Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So today the wife said "hey I saw a bunch of bees on the lawn kind of just milling around". I immediately thought "swarm" and went out to look-see. Sure enough I saw a small bunch of bees and one of my marked queens from my newly installed hives (only a couple weeks old). However, there wasn't a lot of bees with her - maybe a few dozen (wife indicated there were more earlier).

I scooped her up with as many bees as i could get (they started flying around and didn't stick with her) and put her into a new hive (can't figure out which one she came from yet), and took some frames with bees and eggs from existing hives to help (hopefully) keep her occupied while I figure out which hive is empty (or has another queen in it). At this point, I haven't a clue other than to go methodically through each hive, figure out who is queenless or not, and either requeen, or what-not.

The key issue is the small number of bees with her. Is it possible she just decided to take a flight rather than swarm, and kind of got lost? Her position was a good 25 feet away from the hives. Depending on the hive she came from, she was probably released in the last day or so. Is it normal for the queen to try and fly out of the hive in the first day after being released?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't know! If she flies off again from her new home, I'll replace her. As it is, I've had nothing but interesting issues with this latest supply of bees. 3 of the 4 hives have done weird stuff like this in the first week after installation. The first two hives I had from a different supplier went like clockwork!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
I take it these are all packages from both suppliers?
It sounds like these latest bees may not like their new home very well. Are they all on foundation? Are you feeding them?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, from the same source, and I have the internal feeder with sugar water mix. The bees are drawing out foundation with it.

I'm using the small cell foundation, wax. They seem to like it better than the plastic stuff in one of my other hives - it's being drawn out a lot faster than the plastic ones.

I am ordering some new queens from a different supplier. I have a feeling these queenies aren't up to snuff for some reason. I will have to move a bunch of bees around too, but they have to build up their numbers more for me to split them I think. In a couple of weeks I should have some better ability to split and requeen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
I agree, the bees definitely don't like the plastic foundation much. Mine have been known to skip right over the plastic when I try to mix a couple of plastic foundation frames in for them to draw.

I helped a friend install a package on new plastic foundation, and I was a little worried that they might leave. We put on a hive-top feeder and also a boardman feeder and reduced the entrance. I think a couple of rainy days after the installation helped to keep them home building comb. So far, so good.

If it were me, I'd give them a little more time to set up house before I requeened (unless of course the queen is gone).:(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No. And I may have killed her now. I found her again back at the same spot, 25 feet or so from whatever hive she was from. Strange that she won't stay put. I went through my hives and found the one that is queenless, but as I put her back in, the bees seemed to jump on her. Probably not in a friendly way either. Kind of like throwing minnows to the sharks.

Ah well. I'll monitor the situation. Being new to this, I suspect I'll either let them requeen, or get another in the mail (****ed hard to get a queen at this point too - everyone either is out, has long lead times, or whatever).

Frankly all my problems seemed to start when I introduced bees and queens from a specific vendor, so perhaps it was just a snarky batch - from hives drifting immediately, to queens taking off, this batch was strange.

I'm hoping I can recover and keep my hives running this first year. Getting package bees is out of the question now - nearly everyone is out of them it seems. I'll just have to split and indoctrinate a new queen to keep the hives running if they drift or disappear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
429 Posts
I agree with ENCRickey sounds like it to me too. or else she is a very old queen, was remarked, and "dumped" on you. If they jumped her she is likely TOAST so you might consider a newspaper combine and split when you can get a new queen later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,822 Posts
I had a similar thing happen to me today. We were doing a cutout and we saw a ball of bees on the ground. We already had the vac put away and didn't care about a few bees. I was raising my foot up to stomp them and then I saw the queen in the middle. Scooped her up and put her on the frames in the newly hived colony. Hope that makes you feel better. It happens to all of us.

Kingfisher
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
well, I will check the hive in a day or so and see if she's hanging around, or just dust in the wind. I'll look especially closely and see if I can find an unmarked queenie dancing around!

I have a new queen coming in 10 days, and I'll keep an eye out for them making one of their own in the meantime!

Thanks!
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top