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General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #12877  by JoJo36
 23 Jun 2022, 17:38
Definitely a good start Alfred & each day that goes by is closer to retirement when you will find you have even less time for some reason!! :)
Adam, sounds like a really good result but being a bit thick, Im not quite picturing your process of putting the queen at the side of existing colony, do you mean in a nuc on the side or actually in brood box but cut-off?!
I checked my 4 today and found and marked my new queen in one and used my plunger thing to try and chop a part of her wing off??!! I didn't manage to do it properly just managed to cut a tip off I think but did mark her!! I actually found a couple of swarm cells in this colony which is odd being such a new queen which has laid about 3 frames of eggs already so I added a super of undrawn comb and left out queen excluder to encourage them to draw out comb and to give them some room, I doubt I will get any honey off it this year!!
My others seem okay but seem to have scoffed some of the uncapped homey they had put in!! :(
They were all in a very good mood!! :)
 #12878  by MickBBKA
 24 Jun 2022, 01:25
JoJo36 wrote:
23 Jun 2022, 17:38
I actually found a couple of swarm cells in this colony which is odd being such a new queen which has laid about 3 frames of eggs already so I added a super of undrawn comb and left out queen excluder to encourage them to draw out comb and to give them some room, I doubt I will get any honey off it this year!!
My others seem okay but seem to have scoffed some of the uncapped homey they had put in!! :(
When you say swarm cells did they actually contain larvae ? Its quite usual for them to draw several queen cups after a new queen takes over, I think its a safety net in case they don't like her and need to move an egg into a queen cell quick.
Also the uncapped honey may have been scoffed if you have no income now but it may also have been condensed and moved into cells and sealed, unripe honey / nectar takes up a huge amount of space while drying before being processed into a cell for capping.
 #12881  by JoJo36
 24 Jun 2022, 05:57
Definitely loaded swarm cells Mick which I destroyed and have given them more room now! It seems a shame to split them again as she's been laying very well for a new queen?! Mind you I did give the colony a 1-1 or weaker mix to encourage the queen to lay a week ago!
I hope they start bringing in some honey over the next month, that would be nice:)
 #12893  by Alfred
 26 Jun 2022, 15:46
Treated a nuc with Oa- it had a high drop and has become sluggish.
All the others have supers on and are drawing comb like theres no tomorrow so they will have to wait

Did an unexpected and guilty check of all hives- Two bait hives were occupied and another was being investigated savagely.
Looks like I missed something.

Nope!- fresh eggs and full staff levels in every hive.
Will have to plan in a cull fairly soon as I've now trebled colonies since spring .
 #12894  by AdamD
 27 Jun 2022, 17:14
JoJo36 wrote:
23 Jun 2022, 17:38

Adam, sounds like a really good result but being a bit thick, Im not quite picturing your process of putting the queen at the side of existing colony, do you mean in a nuc on the side or actually in brood box but cut-off?!
On the SITE if the existing colony - putting a caged queen in a brood box with frames without any brood at all. Supers on top. The flyers return to the existing site/hive location and accept the queen after letting her out.

I am not sure whether putting workers in the cage with her helps or hinders when introducing a queen to a colony. Some books say yes, some say no. In this case, there were no attendants as she was out of one hive and into another within 5 minutes.
 #12895  by AdamD
 27 Jun 2022, 17:16
Alfred wrote:
26 Jun 2022, 15:46

Will have to plan in a cull fairly soon as I've now trebled colonies since spring .
Making increase is actually quite easy. If you don't want SWIMBO to know, you can teir-up colonies with one on top of another!
 #12896  by AdamD
 27 Jun 2022, 17:27
On Saturday I inspected a neglected and very full colony. No (clipped) queen and sealed queencells instead. In fact the queencells were just about to open as I could see a line around the capping of one where the queen had been nibbling - sure enough the top opened and there she was. Seven ripe queencells were 'pulled' and queens popped out of all of them. Three finished up in the hive and I retained the others in queen cages. Any remaining quencells were destroyed. The hope is that the queens will fight it out and one will mate and lay and there won't be a swarm. As for the captured ones, I introduced a couple directly in queenless nucs. Their first port of call was immediately to go head-first into a cell with honey in it and take a long drink. A third was completely ignored as she walked out of view between frames. The fourth was put in an empty mini-nuc a day later which was placed where a full one stood so that she would have (just) the flyers for company. Virgins are not always easily introduced unless very young - which these were. I checked up one one of them the next day as saw her still alive. We'll see how they fare.
 #12897  by JoJo36
 27 Jun 2022, 20:07
Ahh Thanks Adam, I understand what you mean now as a way to introduce the new queen into a hive by protecting her in a cage (with fondant I assume) and gradually the flying bees will accept her. She has the supers on top to enable the workers to feed her and the existing brood box above the QX to make it easier to find the new queen! Sounds like a good method! It sounds like a great day seeing 7 queen cells pulled but I'm not sure I would have been confident enough to left 3 to fight it out??!!
Nigel thanks for recommend of the plunger queen catcher thing which I managed to use today and after a few minutes she walked around to flap her wings which enabled me to chop one off!! I managed to do the 4 queens and was so careful my hands were shaking!! I wear cotton gloves underneath the nitrile ones else they really irritate my skin so finding 'feeling' the queen quite difficult hence my 'fat fingers'!! :)
Sounds like you are on a roll Alfred with all your hives??!! What does your wife think of your wild 'pets'??!! :)
 #12898  by MickBBKA
 28 Jun 2022, 03:10
My preferred method of queen introduction is to put her in a cage and sit her on top of the frames. It very soon becomes apparent if the bees want her. Fanning and feeding just walk her in, trying to ball and sting then take away. Its also a great method of figuring out if your colony is QR or QL. A QR colony will try to attack a Q but a QL will be all over her fanning. Never had an issue in 10 years introducing queens this way and never lost a new Q yet.
 #12899  by JoJo36
 28 Jun 2022, 04:41
Blimey Mick that sounds like a great 'no messing' quick way of doing things?!
So literally after a few minutes it becomes obvious which queens will be accepted and which ones not?
I think I watched a video of a similar queen introduction a while back in America where the nice bees just tried to groom the queen and the nasties went nuts??!!
I suppose its also a much speedier way to find out if your colony is queen less too, hmmm......:)
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