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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry if this isn't quite the right place to post this, but I thought queen rearers would be the best informed on what might happen.
A very strong stock swarmed a week ago (we caught it and hived it on a new stand). Going through the stock to break down the queen cells yesterday, we found the new queens on the point of emerging. One ran down over the combs, and on an impulse I uncapped the other cells and in each case a fully developed queen emerged and ran down the combs (five in all). The weather has now turned cool and wet today and the bees aren't flying.
I'm hoping the virgins will have fought it out and that only one will remain in the hive ready to mate when the weather improves. However, is it likely/possible that the bees will keep several virgins alive (prevent them fighting) and try to swarm as soon as the weather improves? If so, we need to keep an eye on the stock.
We are planning to requeen each main stock with newly mated queens from nukes adjacent to the main hives (by uniting them having removed the old queens). How long (with good weather) does it normally take between the emergence of a virgin and successful and complete mating?
 

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you will very often have more than one virgin in a hive just after it's swarmed seems the bees keep them seperated from each other for some time I guess as a back up incase anything goes wrong. Thats also why you can have a number of "after swarms" after the main swarm has gone.
If you have good warm weather with little wind you should have a mated and laying queen in 14 days but it can take longer or shorter but 14 days is about right for going in and looking for eggs.
 

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Thats also why you can have a number of "after swarms" after the main swarm has gone.
Like Kiwi said they may swarm again. If they don't have the "swarmy-ness" satisfied by the primary swarm. I think they will sort it out by themselves.

I have never heard of anyone suggesting that you remove all but one of the virgin queens from the hive, but that's what I did, and it seems to have worked. I left one virgin queen in the hive, the one with perfect wings and all her legs. Now she is fat and sassy and starting to lay:applause:. Now I don't know if that is just dumb luck or if that is what many people do.

Just because it worked once for me does not give removing all but one near perfect virgin queen an endorsement as "good beekeeping" practice; but again, that is what I did.


here is some use full info from Mr. Bush on how many days bee take to do certain tasks. beesmath.htm


RKR
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Both of you have been proved absolutely right! We had a half hour break in the cool, damp weather at 12.30 today and a fairly large swarm took off into a nearby hedge. (About 20 feet up surrounded by brambles!)
Nastiest swarm I've ever encountered. I only had to approach the swarm within about ten yards and not only did they attack, but followed me all the way back to the house 100 yards away! Never had a swarm do that before, without messing them around too much trying to hive them. Must be the cold day. They're probably regretting leaving the hive.
They've gone high up in a hedge and as they're in such a nasty mood I've decided to take a loss and let them go. Good job we have no close neighbours. A chance to see if my bait hives actually work perhaps.
 
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