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  • An inspection, split, feed and making a mini mating hive!

  • Beginners forum, ask beekeeping related questions and get help from other experienced beekeepers. Please use the Search Feature please to avoid duplicated threads
Beginners forum, ask beekeeping related questions and get help from other experienced beekeepers. Please use the Search Feature please to avoid duplicated threads
 #3891  by Japey Edge
 04 Jul 2019, 22:09
So here's my update from last inspection. I want to start with a huge thanks to Nigel for the advice on this. Here goes:

Sunday 30th June

Hive 1 - queenless. Today I went in with the aim of checking for an emerged QC. Instead the QCs I saw last week were completely gone. Torn down. There was a sign they were there but now nothing. I found five more QCs on a frame I didn't think had brood in it as it was freshly drawn and mostly drone. Really white comb..

Hive 2 - nuc with the queen from hive 1 and some brood. All good. Eggs, happy bees, happy queen. She's big. Happy Jazz.

Hive 3 - Micro swarm. Their QCs must have failed. They were torn down. There was no sign of a virgin queen at all. The bees were flighty, angry(ish). There was some capped brood which must be all that's left.
I took a frame from the other queenless hive - with near-emerging brood and a single QC and placed it in this little nuc. I figured if they were destined to become angrier as they grew with their own queen, then maybe this other queen could be calmer. Still, it depends on the drone she mates with so my logic isn't flawless by any means.
*stupid error moment - I wanted the older bees off the frame I was transferring so gave it a gentle shake. Only realised later on when I was thinking over everything, that I shook a frame with a queen in...*

Mini mating hive - so proud of this one. I opened it up, checked the QC wrapped in foil - open, lovely round hole in end. Took it away. My wife spotted the virgin queen, we caught her and marked her. I took out some comb from the feeder and replaced broken foundation. All else pretty good. Saw stores and pollen. Closed it up.
Only bad thing to this one is there's some of the apicandy stuff gunked on the bottom of the feeder and I'd added sugar syrup on top with cork floaters. Can imagine it's going to need a good clean out.

My next move is to:
1. Inspect the nuc as per usual - it's a standard queenright nuc so why not..
2. Quickly check over the queenless colony in my Abelo poly hive. Hopefully spot a virgin queen - it would put my mind at ease
3. Check on the micro swarm nuc. If there's a virgin in there and everything is happy I'll leave them be. If not I'll tip them out on the grass and let them find their own way into my other hives
4. Not touch mini mating hive. Well.. Maybe I'll add some feed and check the bright green queen is there.. ;)
 #3895  by Patrick
 05 Jul 2019, 07:48
Hats off to your wife for spotting the virgin queen Jazz, before they swell up in lay they are easy to overlook. I don’t usually go looking for them but just work on the principle that an emerged cell = a virgin somewhere! If you know what you are looking for it makes it a lot easier another time.

Good skills 👍
 #3914  by NigelP
 05 Jul 2019, 20:20
Yup, as per Patrick. I want to know if queen cell has emerged and I also want to know (if one has emerged) when she starts laying. May go against conventional wisdom as well bur I check every week....
Only thing I can add is they often take longer to start laying than conventional wisdom says.
 #3916  by Japey Edge
 05 Jul 2019, 22:05
Thanks Nigel. I'm really happy with the last couple inspections. Was good to see she was doing well in the little nuc this week. Hopefully next week she will be super fat, then the week after she may be ready to upgrade.. Exciting times for me!