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17652Re: [Beekeeping] Re: 3 missing queens?

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  • chris o
    May 19, 2014
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      On Monday, May 19, 2014 10:58 AM, "mdudley@... [Beekeeping]" <Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


       



      ---In Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com, <twelvevoltduckman@...> wrote :

      I am new to beekeeping as of last month. A brief history of the last 5 weeks:
      •  2 nucs into hives on 4/10. At that time I observed both queens (1 was marked green, the other unmarked).
      • Less than 3 weeks later, one of the colonies had filled the deep (I had added a medium, but the colony ignored it & stayed in the hive body) and was creating swarm cells. After consultation, I split that colony into another hive. 
      reply:

      When adding a super or another body it is best if you can put at least one drawn comb into the new super to draw them up there to work.  If both were deeps then moving one comb of brood up there works great.
      >> That sounds like a good strategy. I'll remember that.

      > This soon after installing a package, I have doubts that these were swarm cells.  Most likely they were supercedure cells.  Either they were planning on replacing the queen, or she died for some reason.
      >> For clarity, both were nucs that appeared quite strong when they arrived.

      I inspected all 3 hives today. The colony that was not split is strong and doing fine with regard to honey and pollen, although not all of the foundation has been drawn out yet. One of the split colonies is doing well as well. The other appears to be weak (but hey, no swarming!).

      But none of the colonies have ANY eggs or larvae. I've observed both in all hives with each inspection until today. In fact, I'm still no good at spotting the queen and thus relied on the presence of eggs and larvae to verify her activity. Today, I still observed no queens and found no  eggs and larvae.

      reply:

      Eggs and larva under 3 days old can be difficult to see without some magnifying, especially for us older folks.  If indeed you had lost the queen and they were building queen cells to get a new queen, then no eggs or larvae would be expected.

      It takes about 9 days from the loss of a queen for the bees to raise another one.  Then it can take a week for her to mate, and another few days before she will start laying.  So a 2 to 3 week delay from loss of a queen until you have another one laying is not unexpected.

      >> I normally wear trifocals. They were essentially useless for hive inspection. I went back to drugstore reading glasses, which are much better for the purpose. 

      This seems so unlikely I am questioning my vision! One of the split hives had 4-6 swarm cells before the split. The cells were gone!

      reply:
      That means that most likely they hatched, and you have a virgin or newly mated queen now.  I hope you put cells in both of the splits, if not then one will likely be hopelessly queenless with no young brood to raise a queen from.

      >> Both had uncapped brood when I did the split. 

      >> Yes. I made sure both had cells. And the cells were classic swarm cells; built on the very bottom of the frame. 

      Of course you need to know how to see the eggs for you.  When I was young I could easily see them with my eyes, but now I need reading glasses with a very strong correction to see them.

      > I'm going to ask a member of our local beekeeper association to come inspect my hives with me to see if I'm missing everything. I hate to think about trying to find 3 queens to buy (and paying for them) after all the expenses of getting started.

      reply:
      I don't know why you are seeing no eggs or larvae in the 3rd hive.  Did you use any kind of poison in the hive, such as a mitecide or fungacide.  These are known to cause queens demise quite often.

      >> My only pest treatment to date is vegetable oil in Beetle Blaster traps. Of course, I can't vouch for what happened with the nucs prior to delivery. But the supplier has worked with our beekeeper association for a number of years and has a good reputation. 

      >If anyone has a suggestion, I'm open to about anything at this point.

      Chris in Georgia


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