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Author Topic: A change of plans ...  (Read 291 times)

Offline CoolBees

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A change of plans ...
« on: January 25, 2020, 07:56:52 pm »
It was almost 70 degrees today - sunny and hot - with warmth in the forecast. Flowers are starting to bloom. The main flow is beginning and the hives are building in size ... soooo ....

I got the bright idea to pull the queen from my largest/strongest hive today - in the attempt to get QC's started for early splits. ...

I opened the hive and went thru it frame-by-frame. Lots of stores, honey, nectar, bee bread, etc. ... but NO brood in any stage. Not even capped brood. No empty QC's either. "What the ???"

Change of plans - grabbed a 5-frame Nuc (queen hatched Jan 1st this year). Transfered the nuc frames to an 8-frame box, and placed over a newspaper on top of the hive.

Total change of plans - went from "gonna do splits" to "gotta save this hive". You just never know what your going to find when you open a hive.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2020, 08:11:39 pm by CoolBees »
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: A change of plans ...
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2020, 08:20:41 pm »
Alan what was the condition of your 5 framer?  Plenty of bees, brood, eggs, larve etc? If so you could have given the queen to the main hive and the 5 framer should have made you plenty of QC for splits?

Offline CoolBees

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Re: A change of plans ...
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2020, 08:36:16 pm »
Phillip - good question. The 5 frame had about 3.5 frames of bees with a complete cycle of brood about to hatch out. This is the 1st cycle from the queen. The adult bees in there are getting old. There weren't many eggs, as there wasn't much room to lay, between stores and existing brood. ... which is to say, the nuc wasn't very strong, but was about to explode in size.

So I don't think the nuc was a good candidate for removing the queen. However, if the queen is accepted, the large hive should produce a few dozen queens in 4 to 6 weeks, since this queen will have ample room to lay, 5 boxes of stores, a myriad of urrently unemployed nurse bees, and a huge field force with which to work for the next month.
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: A change of plans ...
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2020, 08:46:07 pm »
Phillip - good question. The 5 frame had about 3.5 frames of bees with a complete cycle of brood about to hatch out. This is the 1st cycle from the queen. The adult bees in there are getting old. There weren't many eggs, as there wasn't much room to lay, between stores and existing brood. ... which is to say, the nuc wasn't very strong, but was about to explode in size.

So I don't think the nuc was a good candidate for removing the queen. However, if the queen is accepted, the large hive should produce a few dozen queens in 4 to 6 weeks, since this queen will have ample room to lay, 5 boxes of stores, a myriad of urrently unemployed nurse bees, and a huge field force with which to work for the next month.

It seems you and I are learning together as we came on the scene in a similar time frame. I see you as one of my classmates. We are having fun with our bees aren't we Alan. I hope others are as well. Wishing you continued prosperity and success with your bees. Congratulations on your warmth and soon to be flow!
Phillip

Offline CoolBees

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Re: A change of plans ...
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2020, 09:56:00 pm »
I guess we most certainly are classmates Phillip. Good way to look at it.  :grin: :grin: :grin: I certainly enjoy the bees - maybe more than they enjoy me at times!   :shocked: :cheesy: :cheesy:

Wishing you all the best with your bees this year also. I can't wait till nectar really starts flowing here!
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline Acebird

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Re: A change of plans ...
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2020, 09:03:18 am »
It is a classic ... Bees telling you when you are right or wrong.
I am wondering why you just didn't give the hive a frame of 3 day larvae out of the nuc?
Brian Cardinal
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Offline CoolBees

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Re: A change of plans ...
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2020, 12:44:05 pm »
... I am wondering why you just didn't give the hive a frame of 3 day larvae out of the nuc?

Good question Ace. My thoughts (decided in an instant with an open hive, and an unexpected situation):

I've got the main flow just starting.

Option 1 - Letting the hive create thier own queen will take 25-30 days till she's well bred and laying proper patterns. Then Another 21 days till the hive gets its 1st new hatch cycle. That's 6 to 7 weeks away assuming the queen survives her mating flights, etc. By that time, the entire hive will be in full crash mode - with old bees bringing pollen and raising brood, instead of storing nectar. Then - another 21 to 42 days until the hive is back to pre-crash numbers. This puts full recovery of the hive at sometime in May - just as the flow is winding down here. The hive would survive  (assuming it became queenright) - but wouldn't produce any excess for the season.

Option 2 - give the hive a Laying queen and a full broodnest now, when the hives workforce is at its maximum potential. 4 weeks from now the hives workforce will be double what it is today. This will allow splits, and excess quickly. 3 weeks from now I will pull the queen to get many QC'S - and hopefully 4 to 5 Nucs.

This was my thinking. I took option 2. Not to say I was right in my thinking, but it seemed logical at that moment.
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: A change of plans ...
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2020, 01:43:48 pm »
Mr. Cool, I believe you made the best decision.  If you had provided a frame of eggs, as Mr. Ace suggest, there may or may not have been nurse bees to generate the Royal jelly needed for queen cells.  So again, I think you made the  best choice.

Hives that overwinter and lose a queen do not have the nurse bees needed to make a queen.  Unless the queen laid brood then vanished for whatever reason.  The point is, old winter bees cannot make Royal jelly as the thoracic gland, the gland that produces Royal jelly, the cells die as the bee ages.

There is argument that nurse bees that become foragers can revert back to nurse bees as conditions dictates.  I would agree up to a point of age.  The maximum age inwhich a field bees successfully reverts to a nurse bee is not exactly known.  What is known is that older workers, again, exact age is not known, cannot revert back to nurse bees as the gland that produces Royal jelly has disintegrated.

Van
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Offline CoolBees

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Re: A change of plans ...
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2020, 05:46:53 pm »
Thanks for the vote of confidence Mr. Van. It seemed right to me to take a step backwards, combine a Nuc with a large hive, and [hopefully] achieve a "mega-hive" in 4 weeks - and at that time, go for splits. I think I'll end up with more bees, more queens, more resources, and more hives going this route.

On an additional note: This morning I noted large chunks of newspaper caught at the entrance on the robbing screen. That didn't take them long to tear it out - 1.5 days! Hopefully the queen got accepted. Her brood nest was 4 frames. 

Also saw lots of large pollen coming in at an early hour this morning - and 52 degs  (supposed to be 62ish today). ... so ... hoping all is well.

I'll check next week - for better or worse.
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: A change of plans ...
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2020, 09:15:15 pm »
Cool, if the bees accepted the queen and all is well with the hive, then bees should appear as normal on the entrance.  Most of the time, there are acceptions, Honeybees act abnormal if they are queenless.  The bees on the entrance of a queenless hive act confused: they walk out of the entrance turn around and walk back in, they circle on the entrance as if confused, the hive will have a roar, the bees are a bit defensive as they realize without a Queen they are not complete, in disarray and it shows. 

With a healthy hive the foraging bees take off immediately for foraging, no messing around on the entrance or they guard, they have purpose and coordinate their actions.

I can make a split not knowing which split the queen is in, a walk away split.  In one hour, the bees tell me which split is queenless by the bees roaring and the confusion on the entrance.

Health to your bees.

Van
Bless the Beekeepers.  Dealing with venomous insects takes courage, patience, dedication and a desire to be with nature.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: A change of plans ...
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2020, 09:31:23 pm »
Thanks for the vote of confidence Mr. Van. It seemed right to me to take a step backwards, combine a Nuc with a large hive, and [hopefully] achieve a "mega-hive" in 4 weeks - and at that time, go for splits. I think I'll end up with more bees, more queens, more resources, and more hives going this route.

On an additional note: This morning I noted large chunks of newspaper caught at the entrance on the robbing screen. That didn't take them long to tear it out - 1.5 days! Hopefully the queen got accepted. Her brood nest was 4 frames. 

Also saw lots of large pollen coming in at an early hour this morning - and 52 degs  (supposed to be 62ish today). ... so ... hoping all is well.

I'll check next week - for better or worse.

Congratulations Alan, with your above description of progress, I would think all is well.
Phillip

Offline CoolBees

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Re: A change of plans ...
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2020, 09:40:55 pm »
...
I can make a split not knowing which split the queen is in, a walk away split.  In one hour, the bees tell me which split is queenless by the bees roaring and the confusion on the entrance.

Health to your bees.

Van

Thank you Van, for your continued feedback. I'm not at the level to see what you describe at the entrance yet - but I do [try to] spend a few mins each day watching the entrances of various hives - I really enjoy it. I've been known to have my head sideways and nose shoved up into the hive so I can watch them breaking the cluster (with 1 eye) in the mornings. They know me, and ignore me.  :cheesy:

I'll start looking for what you describe - I'm sure I'll pick up on it at some point. Hopefully soon - fingers crossed.  :grin:
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline CoolBees

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Re: A change of plans ...
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2020, 09:20:46 pm »
An update on this thread ...

I went into this hive today. What I did by introducing the queen from a Nuc - worked!  :cool: :cool: :cool: She had layed up about 7 frames of brood, and I found her in the next box down. I pulled her to a Nuc. Great job Lady!

She's much calmer now than she was 2 weeks ago. She young - still only 5 weeks old or so - but very confident now.

Thought I'd let all of you know the outcome. Sometimes a change of plans is whats needed. I am pleased. :grin:
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline jtcmedic

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Re: A change of plans ...
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2020, 09:38:13 pm »
She knocked it out of the park, good job