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Re: A Beekeeping Question!

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  • Bill
    Thank you for your answers. I have some points to make: 1. It s too cold to open that hive up right now and check for laying patterns. When the weather warms,
    Message 1 of 19 , Feb 8, 2013
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      Thank you for your answers. I have some points to make:

      1. It's too cold to open that hive up right now and check for laying patterns. When the weather warms, I will. But opening that hive up now would just expose a balled mass to a blast of Northern California cold weather. That's deadly. I'm not going there yet.

      2. I've had colonies where the queen either died or flew away and a laying worker took over. In all instances, the colony died after a few months. By the time late fall hit, every last bee was gone or dead. I've never once experienced a colony with a laying worker survive the cold winter months. BUT -- my experience at this is limited. I have two hives. I'm a hobbyist at heart.

      3. This colony has survived the coldest part of our winter. It's February. While it's still cold, the days are getting longer and a tad warmer. The last frost date has passed. I've witnessed what appears to be new brood emerging from the hive (small bees) and flying around it to gain orientation.

      4. Everything I've seen tells me there's a queen in there and I just didn't spot her the last time I inspected the hive last summer (by the way, that inspection revealed NO BROOD in the upper part of the hive). I did not check the frames at the bottom. She may have been there. New brood may have been there.

      5. So -- if anyone on this board has ever experienced a colony with a laying worker survive the winter? Please let me know. I don't think it would. But again, my experience is limited.

      6. NO KARON! I am not opening the hive in the DEAD OF WINTER.

      Bill
      Sacramento, CA




      --- In Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com, Jorg Kewisch wrote:
      >
      > This seems to be more the question: How do I find the queen?
      > First, the queen may look just like the worker bees with a twice longer
      > abdomen. Use Google to see lots of queens.
      > Here is what I do, please tell us your method.I start with the bottom
      > box, leave the inner cover on the top box. If I start at the top the
      > bees will move down and the bottom box will be overcrowded and hard to
      > search.
      > I remove the outer frame and inspect it, put it aside. Then I inspect
      > carefully the center frames because the queen is most likely there. If I
      > don't find her I go through all frames.
      > If still not found I put a queen excluder and the top box on. With light
      > smoke the bees will move down and make it easier to find the left behind
      > queen.
      > Don't forget to remove the queen excluder afterwards;)
      >
      > Jorg
      >
    • Bill
      DING! DING! DING! Best answer yet Mike. Yes, when the weather warms up in the afternoon for the bees to fly -- they re out and about gathering pollen. I can
      Message 2 of 19 , Feb 8, 2013
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        DING! DING! DING!

        Best answer yet Mike. Yes, when the weather warms up in the afternoon for the bees to fly -- they're out and about gathering pollen. I can see those full pollen sacks when they return to the hive.

        I'm not sure what we have up here blooming in the dead of winter, but there must be something they like. But, your answer makes me feel better. I'm almost positive there's a queen in there. I've just never been able to spot her before.

        One thing I have noticed? Living in a cookie cutter subdivision that is only half built out? Landscapers choose the cheapest, most common of plants to landscape with. These are plants that grow quickly and show plenty of color.

        They also happen to be enormous pollen producers.

        --- In Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com, Mike S wrote:
        >
        Another thing to check is whether or not you have bees bringing in pollen into the hive.  If they are bringing a lot of pollen in (1 in every 10 bees or so) then you have a very active colony that is building up for spring.
        >
        > Mike in LA
        >
      • Mike S
        ... I m not sure that I agree with the above statement.  I have heard of no study citing the above fact that a laying worker has only been out of the hive one
        Message 3 of 19 , Feb 8, 2013
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          >>>    Unlike foragers, that laying worker has only been out of the hive one time.

          I'm not sure that I agree with the above statement.  I have heard of no study citing the above fact that a laying worker has only been out of the hive one time.  What is the source of this statement?  I'm not saying it's wrong.  I just question the validity.

          Mike in LA

        • karon
          I can t say I blame you Bill. I wouldn t either. I often forget that a lot of beekeepers live in places that are FAR colder than mine. For instance, here, it
          Message 4 of 19 , Feb 9, 2013
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            I can’t say I blame you Bill. I wouldn’t either. I often forget that a lot of beekeepers live in places that are FAR colder than mine. For instance, here, it is in the 70’s, today. Opening the hive is no big shakes. If it is too cold one day, wait till tomorrow and there is no problem<G>

             

            But, if you have a laying worker, or even suspect one, opening the hive is really the only way to confirm it.

             

            IIRC, and I could be wrong, don’t the bees live longer during the winter? Living in a sort of semi dormant state while balled in the center of the hive?  Still, the workers generally toss drones to starve in the fall so if you had a laying worker, seems the remaining workers would toss the drones as they hatch.

             

            Still, I haven’t kept bees in a while and only had a laying worker once in the time I was keeping, before so I cannot remember for sure all the tricks and habits. And, being in The South, I am not certain about the overwintering behavior in colder climes<G>

             

            Karon Adams

            Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

            You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

            www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

            www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

             

            From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Bill
            Sent: Friday, February 08, 2013 3:17 PM
            To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [Beekeeping] Re: A Beekeeping Question!

             

             

            Thank you for your answers. I have some points to make:

            1. It's too cold to open that hive up right now and check for laying patterns. When the weather warms, I will. But opening that hive up now would just expose a balled mass to a blast of Northern California cold weather. That's deadly. I'm not going there yet.

            2. I've had colonies where the queen either died or flew away and a laying worker took over. In all instances, the colony died after a few months. By the time late fall hit, every last bee was gone or dead. I've never once experienced a colony with a laying worker survive the cold winter months. BUT -- my experience at this is limited. I have two hives. I'm a hobbyist at heart.

            3. This colony has survived the coldest part of our winter. It's February. While it's still cold, the days are getting longer and a tad warmer. The last frost date has passed. I've witnessed what appears to be new brood emerging from the hive (small bees) and flying around it to gain orientation.

            4. Everything I've seen tells me there's a queen in there and I just didn't spot her the last time I inspected the hive last summer (by the way, that inspection revealed NO BROOD in the upper part of the hive). I did not check the frames at the bottom. She may have been there. New brood may have been there.

            5. So -- if anyone on this board has ever experienced a colony with a laying worker survive the winter? Please let me know. I don't think it would. But again, my experience is limited.

            6. NO KARON! I am not opening the hive in the DEAD OF WINTER.

            Bill
            Sacramento, CA

            --- In Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com, Jorg Kewisch wrote:
            >
            > This seems to be more the question: How do I find the queen?
            > First, the queen may look just like the worker bees with a twice longer
            > abdomen. Use Google to see lots of queens.
            > Here is what I do, please tell us your method.I start with the bottom
            > box, leave the inner cover on the top box. If I start at the top the
            > bees will move down and the bottom box will be overcrowded and hard to
            > search.
            > I remove the outer frame and inspect it, put it aside. Then I inspect
            > carefully the center frames because the queen is most likely there. If I
            > don't find her I go through all frames.
            > If still not found I put a queen excluder and the top box on. With light
            > smoke the bees will move down and make it easier to find the left behind
            > queen.
            > Don't forget to remove the queen excluder afterwards;)
            >
            > Jorg
            >

          • karon
            You know, I m not even entirely sure of that. No studies, basically, just an assumption. I would think she would have been out for a mating flight or an
            Message 5 of 19 , Feb 9, 2013
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              You know, I’m not even entirely sure of that. No studies, basically, just an assumption. I would think she would have been out for a mating flight or an attempt at one. But, then again, it may be that a former forager may be a laying queen. Like I said, it has been a while since I kept bees and I only had a laying worker once.  I was just trying to think it through and assuming she had always been a layer but had not been fed jelly early enough to become a real queen. I suppose a former forager might change over to a laying queen.

               

              I may very well have been wrong about that. I am not certain why I came to that conclusion. Don’t know if I read it somewhere (and on further reflection, I doubt that I did) or just deduced it myself, incorrectly it seems, now that I have read more here and had time to think on it a little more.

               

              Karon Adams

              Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

              You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

              www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

              www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

               

              From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mike S
              Sent: Friday, February 08, 2013 9:54 PM
              To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [Beekeeping] A Beekeeping Question! Requeening a laying worker hive

               

               

              >>>    Unlike foragers, that laying worker has only been out of the hive one time.

              I'm not sure that I agree with the above statement.  I have heard of no study citing the above fact that a laying worker has only been out of the hive one time.  What is the source of this statement?  I'm not saying it's wrong.  I just question the validity.

              Mike in LA

            • Tim Arheit
              Actually that s part of the problem with a laying worker, they haven t mated so they can only lay unfertilized eggs that will result in drones. Sometimes
              Message 6 of 19 , Feb 9, 2013
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                Actually that's part of the problem with a laying worker,  they haven't mated so they can only lay unfertilized eggs that will result in drones.   Sometimes they can lay very normal sized drone eggs,  but when you start seeing lots of eggs laid by works, you'll see many undersized eggs which isn't surprising since the workers reproduction organs aren't fully developed.

                -Tim

                On 2/9/2013 4:33 PM, karon wrote:
                 

                You know, I’m not even entirely sure of that. No studies, basically, just an assumption. I would think she would have been out for a mating flight or an attempt at one. But, then again, it may be that a former forager may be a laying queen. Like I said, it has been a while since I kept bees and I only had a laying worker once.  I was just trying to think it through and assuming she had always been a layer but had not been fed jelly early enough to become a real queen. I suppose a former forager might change over to a laying queen.

                 

                I may very well have been wrong about that. I am not certain why I came to that conclusion. Don’t know if I read it somewhere (and on further reflection, I doubt that I did) or just deduced it myself, incorrectly it seems, now that I have read more here and had time to think on it a little more.

                 

                Karon Adams

                Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                 

                From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mike S
                Sent: Friday, February 08, 2013 9:54 PM
                To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: RE: [Beekeeping] A Beekeeping Question! Requeening a laying worker hive

                 

                 

                >>>    Unlike foragers, that laying worker has only been out of the hive one time.

                I'm not sure that I agree with the above statement.  I have heard of no study citing the above fact that a laying worker has only been out of the hive one time.  What is the source of this statement?  I'm not saying it's wrong.  I just question the validity.

                Mike in LA


              • karon
                And see, thinking through it, that does make more sense. Sorry, I was trying to think it through and I went the wrong way with it, I suppose. Karon Adams
                Message 7 of 19 , Feb 9, 2013
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                  And see, thinking through it, that does make more sense. Sorry, I was trying to think it through and I went the wrong way with it, I suppose.

                   

                  Karon Adams

                  Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                  You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                  www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                  www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                   

                  From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tim Arheit
                  Sent: Saturday, February 09, 2013 5:33 PM
                  To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [Beekeeping] A Beekeeping Question! Requeening a laying worker hive

                   

                   

                  Actually that's part of the problem with a laying worker,  they haven't mated so they can only lay unfertilized eggs that will result in drones.   Sometimes they can lay very normal sized drone eggs,  but when you start seeing lots of eggs laid by works, you'll see many undersized eggs which isn't surprising since the workers reproduction organs aren't fully developed.

                  -Tim

                  On 2/9/2013 4:33 PM, karon wrote:

                   

                  You know, I’m not even entirely sure of that. No studies, basically, just an assumption. I would think she would have been out for a mating flight or an attempt at one. But, then again, it may be that a former forager may be a laying queen. Like I said, it has been a while since I kept bees and I only had a laying worker once.  I was just trying to think it through and assuming she had always been a layer but had not been fed jelly early enough to become a real queen. I suppose a former forager might change over to a laying queen.

                   

                  I may very well have been wrong about that. I am not certain why I came to that conclusion. Don’t know if I read it somewhere (and on further reflection, I doubt that I did) or just deduced it myself, incorrectly it seems, now that I have read more here and had time to think on it a little more.

                   

                  Karon Adams

                  Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                  You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                  www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                  www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                   

                  From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mike S
                  Sent: Friday, February 08, 2013 9:54 PM
                  To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: RE: [Beekeeping] A Beekeeping Question! Requeening a laying worker hive

                   

                   

                  >>>    Unlike foragers, that laying worker has only been out of the hive one time.

                  I'm not sure that I agree with the above statement.  I have heard of no study citing the above fact that a laying worker has only been out of the hive one time.  What is the source of this statement?  I'm not saying it's wrong.  I just question the validity.

                  Mike in LA

                   

                • Bill
                  TONS of activity inside and outside the hive today, one of our warmest days of the year. PaYing close attention for several minutes I witnessed a great deal of
                  Message 8 of 19 , Feb 10, 2013
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                    TONS of activity inside and outside the hive today, one of our warmest days of the year. PaYing close attention for several minutes I witnessed a great deal of bees returning with full pollen sacks. The spring bloom is starting early this year with stands of mustard in early blossom.

                    I also noticed a variety of rosemary, which grows like a weed here and is used extensively for landscaping, was also in bloom and the thicket was thick with foraging honeybees.

                    I think it's clear that with the activity I witnessed today that there's a queen inside that hive box and she is indeed "getting busy."

                    --- In Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com, Mike S wrote:
                    >
                    > >>>    Unlike foragers, that laying worker has only been out of the hive one time.
                    >
                    > I'm not sure that I agree with the above statement.  I have heard of no study citing the above fact that a laying worker has only been out of the hive one time.  What is the source of this statement?  I'm not saying it's wrong.  I just question the validity.
                    >
                    > Mike in LA
                    >
                  • karon
                    Yep, looks like you either missed the queen or she may be a late raised home grown queen and might be small. Looks like that will be enough to keep the hive
                    Message 9 of 19 , Feb 11, 2013
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                      Yep, looks like you either missed the queen or she may be a late raised home grown queen and might be small. Looks like that will be enough to keep the hive alive and that is a good thing. But, I would plan on requeening just to be on the safe side as soon as it is warm enough.

                       

                      Karon Adams

                      Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                      You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                      www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                      www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                       

                      From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Bill
                      Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2013 9:27 PM
                      To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [Beekeeping] Re: A Beekeeping Question! Requeening a laying worker hive

                       

                       


                      TONS of activity inside and outside the hive today, one of our warmest days of the year. PaYing close attention for several minutes I witnessed a great deal of bees returning with full pollen sacks. The spring bloom is starting early this year with stands of mustard in early blossom.

                      I also noticed a variety of rosemary, which grows like a weed here and is used extensively for landscaping, was also in bloom and the thicket was thick with foraging honeybees.

                      I think it's clear that with the activity I witnessed today that there's a queen inside that hive box and she is indeed "getting busy."

                      --- In Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com, Mike S wrote:
                      >
                      > >>>    Unlike foragers, that laying worker has only been out of the hive one time.
                      >
                      > I'm not sure that I agree with the above statement.  I have heard of no study citing the above fact that a laying worker has only been out of the hive one time.  What is the source of this statement?  I'm not saying it's wrong.  I just question the validity.
                      >
                      > Mike in LA
                      >

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