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Aritfical Swarm Yesterday

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Ando 

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HI Guys

I inspected my hives yesterday and started a Bailey Frame Change last saturday. On inspecting one of the hives I was trying to locate and mark the queen, couldn;t find her and found 2 Queen Cells with royal jelly in and a grub, so came home got my nuc box went back and found the queen, marked her and took the 2 frames with the QC on and one of brood at different stages, one of stores and one part drawn out for with a bit of stores in from the bailey frame change BB.

I have not got another site so on a suggestion of a experienced beek, I have put mesh over the entrance, moved them about 12 feet from the original hive and will leave it like that til tomoz and then let them out.

Do you think this sounds about right, and do you think they might still swarm?

I would like to use the 2 queens, if they both hatch, to requeen 2 hives, how would you go about doing this? I was thinking of taking out some frames from the other hive I'm doing a BFC on and making up 2 nuc's with the old queens and put in the 2 frames with the QC on in the hives for them to look after till they hatch, then trying to replace the old queens in the nucs this year, with new ones and end up with a couple more hives.

Any suggestions will be great.

Cheers

Mark.
 

thurrock bees 

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Hi Mark
Why have you kept the nuc closed? in the heat they cant collect any water to keep them and the brood cool. i would open them up asap.
If i got your understanding right, you want to replace the queen that you have just marked?? if so just remove the old queen ( the one you have just marked)? you can remove any queens you want to replace and insert the frame with the qc on in the brood area, check a week later and remove any new qc that they have made. but check the disease status before doing so.

Hope that helps, there will be other ideas soon from other beeks
 

oliver90owner 

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Who are we to argue with an experienced beek.

The problem with not moving them away is simply the flying bees will return to normal base. They are still likely to go when you open it. That is normally overcome by adding extra bees from the other frames so there are enough non-flying bees to fully support the brood in your nuc. After the flyers have gone home you can then feed the nuc as necessary with a reduced risk of a robbing session being set up. They will need a weak syrup to feed larvae until bees can fly for water or nectar.

Moving them completely away (3 mile rule) somewhat negates all this extra messing about because they have some flying bees as well as house bees right from the 'off'. Maybe a quick feed to get them going for certain and all then looks after itself.

The question is: were they swarm cells or supercedure?

Regards, RAB
 

Mike a 

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I would of done the process slightly differently but without knowing your set up I'm sure the experienced beek had good reasons and knows what he/she is doing.

I would of considered removing the queen and placed her in a new hive with plenty of frames with stores and drawn comb and an extra frame or two of bees and then moved the original hive away by 5ft and placed the new hive on the original location.

This would of simulated a natural swarm, the older flying bees would remain with the old queen and the new bees could raise a new queen.
bee-smillie

Let us know how it goes

PS open the nuc as soon as possible as any drones and older bees will get pretty upset at being trapped in a small box.
 

Ando 

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HI Guys

Thanks for the adivce, the Beek I sopke to said to shut them up for 24 hours so they didn;t then go back to the main hive they came from.

Plus I need to prep the Apairy and make some more room to house the nucs and extra hives I'm planning.

I sorted it all this morning and opened them up, they were fine, had a quick look through them they have used a frame of stores already, it was sugar syrup in it I think from the other hive. I have given them a feed today and they are taking it down, the QC have both been capped.

I now have the dilem of do I wait til they hatched and then ue them to requeen or do I remove the old queens and replace with the QC?

I was thinking of maybe making up another nuc and putting either the QC in it or one of the old queens.

What would be your preferred method of requeening?

Also if I take out the 2 old queen and put them in nucs and then out thte QC in the 2 hives, how would I go about making 2 more new queens?

Cheers

Mark.
 

oliver90owner 

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Ok, so you have two capped queen cells in a nuc. very shortly you are going to have one queen in a nuc unless you do something. That is about all I can say!

Remember that sealed queen cells are fragile until just before hatching. One of the few cases where you must not shake bees from the frame!! If you want to generate two extra colonies you need to simply move one frame, with a cell, into a separate nuc, add more bees, wait and hope.

Your current queens are laying well? They will need the space for expansion over the next few weeks, so I would leave them in full sized hives. So it looks like you need to knock up a nuc in short time, posssibly need extra feeders too.

Get your two new queens hatched safely, mated and laying before deciding what to change in your main hives. Check temperament, laying pattern, etc and then decide whether to replace the existing queens. No rush for decisions like that; better to get it right once than doing it twice in a rush.

If they were supercedure cells, the colony may well produce some more. It does not seem to me like a swarming impulse. Your failure to respond to my question leaves us wondering why the colony was making queen cells. You have removed three frames and presumably replaced with foundation? That may slow the colony a little but there is no underlying reason why they will not return to the same course in the near future.

You now need to sit down and draw out your options, needs, wants, etc and make a plan to achieve your goals. Consider honey crop, number of colonies, requeening or increase; are these queen the ones you would want as the next generation, etc.

You have so far been bamboozled into the action you have taken. Analyse why those queen cells were there in the first place - swarm or supercedure. Not enough space? Swarmy bees? I am thinking these were supercedure cells and they were preparing to swarm later on, but that is just a thought of what it might be.

Nationals not big enough? Queen excluder on? An already swarmed queen (they are often replaced rather than swarming a second time)? Was there a super on this hive.

Just so many questions with no answers, so very difficult to make any sensible predictions of what might happen next! Little wonder two beeks, three opinions!

Regards, RAB
 

Ando 

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Hi Rab

Thanks for the reply, I will try to answer all your questions, bear with me tho, being a newbeek, this is my first start of the year with only getting bees last May.

The hive that has built the QC's is my most productive and fastest growing hive, out of the 2 I started with last year, both queens are in there 3rd year this year and still laying well, I was planning on replacing them both this year with queens from that colony, I am on a queen rearing course that's starting tomoz, with my local BKA.

I wanted to mark the Queens because I haven't done it before, there old marks weren't very visible and had come off pretty much, I wanted to be able to spot them easier if I need to take them out or make sure they weren't on a frame I wanted to move, etc.


Ok, so you have two capped queen cells in a nuc. very shortly you are going to have one queen in a nuc unless you do something. That is about all I can say!

Remember that sealed queen cells are fragile until just before hatching. One of the few cases where you must not shake bees from the frame!! If you want to generate two extra colonies you need to simply move one frame, with a cell, into a separate nuc, add more bees, wait and hope.
I have another Nuc box and was thinking about putting together another nuc. I will do this today.

Your current queens are laying well?
Yes.

They will need the space for expansion over the next few weeks, so I would leave them in full sized hives. So it looks like you need to knock up a nuc in short time, possibly need extra feeders too.

Get your two new queens hatched safely, mated and laying before deciding what to change in your main hives. Check temperament, laying pattern, etc and then decide whether to replace the existing queens. No rush for decisions like that; better to get it right once than doing it twice in a rush.
Glad you wrote this I wasn't sure whether to take out the queens and put in the QC's in the hives or Raise the new queens in the Nucs. I'll do it in the Nucs.

If they were supercedure cells, the colony may well produce some more. It does not seem to me like a swarming impulse. Your failure to respond to my question leaves us wondering why the colony was making queen cells. You have removed three frames and presumably replaced with foundation? That may slow the colony a little but there is no underlying reason why they will not return to the same course in the near future.
The QC were on 2 different frames 3 frames apart towards the back of the hive, one was on the bottom of the frame and the other was just off center on a frame mostly of stores, I am part way through a Bailey Frame Change as I said in my first post and they have been drawing this out really well over the last week, I started it on the 17th and have given them feed to help them draw it out. I thought this would give them the extra room they needed until it is complete and I can add some supers. They have increased in size and are really filling the hive so I assumed it would be a swarm and not a supercedure cell. I will inspect them again tomoz and see if they have built anymore cells.


You now need to sit down and draw out your options, needs, wants, etc and make a plan to achieve your goals. Consider honey crop, number of colonies, requeening or increase; are these queen the ones you would want as the next generation, etc.
My goal with my Bees is to have 5 colonies and produce some honey. then I should be able to cover against loses and build my colonies if that happens.

You have so far been bamboozled into the action you have taken. Analyse why those queen cells were there in the first place - swarm or supercedure. Not enough space? Swarmy bees? I am thinking these were supercedure cells and they were preparing to swarm later on, but that is just a thought of what it might be.

Nationals not big enough? Queen excluder on? An already swarmed queen (they are often replaced rather than swarming a second time)? Was there a super on this hive.
I wouldn't say Bamboozled, I would say had to take that action to prevent, If they were going to swarm, loosing a lot of bees in the colony. I don't know why the QC were there in the first place, I am guessing, because I don't have the experience of keeping bees to be able to asses why they wanted to do it, all I can think of is they ran out of room and I should have maybe got the BFC started a week or 2 earlier.

Do you think I can put a queen excluder on the top and add a super? The OSR is now in flower near me so I guess they'll be going mad for that now.

These bees were from one of two nucs I bought last year of a member of this board.

Just so many questions with no answers, so very difficult to make any sensible predictions of what might happen next! Little wonder two beeks, three opinions!
Well hopefully this will give you the extra info you needed.

Thanks for all the other replies and advice, its nice to know there are many ways to do things in bee keeping.

Cheers

Mark.
 

Hebeegeebee 

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Ando,
Your artificial swarm wasn't one - all you did was to remove some of the hive contents. ! This is good if you want to raise more colonies as the swarming instinct may well persist in the mian hive and you may get more queen cells in there. Mike a has described an AS where the queen and flying bees have been seperated from the brood/nurse bees. If your main hive is keen on swarming; repeated removing the queen cells - as you have done once so far - may not work and they could produce a queen in just 3 or 4 days and swarm anyway!
 

Ando 

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Hi Chaps

Right I get the gist that I didn't actually do an artificial swarm, so maybe titled the thread wrong, but had a look through the hive that made them at lunch and could find any more QC's, but will keep my eye on them and see how they go, if they do start to build some more I will do a proper one as described.

I also took some frames out of the other Hive i want to replace the queen in and made up another Nuc, with the other frame with a QC on, I made sure that I brushed off the bees back in the Nuc off that frame and tried to keep them separate as much as I could. I gave them a feed to.

So I will let you know how it goes and if I get a new queen or 2.

Cheers

Mark.
 

Hebeegeebee 

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Mark, you might have reduced the swarming instinct by taking two frames away AND you also have 2 queen rearing nucs into the bargain. If it works out like that then things have gone your way. Don't count your blessings just yet!
 

Ando 

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If I only get one Queen out the 2 Nucs I'll be pleased, thought it made sense, to give it a go and see what happens, but defo not counting my blessing till I see eggs. Long way to go yet tho!! lol

How often do you think I should be checking to see if they have started to make new QC and want to swarm? Should I look for some sort of behavior thing?

Also how long do you feed a Nuc for? I put a lb jar with modified lid, well I cut the center out and put 2 layer of the misses tights in to act as a gauze, I filled the jar with 1-1 syrup and it was empty today, looked in the nuc and could not see any signs of it leaking out so they must be using lots of food, saw signs of them storing it in the frames as well.

One more question the Nuc I made up today I tried to put in a lot of bees off the foundation that they are drawing out for the BFC, along with the bees on the frames of brood and eggs, I guessing that some of these bees will return to the hive they came form, but if alot of them go, should I get a frame or 2 out the hive and brush them in to the Nuc, or will they be classed as other bees and fight?

Cheers

Mark.
 

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