Bees raising queens

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porterswoods 

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Removing the queen cells last week does not seem to have worked and my bees want to raise a new queen.

In all there are 4 queen cells 2 capped and 2 with larve, all on the bottom of the frames. The old queen was present last week when i inspected as i found her. I couldn't find her this week, but that could be my eyes, but there are new eggs in the brood.

My question is should i leave them and see what happens?
 

Hombre 

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Hi PW, I think you have realised that destroying queen cells isn't a reliable method of preventing swarming.
I would carefully remove all but one sealed cell. Job done.

Some would say to select the best unsealed cell, which mitigates against selecting a sealed cell that has nothing in it. I believe this to be a very small risk. the reason for my not selecting an unsealed cell is the extra delay to emergence of the resulting virgin queen. I accept that I am taking more of a gamble to save maybe two or three days, at best.

Unless your bee numbers have visibly declined due to swarming when the first cell was sealed, I believe that you HAD a clipped queen. The colony swarmed, lost the queen and returned to the hive. This is a good reason for clipping queens, it gives you a second chance.

If you choose to do nothing, then when the first virgin queen emerges, she is likely to leave with most of your flying bees.

If you aren't sure whether your queen was clipped or not, you could ask your supplier. It isn't obvious to a newbee as you will see the marking and probably be happy with this, not noticing clipping unless you are particularly switched on and thinking of it at the time.

I didn't notice! :toetap05: Easybee queens in nucs are I believe all supplied clipped. I'm sure that someone will correct me if I am wrong.

You can expect a break in new brood until the virgin queen has emerged and mated, so I wish you good weather later in the month.

Good luck.
 

porterswoods 

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it was easybee that supplied the nuc so i guess your right and i was just happy she was there! Is there any reason for a newly hived nuc to swarm?

I'll remove all but the best tomorrow. the weather for the next week and a bit is forcast to be fine so i'll keep an eye out whilst i'm hopefully making my hay!

Cheers
James
 

Hombre 

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Hi james, what a good guesser eh? Clipped queens seem to be an emotive subject with some. To me, and to you apparently, they are a Godsend. Clipping is of course an opportunity to damage a queen irreparably, so needs care and probably a bit of practice with drones if you are to do it yourself. I have yet to take the plunge which must happen before long. I'm thinking of it long and hard.

To answer your question, I can't be sure, but as you know Carniolans are a swarmy type of bee with a very fast build up. In my case, I collected two hives, overwintered nucs, on 10 April and they multiplied very fast. By the 20 May I had swarm cells, which I tore down and predicted that 8 days later they would be swarming. My woodwork was hampered by weather and general ineptitude. They swarmed as predicted an hour before their hive was ready for occupancy! A neighbour reported the swarm and pointed out where they were landing. As I finished their hive, the same neighbour reported that they were coming back - and they were. 45 minutes later, minus the clipped queen, I learned later, all was quiet in the apiary. As it was late in the day I felt safe until the following day when I split the hive into two and awaited queen emergence and mating. Coincidentally the second colony also produced swarm cells at this point. I ripped them down and started counting, determined to make the split in good time. In short, I must have missed a cell, because they swarmed three days later. One day before the hive was ready,

Moral of the story, have spare equipment ready and available. :)

I suspect that they felt they were getting a bit crowded. Does this ring a bell at all?
 

porterswoods 

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I don't think i would ever attempt a my own woodwork, not for want of trying! If you have seen my carpentry skills you would understand!

I think they were crowded in the nuc when they came and haven't shaken off the swarming instinct. I was blissfully hoping removing the cells would stop the swarming instinct even though i knew it probably wouldn't.

I'm not sure i am gracefull enough to try wing clipping yet but maybe in the future. Mistakes are there to be made, it's when you learn from them they become worthwhile.

Out of intrest where in the west midlands are you?
Cheers
James
 

Hombre 

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Hi james,

I am located in Rowley Regis, near the M5 J2.
If you can find someone with experience that you can trust, perhaps they could assist to clip and mark your queens once they have been mated and are laying.

Clipping is a one shot insurance policy that covers your a**e when you most need it.

You can practice clipping and marking with drones. They will be getting the push later in the year, so consider them selected volunteers for the cause. :)
 

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