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General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #4076  by Patrick
 13 Jul 2019, 20:02
Leaving more than one queen cell in a colony in swarm season “because the first emerging virgin will systematically kill the rest” is another one for the myths thread. Don’t feel too bad about it - we’ve all learned the hard way about that one!

I also messed up. Due to other commitments not been able to inspect bees recently and just found a this years queen (so unclipped) from a nuc recently put into a full brood body has swarmed. Not pleased with bees or proud of my beekeeping. This prolonged.warm spell caught me out with another beekeeping myth- colonies with this years queens won’t try and swarm.

Only upside her progeny obviously have a swarmy tendency so worth noting. But irritating waste of effort and disappointing. Duh!
 #4077  by Japey Edge
 13 Jul 2019, 20:37
Cheers Patrick! I was so proud of my progress and then that silly mistake knocked me back down :lol:
It was a colony I rendered queenless by removing the queen and brood. Thought they were superseding so didn't think they'd swarm. Silly to think that way.

Next time, if I see a virgin, I'm taking out the QCs, for sure!
 #4078  by AdamD
 14 Jul 2019, 08:07
I have two colonies superceding at the moment. One is a nuc which developed slowly compared to others after the queen was mated, so the bees have decided she has to go. The other is a queen that has done 2 seasons of service. She was still laying at the time of last inspection and there was just one sealed queencell in the hive. As she is clipped in any case I am comfortable to leave them to get on with it.
 #4079  by AdamD
 14 Jul 2019, 08:09
Japey Edge wrote:
13 Jul 2019, 18:57
... Just found out from next door that one of my hives swarmed. I think it was the small one that I heard the queen piping in. I thought I could leave the QCs there and she would kill them, obviously not :lol:

Hmm...
A small colony (say a nuc made up with two queencells on a frame) might allow just one queen to take over but if there's a queen and a sealed/nearly queencell as well, the queen will fly.
 #4081  by Japey Edge
 14 Jul 2019, 12:38
AdamD wrote:
14 Jul 2019, 08:09
Japey Edge wrote:
13 Jul 2019, 18:57
... Just found out from next door that one of my hives swarmed. I think it was the small one that I heard the queen piping in. I thought I could leave the QCs there and she would kill them, obviously not :lol:

Hmm...
A small colony (say a nuc made up with two queencells on a frame) might allow just one queen to take over but if there's a queen and a sealed/nearly queencell as well, the queen will fly.
Thanks Adam. So is the answer to destroy QCs upon discovery of newly emerged queen?
 #4082  by Japey Edge
 14 Jul 2019, 15:51
Well today was a busy one!

Checked the mini mating hive first to ease it in. Removed some comb from feeder. Found my marked queen and also... EGGS!! Yessssss success, we have a laying queen!

Checked on the nuc (the one I split with last year's queen, moving her and some brood to this nuc). BIAS and Queen present. Although they had been fed they still had two frames to draw out from foundation. They have one mutant honey frame that sticks out and basically does my head in. Will be getting replaced when they draw out the rest of the comb. Not sure whether to keep feeding or not.
Found a QC and tore it down. Can't be chewed for the moment.

Checked big swarm hive, housed in my second Abelo poly. Took QE off, hunting for queen. They had drawn out most frames from foundation I put in at 11om Thursday night! Still very busy - jam packed. Gave them the lightest frame of brood from the nuc and then put QE on top and a super as they were so packed..
Bringing in plenty of pollen and stores. No sign of eggs or a queen. I'm hoping they calm down soon as they're really active around the hive.

Checked the "micro swarm" and they're doing poor despite me giving them a frame of brood (possible regret). Queen still laying, though getting the impression she's fit for an apidea :|

Checked hive 1 and they were pretty quiet - guess that's down to a cast swarm going out a few days ago (as reported by neighbours).
Queen was piping. Took some time but caught her. Marked her. Tore out a few QCs. One emerged on the grass. Wife caught and marked her. We have too many queens so opted for what is likely hugely unpopular - we walked her into the supposedly queenless swarm hive. If she's there next inspection then fine. If not, they have done her in and may raise a queen from the frame I gave them.
Back to hive 1. Caught and marked the piping queen. Opened other QCs. One was a queen, one had an entombed worker. Rest empty.
Removed a frame that didn't have foundation because the comb was hanging, then hinging. Snapped it off and binned it. Put frame with foundation in.

That was a very busy inspection. When will I get to the point where I have two strong hives and a backup/safety nuc?

Really proud of the mini mating hive and my laying queen! :D
 #4084  by Adam Bee
 14 Jul 2019, 16:11
Japey Edge wrote:
14 Jul 2019, 15:51
Well today was a busy one!

<snip>

Really proud of the mini mating hive and my laying queen! :D
Congratulations!
 #4085  by NigelP
 14 Jul 2019, 16:21
Japey Edge wrote:
14 Jul 2019, 15:51

Really proud of the mini mating hive and my laying queen! :D
Not wishing to poop on your party but it's early days yet, but sounds quite good and quite quick. But you need to hope she isn't a drone layer.....which you will know soon enough when they cap the brood.
I'd be very tempted to take some of your drawn frames from the swarm into the hive that's struggling to draw them ...and give the undrawn frames back to the swarm. Shake bee off frames before hand.

Possibly unwise adding a virgin queen into a hive where you don't the know the state of play. Better to simply squash or add to the tiny doomed ones.....Fighting will occur between two rival queens and the outcome is uncertain, but youth wins statistically more fights....assuming the bees didn't already kill the intruder.
Your added frame of brood with eggs/v young larvae will tell you what is going on.
 #4087  by Alfred
 14 Jul 2019, 18:13
NigelP wrote:
14 Jul 2019, 16:21
hope she isn't a drone layer.....which you will know soon enough when they cap the brood.
I'd give the undrawn frames back to the swarm. Shake bee off frames before hand.

Your added frame of brood with eggs/v young larvae will tell you what is going on.
Nigel could you expand on these, for the benefit of my numptiness..
 #4088  by Japey Edge
 14 Jul 2019, 19:08
NigelP wrote:
14 Jul 2019, 16:21
Japey Edge wrote:
14 Jul 2019, 15:51

Really proud of the mini mating hive and my laying queen! :D
Not wishing to poop on your party but it's early days yet, but sounds quite good and quite quick. But you need to hope she isn't a drone layer.....which you will know soon enough when they cap the brood.
I'd be very tempted to take some of your drawn frames from the swarm into the hive that's struggling to draw them ...and give the undrawn frames back to the swarm. Shake bee off frames before hand.

Possibly unwise adding a virgin queen into a hive where you don't the know the state of play. Better to simply squash or add to the tiny doomed ones.....Fighting will occur between two rival queens and the outcome is uncertain, but youth wins statistically more fights....assuming the bees didn't already kill the intruder.
Your added frame of brood with eggs/v young larvae will tell you what is going on.
Makes sense to me Nigel, poop away :lol:

Thanks for those pointers, they'll certainly shape my beekeeping as I learn more. I will keep an eye on the mating hive for the next few weeks and may put her in the micro swarm.
Good idea with the frames of comb. Wish I'd thought of that when I was cutting and shutting earlier. Will do that next inspection if need be. Will certainly give them the boost needed.
I lifted the roof off the big swarm tonight as I have a clear crown board and they're packed into the super. Really pleased with them so far, they don't mess about.

Just regarding sticking the virgin queen in with the swarm. Was it unwise because they could kill her, or are there other potentially nasty outcomes?
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