Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After doing a lot of research and speaking with local old timers in our bee club, I decided to give a shot at seeing if a couple of my hives can raise their own queens. I recently added a 2nd super to a couple of my overwintered hives that appear to be doing extremely well with a great population of bees.
I pulled a frame of mixed brood that the queen was on, a frame of capped brood with bees and shake of another frame of bees along with a mixed frame of stores over to a 5 frame deep nuc. One of the hives had a couple of queen cells being constructed with larvae on a couple of frames, so, I think I got lucky on the timing which was the 4th of April. I did make sure there were mixed brood and eggs left in both hives as well. I brought both nucs from that yard over to the house yard and will keep them here for a week and then move them back to the original yard only on a different hive stand. I will then transfer them to a double 10 frame medium hive with equal amounts of drawn comb and foundation frames. These 2 queens are way ahead of the other hives so I would like to get daughters from them to requeen my other hives.

With that being said;

When can I check the now queen less hives to see if queen cells are capped and if so, can I pull a frame or remove a couple of queen cells over to start nucs with a couple of frames of bees and a frame of stores ensuring that I leave a couple of capped cells in the original hive? I am figuring around the 13th of Apr if my math is correct, I should see capped queen cells.

Second, when I move the 2 nucs over to 10 frame hives, is it recommended that I put a feeder on them even though we have a flow going?

Third, is there a way to raise queen cells in the nucs by overcrowding? if so, can I just remove the queen and a frame of bees to another nuc with an empty comb and frame of stores with a couple of foundation frames and keep this pattern going throughout the flow?

Thanks for any thoughts, successes or recommendations.

I am in upper South Carolina....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
4/10/21 Moved the 2 NUCs back to the original bee yard after a week at the house. They were set on top of the hives they will be transferred into in a couple of days. Today I also removed a queen that has not been performing. will introduce a new queen tomorrow after a 24 hr period. I had added a couple frames of bees to that hive over the last month, yet no new brood was being found? Even after adding shakes of bees and a frame of capped brood.
Tomorrow we will split an over wintered nuc as well and introduce a new queen from Carolinabeeco.com. I have heard good things about their queens and am going to place a couple of their queens in a couple of splits and observe the results. I will post pics after they get going to let everyone know how they do.

Today is day 6 of the removal of the queens over to NUCs from a couple of boomers on 4/4/21 and I am itching to take a peak and see if they have capped queen cells, however, I believe that will be in another 3 days, 4 max for capping. Keeping my fingers crossed there will be a few extra capped cells for nuc startups as well.
 

·
Premium Member
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,888 Posts
Ranger, you should expect to find capped queen cells five to six days after removing the queen. Go into the hive tomorrow and see where they are. It is ok to make the additional splits at this point. Waiting too long could have you moving things around during the crucial wing development stage. Keep the queen calendar in mind. All times are from egg being laid. The bees will start with four day old larvae. Queen cells are capped on day eight, two days ago. Cells are safe to handle until day ten or eleven, tomorrow is day eleven for you. After that do not touch them until the end of day fourteen. On day 15 all cells should be in their respective nucs or protected in an incubator. Queens will start to emerge late on day 15 through day 16. You started on the 4th so your queens will emerge on the 16th. If the bees continued to make QC's and you split them up, you may have queens emerging for another day or two. If you left most of them cells in a hive, the first queen out will dispatch all the rest.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ranger N

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the clarification JW. I appreciate the expertise. I will take a look this afternoon while I am over in that yard to confirm capped cells. I did relook the queen calendar and with your timeline/explanation I finally understand the system. As this is my first time not using purchased queens, I am figuring it out as I go. I will try and get an update on here this evening. hopefully with pictures...

Again thanks for the expertise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
4/11/21

Today is day 11 of my first attempt to have a couple of hives requeen. Thanks to JW Palmer expertise and advice I went into the 2 hives today to check capped queen cells. First time the bees were any type of aggressive. I reckon from being queen less. I will say that they really are bringing in the nectar. their second super is over half full and they will need a 3rd super in a week.

They are definitely correcting the queenless issue as evidenced by the pictures attached. Again, Because of JW‘s expertise/advice I think I am going back into these 2 hives on Wednesday, day 14, and pull a frame of cells from each hive and place in 5 frame nucs to see if I can get a couple of more queens raised.

4 11 21 2nd Batt frame 1 queen cells.jpg 4 11 21 2nd Batt frame 2 queen cells.jpg 4 11 21 2nd Batt frame 3 queen cells.jpg 4 11 21 J5 frame 1 queen cell.jpg 4 11 21 J5 frame 2 queen cells.jpg

My question would be Can I comfortably go into the hives on the 14th and pull one of the frames with queen cells without too much risk and place in 5 frame NUCs?

Thanks for any response or suggestions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,911 Posts
yes, move on the 13 or 14th

In hot weather they should emerge on the 15th, normal the 16, cold weather the 17
with bees its more guidelines then rules
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ranger N

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
4/14/2021
Some how I must have been off a day. I went to pull one of the frames of queen cells from the 2 hives yesterday (day 14) and most were destroyed either by the side being torn open, or, they were completely torn down. I did see one emerging it appeared. there was one frame in one of the hives that still had a couple of small queen cells.

So I buttoned everything back up and decided to wait a week to attempt to find eggs? I do know that I pulled the queens from those 2 hives on 4/4/21 as they were booming.

As this is my first attempt at deliberately removing queens and rearing strong daughters, does any one have any expertise they would like to share going forward on this? I do know that those hives are now overly agitated, I suspect do to being queen less.

Any opinions or expertise are appreciated. Thanks..
 

·
Registered
65 colonies +/- mostly Langstroth mediums, a few deeps for nuc production
Joined
·
524 Posts
Ranger
The timing on Queens is dependent on the age of the larvae selected.
Grafting gives the beekeeper some control.
Removing the queen and letting the bees select larvae results in a range of different ages larvae being selected by the colony so the oldest larvae will emerge before ones that were younger or even still eggs when you took out the queen.
They don't read the books we do.
You are seeing the results of this age spread in the cells.
 

·
Registered
35
Joined
·
2,041 Posts
4/14/2021
So I buttoned everything back up and decided to wait a week to attempt to find eggs?
A week is likely not enough time, give it at least 10 days imho. I typically find eggs in 70% of my mating nucs two weeks after setting cells, the rest I have normally found eggs by 3 weeks. Since you are counting from the day she emerged rather than the day of setting a cell with a known schedule, I'd say dont look for 10 days at a minimum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks John. As this is my first time, I am learning as I go. What you say is exactly what I observed yesterday. Hopefully, I did not interrupt them with the requeening process. I just put everything back together carefully and backed out.

Grizzle, I will leave them alone until after the 24th and go from there.

IF, there are no eggs how and can I reintroduce the original queens back to their hives. I did a split on them on advice from one of the elders in our bee club to prevent swarming as they are booming and currently working on a 3rd honey super each. Hopefully they will have calmed down when they are queen right....I will update shortly after the 24th.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
4/25/2021
Well, today I inspected the 2 boomers that I performed a swarm prevention by removing the queens from them over to nucs. This was on 4/4/2021. I saw NO queens or eggs. Maybe I am a little early? I acquired a couple of mated queens yesterday the 25th and went over to that bee yard to introduce them in the 2 hives today on the 26th, I checked several brood frames and again found NO eggs or queen in the first hive and placed a mated queen cage in there for them. They were very loud and agitated. I went to the second hive and again looked through several empty brood frames and saw no eggs or brood. Decided to look at one more and LOW AND BEHOLD, there was a queen don’t know if she is mated so I put everything back together as quickly and smoothly as I could and closed it back up. They were very agitated as well.

So, now I am wondering if the first hive has a queen as well, and they are both out mating or just not laying yet. However, I now have a mated queen in one of the hives in a cage and one without. I don’t know how to proceed from here on out.

My plan is to leave them both alone for the next 10 days and then go back in and check for signs of laying queens.

I am now 6 for 11 on my splits which have successfully raised queens. Of the 5 that have not, 2 I have placed another frame of mixed brood and both have capped queen cells and the other 3 I put mated queens in to get them going sooner.

Not a very good average. Does anyone have any advice or opinions to add to this journey? Thanks...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,691 Posts
You are doing well. Wait a week and check again.

Bees get more "testy" whey they have queen cells but no brood young enough to make a new queen with. That's understandable, they are vulnerable. They also get testy with a virgin queen that has not started laying yet.

I check for cells day 10 after removing the queen, and place in nucs if that's what I want to do.

I check for a laying queen 14 days after emerging. If no eggs, I wait one more week, day 21 after emerging. If still no eggs, I give a ripe cell or merge them back to a queen right hive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
5/4/2021

Update on the queen rearing journey.

I pulled my 2 best queens on 4/4/2021 over to nucs and let the hives raise daughters. Today, 30 days later, I went into the hives and observed both eggs and queen in one and queen in the other, so, success at raising queens off my best 2. Well, one is success for sure. The other I will check back in a week and see if I see eggs to verify she is laying.

Tomorrow, I will go into the 9 splits I started on 4/6/2021 and see if they have queens laying as well. Those splits came from 2 overwintered 5x5 NUCs where I pulled frames of mixed brood, in an attempt to raise more of my best queens offspring. I have observed pollen going into all but one which I hope is a good sign.

As this is my first attempt to start queens of my own, I can tell you it has been a nerve racking experience due to my being extremely impatient waiting to ensure I do not interfere with their progress. I am excited that the first 2 today had great looking queens. Can’t wait until tomorrow to see the results.

My question to you all out there is:

Is it typical for one queen to be laying and another to take a little longer to start laying? I reckon it would be...

Thanks for all the input thus far...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
302 Posts
Is it typical for one queen to be laying and another to take a little longer to start laying? I reckon it would be...
Some of what you are observing is a component of John Davis' statement (post#8) about bee selection of larval age.

In addition, biology is just messy, and some youth advance faster than others. Just make sure they DO MATE.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks N8, Makes sense that each one advances at a different rate. That one queen I will take a peak at this weekend to see if I see eggs.

On another note, I checked on the splits here at the house this afternoon and the results are in.
I observed 4 queens, 3 of which were laying, 1 i did not see eggs so I closed it up carefully and backed out. 1 of the three has wall to wall brood on 2 1/2 deep frames. I may have to keep that one and move her to a 10 frame deep. 2 others I am going to give another 10 days before I take a peak.

2 others at my other yard are now queen rite and laying as well.

So, to sum it all up, 2 I am giving another 10 days to take a look and 2 which have queens I will take a look this weekend to see if they are laying. Fingers crossed.

This has been a great journey thus far and in about 10 days the results will be in.

I have been taking copious notes on this journey and have learned one heck of a lot.

I will give an update as I get them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
5/7/2021

The 2 Saskatraz queens I ordered from OHB arrived yesterday, a couple of days early so that was great news. It actually worked out to my benefit, I think. I took a peak in one of my weak hives and could not find eggs, larvae or signs of a queen present so I split the hive in half into 2 5x5 medium nuc boxes, added a frame of mixed brood from some other nucs, shook an extra frame of nurse bees in and placed the queen cages in them. I did not place a feeder on them. I think I probably should have and may this weekend. Additionally, I may shake in another couple of frames of bees from another yard to give them a boost as well.

2 questions,
one, should I put a feeder on them?
Two, does any one have any experience with Saskatraz lines or OHB queens? Thanks..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Friend of ours up the road gets a couple thousand from Olivarez every year. He has nothing but good to say about them.
A couple thousand? Wow, I can’t wait to see how well these 2 queens perform. That is saying something...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
5/8/2021

Today went to the other bee yard and added a few more honey supers. Additionally, took a frame of brood from 2 different hives to add to the 2 new nucs at the home yard. Those 2 NUCs have caged Saskatraz queens that were put in 2 days ago. I just wanted to add a few more bees to those NUCs. I misted the top of the frames in the NUC and the bees I added as well so there would be less fighting.

I hope I didn’t screw it up and cause them to reject the caged queens. I know I tried to get mostly nurse bees to add and did not use smoke so hopefully everything will go as planned and the queens will be released in the next few days.

I now have 9 mated laying queens from my best overwintered queens. the last one should have emerged 3 days ago which I will check on in another week.

Does anyone think I jeopardized the acceptance of the 2 caged queens by opening and adding more bees without smoke 2 days after placing them in the NUCs?


Thanks..
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top