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Author Topic: Can not find the queens  (Read 1868 times)

Offline Woody1951

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Can not find the queens
« on: September 08, 2015, 08:49:31 am »
I split my hive two weeks ago starting my second top bar hive. Hive one had a new young queen so I took everything with queen cells and put them in hive two with over 1000 bees. They took right off growing at a very fast rate. I went in yesterday and found no queen in either and many queen cells in both. I am going in again today hoping to find a queen in one or both.

The question is, what should I do. The last thing I want is a swarm this late in the year in upstate NY. If I find a queen should I kill all the queen cells? And if I don't, kill all the cells but one or two?

Thank you for your time my new bee friends.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Can not find the queens
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2015, 08:58:59 am »
You had queen cells.  Then you say "they took right off growing at a very fast rate".  What is the timing of these two events?  It was probably just emerging brood.  You say it was two weeks ago that you did the split.  I would not expect you have have a laying queen until now at the earliest and two weeks from now at the latest.  Virgins are almost impossible to find.  My guess is you have a virgin queen in both of them and she will likely start laying soon.  How soon will depend on how far along the queen cells were.  If they were brown a papery I would expect her to start laying about now.  If they were soft and white but capped I would expect her to start laying a week from now.  If they were not capped yet then it may be a few more days than that.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
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Offline Woody1951

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Re: Can not find the queens
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2015, 09:12:59 am »
Thank you for your fast response Michael. They are all stages of cells in both. So you are saying just leave them alone to sort things out? They won't swarm on me again? (Hive one swarmed before I had control of it about two months ago.) When I have a laying queen I should wipe out all queen cells?

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Can not find the queens
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2015, 06:06:24 pm »
> So you are saying just leave them alone to sort things out?

That depends on what you have to work with.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beespanacea.htm

>When I have a laying queen I should wipe out all queen cells?

Never.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline Woody1951

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Re: Can not find the queens
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2015, 06:25:19 pm »
I guess live and learn go hand in hand here, as anywhere. My young queen in hive one could have been injured or killed? I may have missed her? I I didn't go in today hoping for some good ideas. I will go in first thing in the morning.

At sixty-three my eye site isn't to well, but I ripped a few drone cells open and saw no mites. I see no eggs either, but there are empty cells in the brood with what looks like a drop of honey? I look hard on the bees themselves and see no sign of mites.

On a positive note, other than being able to pay my good friend off for all the things he did for me in honey, my girls are the most important thing. Watching them live happy and thrive is at the top of my list.

I went from thinking I missed my chance to split the hive this year to HOLY CRAP! Whether I split them further or they spit themselves? it is my understanding would be ruins for them and my hives in upstate New York.

I am known for my drama, so forgive me people. I rode motorcycles for 45 years, sailed for 20 and a sound believer in wind therapy... and my bees.

Offline Woody1951

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Re: Can not find the queens
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2015, 06:54:46 pm »
> So you are saying just leave them alone to sort things out?

That depends on what you have to work with.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beespanacea.htm

>When I have a laying queen I should wipe out all queen cells?

Never.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm


 Thank you again Michael.
I will read more tomorrow.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Can not find the queens
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2015, 08:56:43 am »
> My young queen in hive one could have been injured or killed?

The majority of the time when you think you have a queenless colony, you have a virgin queen that isn't laying yet.  Open brood and eggs is good insurance in case this is one of those minority situations.  Most likely you have a queen.

If you mean at first, it's possible the queen died or was failing and they made queen cells to replace her.  I would have made sure both the original and the split had queen cells.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline Woody1951

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Re: Can not find the queens
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2015, 08:34:48 am »
I agree with that Michael. I also agree with what's his name that "ending the species is not built into the bee." I am like a first time father. I am a first time father. I am going in again today to see what I can find. Wish me luck.

Offline Woody1951

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Re: Can not find the queens
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2015, 11:16:42 am »
I had a strange experience yesterday. I was showing a friend who want's to raise bees my hives when on Hive one this worker bee was haling a young queen up the hive. The queen looked close to death as I put my finger out to help her get it over the landing board. As soon as I did they were both in the hole and fell to the bottom of the hive. I never saw anything like it in my short bee keeping life.  :shocked:

I can't wait any longer. I am firing up the smoker and going in. Any explanation would be helpful.

Offline Woody1951

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Re: Can not find the queens
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2015, 12:59:17 pm »
I went through both hives. It bothers me that my girls got (get) so upset. Should I go in more often so they get use to me?

Again I found no queens. I saw in both hives what might be eggs. darn net! I can't see well as it is. So no signs of a laying queen. Most of the queen cells are gone but one open that I could not see anything in it. Depressing.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Can not find the queens
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2015, 02:05:24 pm »
Woody,
It sounds like you are going into your hives every day.
Stop.
That is a good way of having the bees take out their frustration, of constantly having to rebuild the hive, on the queen and kill her. As a New Beek, you need to learn what is going on in your hives and at most inspect them on a 7-10 day schedule. Better yet if you have 2 hives alternate on a 2 week schedule. Once you are experienced, you will bee much better off going into your hives when you need to. New queens need time to get mated and start laying eggs and have wet brood before you inspect them for the first time and then I only go into them to see if I have eggs/larvae and I stop the inspection and get out.
Spend as much time as you can watching what is going on in from of the hive. I used to sit between my first 2 hives and see what is coming into and out of the hive. What hours are they working the hardest. What time are they orienting. What temperatures are they working.
Jim

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Can not find the queens
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2015, 04:06:03 pm »
>I went through both hives. It bothers me that my girls got (get) so upset. Should I go in more often so they get use to me?

Bees do not get used to you.  They get tired of you.  I would go into them less often.  Are you using smoke?  They will get a lot less tired of you if you use smoke appropriately (not to hot or too much). 

http://www.bushfarms.com/beessmoke.htm

It's also getting into fall when they tend to be more defensive.  There is very seldom a point in looking for a queen--always keep an eye out of course, but don't go through the whole hive looking.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesqueenspotting.htm#need

The only think you need to know is if you have eggs, open brood and capped brood.  If you have eggs you had a queen at least four days ago and probably have one now.  If you have open brood you had a queen 12 days ago and probably have one now.  If you have capped brood you had a queen 13 days ago and probably have one now.  If you can't see eggs, then get a good camera and take pictures of the frames.  Get them in focus.  Aim straight down into the cells.

>Again I found no queens. I saw in both hives what might be eggs. darn net! I can't see well as it is. So no signs of a laying queen. Most of the queen cells are gone but one open that I could not see anything in it. Depressing.

An open cell with nothing in it is nothing.  It is not a queen cell.  You can call it a queen cup if you need to give it a name.  I would just call it nothing, since that  is what it means...

If you did a split on the 25th of Aug I would not expect a laying queen before 22 days later which would be the day after tomorrow (16th) and it may be 9 days from now (23rd).

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm

A frame of eggs and open brood is the best insurance.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beespanacea.htm
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline Woody1951

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Re: Can not find the queens
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2015, 10:09:15 am »
Jim I have been going in at a two week timeline. I believe I waited three weeks this time with Michael's timeline which I knew was still not enough.

"If you mean at first, it's possible the queen died or was failing and they made queen cells to replace her.  I would have made sure both the original and the split had queen cells."

Michael When they swarmed I believe they took the old queen with them and left them with many queen cells. That is when I made the split putting queen cells in both along with half the honey and brood.

I do use smoke. I think you said in one of your videos that the less smoke the better. But I find the more aggressive they become as the year goes on, the more smoke I have to use.

I will stop going through the whole hive looking. I have a lot of cross comb in both. More in hive one where the bars are all the same size, but it seems that the more space you give them, the more space they fill? Anyway, going through the whole hive just makes that much more damage and that will stop. Instead of looking for the queen I will start looking for signs of a queen which I now believe can be found much sooner in an inspection.

I have also been starting at bar 1 instead of 30 lately because I read that was better, and to put a space between the face and the brood to keep them from attaching to the face. Well that did not work and it just upsets the bees all at once, so that will stop also. I have much better inspections by going in from the back.

Thank you both for your advise. It means more than you know.