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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
I really want to stick with 2 hives.
I leave in residential area, so bringing wild life here that will cause troubles is not a right thing to do.

Hopefully I'll see no more swarms this year.
For next year, should I consider getting some bees out from my hives to open space for new bees?
I probably can make nucs out of the hives and either sell them of donate them. Will it prevent swarming?
 

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Making nucs can prevent swarming if timed right, but it also can mean preventing good honey production. Better still would be to learn how to read the colony and what they are up to, which means regular inspections this time of year. There are signs of swarm prep and preventative manipulations to cause them to abandon the idea, at least for a while. The goal of the colony this time of year is a reproductive swarm. If they reach a point that they sense they are able to successfully swarm, they will go for it. You have to keep them convinced they are not ready for it. There are many things written on swarm prevention, a lot of good things here on beesource. Read all you can about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
I was curios about Taranov method, but was thinking that 1 year old queen doesn't swarm - maybe was wrong since the queens wee producing good amount of bees.
Maybe I'll do it next year, although the queens will be 1 year old.

For now, probably the best would be to sit and hope there will be no more swarms, but I am really thinking to give my 1st colony a new gentle queen. I'll look at their behavior in 4-8 weeks, cause new queen might bring new behavior into the hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Hello again.

I notice this picture today
,

that some of them are hanging down the hive.
They were doing that when 2nd swarm happened with that hive - some of them came back and hanged the same way.

Maybe I am wrong, but I don't think they would swarm in 3 days again and todays days is not that pleasant - we are expecting storm at evening.
Should I expect another swarm ? :(
That hive, after 2 swarm, still has too many bees - the traffic at the entrance is high.

If I get into that hive to rearrange boxes (I want to put new box from top to bottom), what is the worse can happen?
 

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Artur, it looks like you still have the excluder on both hives. Just taking off the excluder will give the brood nest a lot more room. One thing about after swarms and queen cells. The cells are made on various days, where they can emerge over several days. After swarms can be more than one, especially crowded hives, I would assume. The after swarms can be as virgins emerge and strengthen for a swarm. That's the down side to not managing the cells after a swarm. You can get several. So, yeah, they could swarm again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
If I get into the hive tomorrow to remove the excluder, rearrange the boxes and remove all the queen cells:
1. will I reduce possibility of future swarm?
2. when (if there is a chance) will I know that hive is not producing new queen so I re-queen it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
What have I done today:

1. I went to my 1st hive, went into the 2nd (middle) box and destroyed all the queen cells. Some of them had pupa that was about to born, so it was their birth day today (not all of them) in the bucket that I use for collecting burr comb. For some reason decided to rearrange the boxes, so switched the places of 1st (bottom) and 3rd (top) boxes. The queen cells some how were in the middle of 2nd (middle) box. Put everything back and closed the hive.

2. Checked my swarm hive. Things were bad there. They didn't survive well. Almost all dead except hand-full of bees (200-300). They were building comb and producing honey, so I decided to give them a chance. I cleaned the dead bees from the hive.

3. I went to my 2nd hive and went through the 2nd (middle) box. Found lots of queen cells and cut them all off and put them into the bucket.
Put everything back and closed the hive.

The birth of new queens were happening in the bucket. I was supplying queens to the hives through the front entrance. I supplied 2-3 queens into each hive (including the swarm hive). One of the queens was rejected right at the door by guard bees, so I suppled it to other hive and they accepted it.
The swarm hive and no chance to accept or not a new queen.

To my knowledge the queens, if they don't belong to the hive the bees will kill it, and the strongest queen will kill the others.
Hope no more swarm and the new queen will mate anytime soon so they start their spring cycle.
 

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When you got rid of the queen cells in the 2nd hive, did you leave one or two for it to end up with a queen? Yeah, this was the week your queens were going to emerge. If a colony was queenless, they may accept a new virgin queen, but if they were queen right, they'd kill the intruder. It might not have been the best idea to just start shoving virgin queens into all the colonies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Well, I went through only one chamber of the hive and if there are more queen cells in the hive, I don't know about that.

Yes, I took the excluders off, cause they were making no sense for now as I was going through the hive. In 1st hive the QCs were above the excluder - how that could be? The old queen went through the excluder and lie the eggs in there anyway? Hmm. This is the inexperience sign.

So my logic when I was suppling hives with queens from bucket was:
1. if the queen doesn't belong to the hive - the bees will kill it.
2. if the queen belongs to the hive - bees will accept it.
3 if there is more than 1 bee-accepted queen in the hive - the strongest queen will kill the other week queens.
Please correct me if I am wrong.

I think/hope (maybe am sure) that I supplied at least one correct queen into each hive.

When I was supplying the queens, one of the queens was rejected right at the door. The guard bees started attacking her, so I took it away and the other hive bees accepted it. I hope this wasn't my feeling and I am not making this up.

How soon can I checked the hives and what should I see?
Can I do external evaluation of hives? When and what should I see?

I appreciate your help.
 

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Queen cells above the excluder would mean the queen, or a queen, was above it. Without seeing everything it would be hard to tell what's up there. Were there cells below the excluder too?

Only taking the cells out of the top deep on the second hive should leave cells in the bottom deep. Of course, there could already have been a virgin in there if you took the cells as they were emerging. And, I am assuming you let a new virgin back in from the bucket.

Your virgin queen dispersal generally could work that way, but it's kind of haphazard and leaves a room for possible problems. Say there's a queen farther along in the mating process, etc, and the new virgin gets in and takes out the queen. Start over.

A new emerged virgin queen can take from 1 to 3 weeks to get mated and start laying. Since you don't know any timeline now, start at this new virgin date and wait 3 weeks before you do anything. Disturbing the mating/laying process can disrupt it and cause a failure. I would suggest staying out till then and see what happens. You could have at least 2 colonies remaining after all the dust is settled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Queen cells above the excluder would mean the queen, or a queen, was above it. Without seeing everything it would be hard to tell what's up there. Were there cells below the excluder too?
I agree that queen some how managed to get above excluder and lay eggs in queen cells. How did she do it? I am not sure about that.
I didn't check any other box. Maybe there are more cells. I believe I remove about 10 from each hive. Then some of queens were getting born in the bucket, so I send some of them back (don't remember exactly 2 or 3 into, but definitely more than 1)

Only taking the cells out of the top deep on the second hive should leave cells in the bottom deep. Of course, there could already have been a virgin in there if you took the cells as they were emerging. And, I am assuming you let a new virgin back in from the bucket.
I let 2 or 3 into each hive, including the swarm hive.
When I was giving the bees one of the queens, the guard bees at the door started attacking her, so I figured out that queen doesn't belong to that hive and she went to other hive, but the attacking bees accepted another queen from the same bucket :)

Your virgin queen dispersal generally could work that way, but it's kind of haphazard and leaves a room for possible problems. Say there's a queen farther along in the mating process, etc, and the new virgin gets in and takes out the queen. Start over.
Todays day wasn't comfortable for flying: it was cloudily and bit cold (about 60F) when I was working with hives in the morning. There was no flying bee before I opened the hive.

A new emerged virgin queen can take from 1 to 3 weeks to get mated and start laying. Since you don't know any timeline now, start at this new virgin date and wait 3 weeks before you do anything. Disturbing the mating/laying process can disrupt it and cause a failure. I would suggest staying out till then and see what happens. You could have at least 2 colonies remaining after all the dust is settled.
Well, I am trying to stay away and just observe. The only concern I have at the moment that they swarm again and end-up in neighbors yard.
Is there anything I can observe externally for bees behavior to figure out what are they doing and if I need to intervene?

Thanks!!!

PS: there were 2 full and heavy frames of honey in each hive (maybe more).
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Just want to update:

The 1st hive, which swarmed twice, is very active compare to hive #2, which swarmed only once yet, and swarm hive is inactive at all today.

It is relatively cold (barely 60F) and rainy, so not the best day for flying, but hive #1 is doing it's regular business, when the other hive is just taking its time.

Is it possible that 1st hive might swarm again, since it is pretty strong?
1st hive bees are bringing good amount of pollen compare to other hive - should I assume that 1st hive bringing pollen to feed/rase the brood?

Thanks
 

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Artur, I haven't been able to kept up understanding all that has gone on with your hives. Your first post of a swarm was the 1st hive, and that hive should have had emerged queens, which prompted the second swarm, and now it should be getting close to a laying queen, if it's been successful. Unless the virgin queen you put in the entrance caused a ruckus. I don't think it would be swarming again, but who knows? If this hive is the same one as you are saying bringing in pollen, they could be working on brood or getting ready for it.

Are there any bees in the inactive swarm hive? They can abscond if they don't like what's given them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
I checked my hives today at about 3PM. It looked they are doing well or at least they were acting normal to me, but still the 1st hive has more activity than 2nd hive





It's probably an inpatient and excited nee beekeeper asking, but when and how preferably externally can I find out if queen got mated and, I assume this should be done internally, when should I check for eggs/larvae ?

I was thinking that weather is not favorable for mating flight, but bees are flying with no problem, unless it rains hard - it's a little cold here though.

The swarm hive is doing ok - there are some activities: "some" cause there are way less bees than in the original hives. It looks they will survive.

You understood correctly: after cutting the queen cells and putting them in the bucket, some of the queen hatch in the bucket, so I let them back through the entrance into the hives. One of the queens was rejected by guards at the entrance, so I let it in to the other hive and those guards accepted her. It's hard to say if "correct" queens got into their "correct" hive, but each hive including swarm hive got 2-3 queen in, so I hope they will shape-up soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
I checked my hives today, found no queens :( no larvae and no eggs :( but lots of honey and some pollen.
Lots of drones in both hives :(

Hive #2 had some larvae and caped brood, but looked like drone cells - I felt like they were a little popped-up. I saw that on 2 center frames of bottom box. (maybe I missed the queen here and maybe they were workers larvae). When I moved 2 top boxes away to check the bottom box, the top boxes became noisy - so there is a chance that there is a queen in hive #2.

Hive #1 made no difference when I moved boxes.

I believe I need to find queen to give the hives queens.
One of the queen sellers, who didn't have queens for sale at the moment, said that they might not accept new queen.
How can I be sure that hive is accepting new queen?
 

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If you see drone brood alone, you probably have laying workers or drone laying queen. They think they are queen right, so just putting in a queen won't work. If it's laying worker, there are plenty of threads explaining all the different opinions and options. Drone laying queen, less likely, but the queen has to be found and eliminated.

One other possibility is that drones are the last to emerge after all the workers are emerged. If your swarms in those hives happened less than 24 days ago, the drones could be left overs. If they are in worker cells and spotty all over, laying worker is the bet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Hive #1 : didn't see any egg/larvae, just honey, some pollen and empty cells. When was going through and put top boxes away, noise didn't change at all.

Hive #2 : had some larvae, didn't see eggs (they could be there), honey and pollen was there too. When 1st top box put away, no noise change, when middle box put on 1st top box, 2 top boxes started buzzing loudly. Larvae was in the bottom box. I am not sure if they were drone's cells though - were just a bit popped-up, could be worker's cells though.

Aren't drone cells about 1/8"-1/4" popped-up? (I want to keep hope that there is a mated queen in that hive.)

Thanks for the tip: I didn't think that drones emerged the last and that's why there might appear more drones than usual.

I'll try to go through the Hive #2 in few days, especially bottom box, to see if more larvae appeared there, if so, I'll swap few frames between Hive #1 and #2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
Is it possible that the queen in Hive #2 is just started laying and the queen in Hive #1 either missing or didn't start laying yet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
Update Hive #1:

I am just back from the inspection of Hive #1.
I went through all 30 frames carefully and noticed honey and pollen, and on one of the frames noticed something like bulged comb with eggs in cells: some cells had 2 and 3 eggs, so to my understanding some laying worker just started to lay eggs.

I removed that frame with bees on and put into the "swarm hive" where there are not so many bees (surviving ok) and put one empty frame with foundation on side of the Hive #1.

Here are pictures of that frame:
IMG_1895.JPG , IMG_1896.JPG , IMG_1897.JPG , IMG_1898.JPG

Here are links to higher resolution pictures:
http://pictures.manasyan.com/2017-05-31/IMG_1895.JPG
http://pictures.manasyan.com/2017-05-31/IMG_1896.JPG
http://pictures.manasyan.com/2017-05-31/IMG_1897.JPG
http://pictures.manasyan.com/2017-05-31/IMG_1898.JPG

I'll go back to check Hive #2 soon.
Thanks for all the help and support
 
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