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Author Topic: First split yesterday but could not find the queen  (Read 2052 times)

Offline bobsim

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First split yesterday but could not find the queen
« on: March 13, 2016, 04:34:56 am »
  Hello Folks,

  My first split didn't go like I planned. I was going to take the queen and some brood/food and put them in a new hive. The parent hive is so full of bees and drone I couldn't find Mom. Last week when I inspected there were 14 queen cups and yesterday the cups had been enlarged to queen cells. Most of the cells were being worked/attended to but none were closed and even with a magnifying glass I couldn't see if they had eggs and jelly.

  I doubt the swarm happened already because there hasn't been a noticeable change in numbers and I've been checking daily through the window. The bees were very calm too, my thinking is if they were queen less it would be different?

  After not finding the queen (so much for plan A) I took three bars of brood at all stages, three bars of honey and pollen and put them in the new hive. I screened the entrance so they would stay put. There are 4 queen cells in the new colony too.

  My plans are to pull the screen this morning and put some sticks/leaves over the entrance to encourage re-orienting. The new hive is 40 feet away from the old one. I don't have the option of moving the hive a few miles and I'm thinking if I loose a lot of bees to drift I can shake more in?  Also I'm thinking the colony with out the queen should be a little cranky? Would it be a good idea to cull the queen cells in the queen right colony?

  FWIW - there has been a flow going on since early Feb and the afternoon temps here are in the 80's.

  This is one of two hives I started a year ago (my first) both wintered well and I believe they swarmed last fall while I was out of town for a couple of months.

  Thanks for any insight, Bob.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: First split yesterday but could not find the queen
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2016, 11:24:25 am »
Sounds like you did fine.  The queen cells will soon emerge and both sides will have a new young queen.
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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: First split yesterday but could not find the queen
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2016, 12:32:03 pm »
Bob,
I'm surprised to hear you have drones. Glad to hear you have open queen cells. You may have caught them just in time. I have been watching mine and have not seen one drone. I was going to open them yesterday but by the time I was ready, the storm moved in. With your report I am going to try to get into them this evening.
Jim

Offline bobsim

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Re: First split yesterday but could not find the queen
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2016, 04:48:32 am »
  Thanks guys,

  I suppose I was stressing a bit when I posted earlier, sure like my ducks in a straight line.

  When I got home yesterday I saw some orientation flights from the new colony and am feeling better. I have put up some of the reflective ribbon around the yard and it helps keep the birds away, they've been snacking on bees for weeks and I worry about the new queens.

  Jim, I first noticed the drones in early Feb. One hive has a normal amount (10 - 15% from what I read somewhere) but the other hive (parent) has easily twice that. Both hives are still producing them too. Both hives had drones from last year up until the cold of Jan. but in less numbers.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: First split yesterday but could not find the queen
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2016, 01:03:57 pm »
Bob,
The swarm that I captured yesterday had a grand total of 2 drones in it. I still have not been in my hives yet, that was supposed to happen yesterday, :grin:, and I still have not seen any drones in the front of my hives.
Jim

Offline bobsim

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Re: First split yesterday but could not find the queen
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2016, 05:41:02 pm »
  C'mon over and bring a cage!  Seriously, I have plenty. I believe last month at the club apiary there drones too.

  I'm new Jim and have no explanation, I had no idea they were scarce. Sometimes I wonder about my proximity to other keepers - few that I know of.

  One thing I can say (and I'm knocking on wood) is since I started a year ago I can count the number of hive beetles I've found on one hand. I've killed one this year. Lucky with the wax moths too, very hard to find any.

  When I did the split the parent hive had an almost full bar of drones. You're welcome to them if it helps, I have my three hive limit now and I'm a happy camper.

Offline richter1978

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Re: First split yesterday but could not find the queen
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2016, 10:26:04 pm »
Jim, congrats on the swarm! Weird you're not seeing drones yet? I have plenty  flying at the beach.

Offline richter1978

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Re: First split yesterday but could not find the queen
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2016, 10:32:26 pm »
Bobsim, you are lucky. I learned the hard way about the hive beetles. I let my gaurd down recently and they've taken out a couple hives this last week.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: First split yesterday but could not find the queen
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2016, 11:14:58 pm »
Bob,
You are really lucky not seeing SHBs I probably killed 100 in the dry oil trays, this evening. I may have to add oil to my trays again. Their numbers have been building back up since I started running with dry trays. Several years ago I was killing thousands in all 12 hives every month. It really knocked their new numbers down, that and with the help of another Beek who did the same.
Jim

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: First split yesterday but could not find the queen
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2016, 11:35:48 pm »
Rich,
Thanks.
I did see a drone out front of one of my hives and another 2 inside of the hives that inspected. All of my hives are strong and producing honey. I had to add a second super to my weakest hive and I pulled 3 more Supers out of storage and put them in front of of a fan over night to air them out and I will add them tomorrow.
I hope this continues, they are adding a lot of weight right now. I put Supers on just 2 weeks ago and most of them are 50 percent full or more.
Jim

Offline bobsim

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Re: First split yesterday but could not find the queen
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2016, 04:50:38 am »
  Richter, a couple of hives in a week lost? Man that's awful. I feel for you.

  My first experience in beekeeping was cutting nuc frames with plastic foundation to fit the top bars and wiring the comb to the bars. I remember when the vibrating blade from the oscillating tool hit those plastic frames beetles appeared from nowhere and were all over the place! Nasty little buggers.

  Does anyone else have problems with birds? I have cardinals and wrens that perch close to the watering station and pick them off when they land to drink. There's a pair of swallow tailed kites I've noticed in the hood too.

Offline KeyLargoBees

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Re: First split yesterday but could not find the queen
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2016, 08:52:01 am »
i have a couple of catbirds I call the "cleanup crew" they police the pavers around and under the hives at the home yard and any dead bees the mortuary bees are too lazy to properly carry off gets consumed ;-)
Jeff Wingate

Changes in Latitudes...Changes in Attitudes....are Florida Keys bees more laid back than the rest of the country...only time will tell!!!
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