the bees have nothing to do, I would put supers on and let them make some honey.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you *knew* they swarmed, and there are queen cells present, why 'look' for queens? They aren't there, they left with the swarms.

If they were my hives, I would just leave the queen cells and let them do their thing. In the meantime, the bees have nothing to do, I would put supers on and let them make some honey.
Mainly because I have 2 months experience. Second, I knew one had swarmed as I caught it, but I wasn’t sure which of the two hives it came from. Once I found both didn’t have queens, I knew both had completed swarming.

If I left the hives as is, what’s the timeline of when I should have a functioning queen? I.e. after this point, I should buy a queen, otherwise it’ll collapse?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,456 Posts
If I left the hives as is, what’s the timeline of when I should have a functioning queen? I.e. after this point, I should buy a queen, otherwise it’ll collapse?
chances are better than not that things will work out with the existing cells. it's a common occurrence with bee colonies, it's what they do.

i would wait about three weeks from when you saw the capped cells and check the swarmed hives for eggs/brood.

you could make additional splits if the queen cells are on different frames to increase your chances of getting a mated queen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,185 Posts
Hey Mike. Same thing happened to me when I first got bees. Some bee math will help you:
Day 1: queen lays egg. Day 3-4 egg hatches and workers feed the larvae. Day 8-9 workers cap cell. Day 16 queen emerges, Day 21 worker emerges,Day 24 drone emerges. In the case of the queen, she emerges 7-9 days after cell is capped and then must harden her wings and body to go on mating flights. The weather will determine whether she takes flight and she may make several. After she mates, she usually begins laying 1-6 days. Of course, she might not make it back to the hive from her mating flights. Birds, cars, getting lost are possible.
Sure, buying a queen may get the hive back at full force sooner, but there are risks too. If you miss cells or mistimed events, there could be a missed virgin queen and they will kill her. I would write the significant dates on your calendar and go along for the ride. Its a fun learning experience and pretty amazing to observe. You might want to check that other hive and do a split with some of the queen cells like Squarepeg suggested. If you decide to let nature take its course, leave the hive alone from the earliest emergence date until 17 days later. Also, seeing eggs will be important to determine if you have a laying queen. Are you able to see eggs? J
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,557 Posts
Download a queen rearing calendar. Google. There are several. Assume that the day they swarmed was the day the queen cell was capped. Adjust the queen rearing calendar so that the calendar aligns with your swarm date. It may be off a couple of days either way but now you at least have an idea of timing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,593 Posts
Mainly because I have 2 months experience. Second, I knew one had swarmed as I caught it, but I wasn’t sure which of the two hives it came from. Once I found both didn’t have queens, I knew both had completed swarming.
Ah, gotcha. The way I read it, I thought you went looking *after* you knew both had swarmed.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top