Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My package is building into their second box, bottom box 7 of 10 build out. Queen laying solid frames of brood.

Found the start of 3 swarm cells. In heavy flow right now with sweet clover blooming and fields of star thistle. It’s probably too late for me to try and get a split.

Any thoughts? Swarm/splitting probably would mean heavy feeding thru winter as I’m In NE WI zone 4 so I’d like to avoid it if possible?

I can add pics if you guys want to confirm they are indeed swarm cells.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,794 Posts
add a picture, was there an egg or lava in it? may just be a queen cup. to late to split.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
358 Posts
If it is an eminent swarm, either way you end up with a virgin queen, small split now and combine later once you know your queen situation is what I'd do if you dont want to tend a small hive over winter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
358 Posts
Saw the photo after I posted, looks like just a cup, look inside and see if it's charged and you'll know.
 
  • Like
Reactions: GFWestTexas

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here is current queen. Would checkerboarding some brood frames into the top deep curve the swarm instinct?
64701
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
358 Posts
Empty cup doesn't mean "swarm", most of my hives have several "cups" almost always. Just make sure she has room to lay and they aren't super congested. Checker boarding may help, but if they have in fact decided to swarm, pretty tough to change their mind in my experience. Best to check the cups and see if what
Wildbranch mentioned is indeed what you're dealing with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Empty cup doesn't mean "swarm", most of my hives have several "cups" almost always. Just make sure she has room to lay and they aren't super congested. Checker boarding may help, but if they have in fact decided to swarm, pretty tough to change their mind in my experience. Best to check the cups and see if what
Wildbranch mentioned is indeed what you're dealing with.
I’ll check them tmrw after work, I don’t wanna go back in twice the same day- they were a bit annoyed towards the end.

I’ll check the cups and put 1-2 more brood frames into the upper box.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
358 Posts
I understand that!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Also am super surprised with the queen that came with the package I ordered she’s really a layer. I definitely would love to split them to keep those genetics.
64702
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
661 Posts
At this time of the year, start thinking about winter. Too late for a split and it's unnecessary. The queen cups are just something the bees build and the pictures don't looked charged - the brood around the cup is capped and well developed-but the cup isn't. At this point you'd be 17 days for a new queen and then another 4-6 days for mating and then a couple more days for egg laying (if she successful on both). That's roughly 25 days and then add another 21 days for the first worker emerging and then 3 weeks of hive duties before becoming a forager able to fill stores for the winter. If it all started today, July 17th, your first foragers would fly around September 26th. (I just did this same exercise for my own hives) My sister lives in Madison, Wisconsin has some variable weather-aren't you guys getting the snow plows ready around then (;)) Get ready to add the next box, build them to survive winter, split next spring.
 

·
Registered
Survivor stock & Buckfast in Langstroth 8F’s
Joined
·
325 Posts
I agree with Western it’s a cup, and you really don’t want to flip that frame if it is a queen cell you need to raise the frame and look under it. My hives make these all the time. Now if it starts growing that’s another story, but remember it’s 16 days before a queen would emerge, and 6 after capping which gives plenty of time. Your queen looks to be doing excellent and I really wouldn’t worry to much about this.
Cody
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
End of September is pretty much winter, you got that right lol don’t remind me
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
661 Posts
At this time of year if you're going to do splits, you'd need a mated queen, at least 5 frames of stores, brood and bees. just before I read the original post, I was running some numbers on doing some splits but I was thinking about hard splits with some new mated queens. I have 15 hives that were started from nuc's early this past Spring that are now heavy double deeps with 3-4 supers on. I am thinking about starting the harvesting in early August and doing hard splits (current double deeps hive split into 2 single, one with old queen, one with new mated queen) and then feeding like hell to get comb and stores built up. Here, I'm on the coastal plain in west central NJ (10 miles from Pennsylvania) and our first freeze is in mid-November (Zone 6b/7a line). I've also been surveying the areas around my bee yards for fall flow plants (Goldenrod, Asters, Knapweed, etc.) and right now, those plants are coming up and it's looking good for a strong flow in September. (if the river don't rise...) Question is if I can still get some good queens. Keep in mind, these are established colonies and I'm still not convinced they'll get up to strength by winter-I may wait for Spring too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah I definitely won’t consider splitting until spring time.
I definitely want to tho, that queen is a brood boss

I’m a bit fortunate with a nice strong July august flow with the star thistle. Fields and fields of it by me
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Okay update,
every single cup was empty, they did make 3 more totaling to 6 cups.

I added one more brood frame to the upper box and put the foundation in the bottoms.

to my surprise they had already almost built out one side of a frame and started on 2 others. The queen was already there and laid eggs in every partially built cell... looks like I might be busy with this flow going on- the train doesn’t seem to be slowing

Also propolis sucks to get off my hands
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,272 Posts
Generally speaking, it may not hurt anything, but it may not help either. If the hive is crowded, it would allow some bees move into the supers. The downside is too much space is harder to defend and regulate hive temp if you do not have enough bees. How crowded is the hive?
I think your issue is the lack of drawn comb which would allay your concerns. Of course, like all new beekeepers, you don't have any. Focus on getting comb drawn by moving undrawn foundation from the sides towards the broodnest. Monitor for the hive becoming honey bound. If they fill up laying space with nectar, that could trigger a swarm. If you are getting close, you could extract the nectar and place back in the hive.
I don't think this hive is about to swarm. They make practice cups all the time and never use them. But you need to be vigilant and inspect no more than every seven days. You have about another month before you can be fairly sure they won't swarm. J
 

·
Registered
About 40 Colonies
Joined
·
6,166 Posts
If they're strong enough that you think they need it, toss a super on. Just beware that if they don't need to draw comb they might strip the foundation (if it's plastic) of it's wax coating. Or if it's wax foundation they might just chew it all away and leave you with nothing or a tattered sheet. It's not the end of the world, but it's something to realize. The colony might still be in expansion mode, so they might hop up and use the space.

This time of year I don't have a lot of luck with anything big drawing comb. But nucs and colonies that still need to expand will still draw.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top