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Author Topic: Attempt at letting them create a new queen  (Read 5613 times)

Offline Duane

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Attempt at letting them create a new queen
« on: July 09, 2015, 08:47:08 pm »
I'm probably doing this wrong, but I'm seeing the year is getting short and wanted to make the attempt.  I don't think I have enough bees to make an even split.  Just over 8 frames.  Rather than hurt the bees I got as nucs this year by splitting them, I thought sacrificing a couple of frames probably wouldn't hurt them all that much.  And learning I value as more important as long as I don't kill them for the winter.

I saw a frame with some eggs on it, which looked like in regular size cells rather than drone size.  So I put that frame along with a frame of honey in another box, with a divider pulled up to them and narrowed the entrance.  I put this new box of two frames where the old box was and move the old box a couple of feet away.  I had seen the queen in the original box a few frames over from where I pulled the two frames.  Now three days later, I looked in and the frames were packed with bees, no doubt the field bees returning as intended.  The original box also had lots of bees.  And the new box looks like it is getting more honey and pollen so I don't think they are being robbed out.

I saw the eggs still on the frame in the new box, but no queen cells being developed.  Unfortunately, in my attempt to get a frame of honey, it actually had some brood in it.  So my idea of them concentrating on only a few eggs didn't work out.  But still, there are lots of bees on those two frames.   But nothing to me indicates they think they are queenless, but then I am new at this.

So my questions:
Do they start making queen cells around the eggs or do they wait until they actually hatch?  I would have thought some weren't eggs, but it was a new frame so maybe only eggs.  The frame that mistakenly had brood may have been older larva.

Is it even possible the bees think they have two boxes and flying from one to the other thinking it is one unit?

Offline Maggiesdad

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Re: Attempt at letting them create a new queen
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2015, 10:27:42 am »
I'm new at this too, so take it with a grain of salt.

The queenless box won't have eggs after 3 days.
They take larva less than three days old to make emergency queens, they don't make queencells on eggs.
Tending worker brood will keep them in a feeding mode, and keep them from going laying worker.
Add a frame of worker brood and/or eggs each week till they get it right.
When you split it, I would have put a foundationless frame in the middle of the the queenright original boxes brood nest. The strong hive will start drawing fresh comb and the queen will lay it up. Perfect Miller shape for them to draw queencells on the edge of the fresh wax when you switch it over...

Offline Duane

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Re: Attempt at letting them create a new queen
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2015, 11:35:06 am »
These were new bees and had all new frames.  The frame I picked didn't have the comb all the way to the bottom where I saw the eggs so that should be about perfect.  I don't recall ever coming across information that they only start the queen cells after the eggs hatch.  I assumed they would get a head start on forming around the eggs.  But I was starting to think that maybe they wait to make sure the eggs hatch and are well before wasting resources.  Since they are still eggs, I must have got the frame right after the queen laid them.

So even after they have queen cells, they still need brood to keep from becoming laying workers?

Offline Maggiesdad

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Re: Attempt at letting them create a new queen
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2015, 12:56:14 pm »
Yes, they choose which they will raise as queens after the eggs hatch.


So even after they have queen cells, they still need brood to keep from becoming laying workers?

It does help. The open worker brood pheromone is similar to queenright. Since you started with two (1brood  1honey), I would slip a frame of brood in (some capped, some open) each week. Don't pull your queen, and shake/brush most of the bees off. As your original brood frame emerges out, put it back in the middle of the queenright box, so she can lay it up again. The nuc would be running around 4 frames
 
Is your flow still good? If not I'd feed without instigating robbing. Go on and put a screen on the not queenright box.

Offline Duane

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Re: Attempt at letting them create a new queen
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2015, 05:28:03 pm »
Looked again 6 days later and still no queen cells.  The eggs had hatched into larva and there were no new eggs.  Added a third frame that had eggs.  Is there a problem, think enough bees are alternating between boxes that are spreading the queen pheromone around so they don't know they're queenless?

The flow is still on, but probably winding down.  Still bringing in honey and pollen.

Offline OldMech

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Re: Attempt at letting them create a new queen
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2015, 06:42:22 pm »
You might have to notch the added frame to change their behavior toward the notched cell.. I have had horribkle luck this year with any hives I sold a queen from starting a new queen...   I made queens just splendidly, but it seems my bees think they dont need to replace their sold queens  :angry:
39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.

Offline Duane

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Re: Attempt at letting them create a new queen
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2015, 12:04:04 pm »
Five days later after adding the second frame with eggs in new comb and still no queen cells.  OldMech, I didn't understand.  You said you made queens?  Or is it the second time around they didn't make queens again?

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Attempt at letting them create a new queen
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2015, 12:41:33 pm »
>Do they start making queen cells around the eggs or do they wait until they actually hatch?

Neither.  They start with one that has already hatched.  12 days later she will emerge.  Two weeks after that she will probably be laying (26 days after they started) and three weeks after she emerges is the drop dead date for her to be mated and laying (33 days after they started).
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm

>I would have thought some weren't eggs, but it was a new frame so maybe only eggs. 

Doubtful.  But if it was they would start a queen as soon as the eggs hatch.

>The frame that mistakenly had brood may have been older larva.

If there is open larvae there is likely some younger and some eggs on it as well.

>Is it even possible the bees think they have two boxes and flying from one to the other thinking it is one unit?

No.
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Offline OldMech

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Re: Attempt at letting them create a new queen
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2015, 09:47:05 am »


   Made queens meant I used a queenless colony and started 20 ish queen cells to make splits etc..  I did that twice this year with excellent results, but i had half a dozen hives that i was putting frames of open brood into for them to start queens, and they never did. I had sold those queens, they were laying well and had a large amount of brood. Three of those hives got three different frames of open brood, each one containing eggs and young larvae.
   Two of the three hives were here at home, and when i added the third frame on those two I notched cells, and the bees DID finally decide to go ahead and start queen cells.. a day late and a dollar short...   not sure at this point if I would have been better off to shake them out, but we will see if they get strong enough to winter in nucs or not.
39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.

Offline Duane

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Re: Attempt at letting them create a new queen
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2015, 01:56:58 pm »
Ok, third time I did this.  This time I mashed and mangled, notched the comb and individual cells, and tried to twist or turn the comb so eggs would be pointing down.  Some just had an egg setting by itself with no comb around it and would be easy to make a queen cell.  That was two days ago.  I looked in today and all the comb was repaired so you couldn't tell I did anything to it.  So I did it some more to the comb, but something tells me this isn't going to work.  Anyone know what's going on?  And I thought there was supposed to be this "queenless roar"?  They all seem fine going about being bees.

Offline Colobee

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Re: Attempt at letting them create a new queen
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2015, 12:54:07 pm »
The "queenless roar" is much more obvious to me with a large colony that is  queenless. That means there are no longer any larvae less than three days old, and they have very little chance of rearing a queen without some intervention on my part. If there is any possibility that they can rear a queen, or are doing so, the queenless roar might not be heard. If they are busy with a strong flow, they might also be a bit distracted. I had a small late swarm acting that way - no queen, & no possibility, so they were just packing in honey.
 
I have one new queen unit where they rejected her & started their own cells. They are in an 8 frame medium box. There is a slight "queenless buzz" but the most obvious thing is their more agitated state.
 
I've had a couple small nucs  rear nice mated queens this year. I started them with  4-5 medium frames, total. Some were from from a failed package, with a single frame of eggs from a good queenrite hive. I made up two "5 frame nucs". It was "swarm season", so there were plenty of drones around. Everything went like clockwork, and both are now filling a second 5 frame box, and providing donor brood for other needs.
 
Another package that failed has repeated refused to accept frames of eggs & young larvae, or the odd frame of brood with capped queens cells that I've come across. It seems no matter what I've tried, short of combining them with a strong hive, has worked.
 
All we can do is keep trying, and realize that sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2015, 09:28:45 am by Colobee »
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Attempt at letting them create a new queen
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2015, 01:42:33 pm »
I don't understand the "twist or turn the comb" part.  Don't worry about it.  If the bees have the right aged larvae and they need a queen they will raise one.  If they don't raise one either they have enough laying workers to convince them they have a queen, or they have a virgin running around who isn't laying yet.  If you give them a frame of open brood every week for three weeks you will resolve the problem.

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Offline Duane

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Re: Attempt at letting them create a new queen
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2015, 02:02:04 pm »
I suppose you are right in that worrying isn't going to help any.  I needed a refresher of your page.  Providing them with resources enable them to produce a queen and there's not much else you can do in that process.

Interesting thing today was that there sure looked like a queen in it to me.  She was walking around the frame, other bees were looking at her, but no eggs anywhere I could see.  On one of the older frames there looked like a beginning of a queen cup but no other queen cells anywhere.  This made me think I mistakenly transferred the queen over.  So looking in the parent box, while not finding the queen, there were plenty of single eggs in various frames.

Offline OldMech

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Re: Attempt at letting them create a new queen
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2015, 10:01:01 pm »
notch the cell down about 3/4 of the way, and FOLD the cell wall down. I use the corner of my hive tool and it folds down about three cells. I then remove/squish the larvae/egg in the two opposing cells. If they have any inkling they need a queen they will turn that cell into a queen cell... You do not need to attempt to get the cell to point downward etc, just notching it will be enough.
   Problems... too old larvae for them to make a queen from. They do NOT yet know they are queenless, they have enough laying workers to satisfy the pheromone, etc...
   I usually wait 12 to 20 hours after making them queen less to give them a frame with eggs and young larvae (Or a frame of grafted larvae)
39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.

Offline Duane

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Re: Attempt at letting them create a new queen
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2015, 02:18:28 pm »
I've got eggs!

I saw the queen and eggs in the new box and saw the queen and larva in the old box.  When I saw the queen in the new box, I stopped looking and put it back together.  I've read you shouldn't disturb new queens,  so didn't look in detail for the queen cell.  Obviously I was disturbing her during her mating period replacing frames and all.  How fast do they completely remove queen cells that I won't be able to see them?

So I'm not sure what I learned out of the deal.  I suppose there could have been two queens in the old box and I mistakenly took the new one.  Or watched frames don't produce queen cells since they probably found an egg on the original frames.  And queen cells are easy to miss!

I first put the box together 24 days ago.  Looking at Michael Bush's bee math page, the queen can be laying in 24 +- 5 days.  Looks like it worked textbook perfect.  I just didn't know it and was worrying needlessly.  Hence the advice of giving them a frame of open brood every week for three weeks and don't worry is good advice.  I guess I wanted to see the queen cell and then not mess with it for awhile.  This kind of diminishes my experience with the process.  How could I have missed the cell(s).  Careless, I guess.

Something which caused me to consider, though probably not likely, that I missed seeing a queen from the old box is the old box capped brood pattern does not look well to me.  Quite a few vacancies.  Maybe they were superseding her?  Or do you think just taking two frames of brood/honey out of 10 has hurt the parent hive, meaning losing their edge on mites or disease?

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Attempt at letting them create a new queen
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2015, 11:49:25 am »
Removing brood from a hive helps them with the mites. That's where the mites are reproducing.  It will weaken them otherwise, depending on how much you take.  A really good queen in a really booming hive is laying thousands of eggs a day.  You don't set them back much.  Even a weak hive, if you limit yourself to eggs and very young brood, doesn't get set back much because the queen can lay more than they can care for and they haven't invested much in those eggs and young larvae.  They have a lot invested in capped brood.
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Offline Duane

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Re: Attempt at letting them create a new queen
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2015, 05:34:21 pm »
Everything was going well, and then I looked today and the new hive has eggs and larva, but not much honey.  I had added a frame of honey from another hive and a lot of it is gone.  The parent hive has honey throughout the brood comb, some capped brood, but no eggs and no larva.  Places where there is no open honey in the brood cells are clean and dry.  There had been eggs all along so I would think they would have created a new queen if something happened. 

Should I be worried?

I suppose this time of the year is not good to be creating a new queen.  But still have some drones around.  Is this a lull in the brood rearing?  I didn't see a queen in either box.  If I should combine them back, any way to make sure there is no queen? 

Offline Duane

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Re: Attempt at letting them create a new queen
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2015, 01:56:58 pm »
I learned a couple of things, Friday.  It's always a good day when you learn something!

In the morning, I managed to cut out a small circle of eggs and wedge it in the parent hive to see what would happen.  Some of the bees got on it, but not really unexpected.  If they form a queen cell out of it, don't know what I'd do, but at least I would know there's no queen.  (I think?)

In the afternoon, my wife said I should come out as there were a lot of bees flying around the cedar trees.  Some bees had formed a swarm about the size of two fists.  My hives seemed acting normal, but don't know if you could tell anything.  It dawned on me that when I saw no open brood, honey in the brood nest, everything otherwise all cleaned and in order, I should have suspected, that maybe they were about to swarm?  I know one thing, if I ever observe that situation again, I'm going to consider things closely!  I had gone through every frame looking for eggs.  I would have thought I would have seen a queen cell.  Of course, I wasn't specifically looking for one as why would they swarm now? 

Looking back, I had removed the second box.  But that was because the only frame of brood they had cleaned out.  So thought it was better to not have an empty box on top.  There's lots of bees in the box and over the lid when opening it up.  But I thought it was good to have lots of bees unlike my previous attempt of only seeing a small circle on top.  I must have done something wrong at some point, but don't know.  Maybe should have kept the empty box on longer?  Could it be a suicide swarm to rid the hive of mites?

Anyway, back to the swarm in the tree.  I imagined all you need to do is put lemongrass oil on the box, the bees smell it, and they all go into it.  Nope.  Since I had the empty brood comb I had pulled out, I held it up to the swarm and several bees got on it.  I then placed the frame and bees in the box and waited.  The bees flew in and out, I saw bees on the cluster doing their little dance, other bees flew in and out.  Then it got quiet.  No bees at the box, but I did see some leaving the swarm flying this way and that way. 

While it's not quite October, I recall something about October swarms and forgetting about them.  But after waiting a half hour or more, and remembering scout bees had rejected my double 8-frame boxes I had set out in the past, I started thinking they didn't like it this time either.  So I didn't know whether to wait and see what would happen, that maybe it takes awhile for all the votes to come in?  But since the swarm was in reach of the ground, I had a box and a frame of brood comb ready to go, and very likely my queen from the one box I purchased as a nuc, and since I was wanting more hives and here they raised a queen for me back in the box (I hope), I lost patience.  After a slight mess up, I got them all in the box.

When I'm thinking the other two hives are low on honey, what were these bees thinking?  How can they survive?  I know in the early spring when I myself know of know flowers blooming, no pollen anywhere, bees will be bringing in pollen.  Now, I see flowers of many kinds everywhere, but everyone says it's overwith for the season.  Will this new swarm of bees with nothing, and especially if I didn't give them comb, possibly make it?  Will they magically find nectar where the others cannot?  I guess what I'm asking is, do they have an incentive whereas the others think they have enough?

I suppose I need to do some feeding.  But I'd like to hear what people's experiences and thoughts are with a swarm of bees in the fall, you could hold in your two hands, if they were left to their own.

How much would you feed this many bees?

Offline Duane

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Re: Attempt at letting them create a new queen
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2015, 04:56:33 pm »
I looked in the parent box today, and the comb with eggs has disappeared.  There does not appear to be as many bees on the top as Friday.  I looked at each frame and found no queen cells, no eggs, and no queen.  I looked where they were storing pollen at the bottom of some frames, but no eggs there, either.

Shall I assume that the queen is out being mated or otherwise has not started laying eggs, provided I did not interfere with her in looking for her?

Offline Duane

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Re: Attempt at letting them create a new queen
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2015, 06:05:38 pm »
Don't know what I learned today.  The following day I noticed what looked like the majority of the caught swarm on the entrance.  Maybe hot?  Seemed strange.  Today, I decided to look in and start feeding them, but they are gone, just a few stray ones going in and out.  Probably left shortly after I saw them on the outside.  Anything to do if this should happen again, seeing a caught swarm appearing to be ready to leave the box?

Don't know what I did wrong.  They must not like my boxes.  I had stacked 8-frame mediums which I thought provided enough volume.  In the process of capturing the swarm, the majority fell and only a few got placed in the box.  But they started scenting and the all rest flew in.  Guess it shows that even if they go through the process of going into the entrance, they can still leave.

 

anything