Quantcast

calling all beekeepers with years of experience!!

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

Heather 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
4,066
Reaction score
49
Location
Newick, East Sussex
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
15
I collected a swarm mid May- large cast - settled well, and queen laying in textbook fashion. Loads of room and now filling a super nicely
But - 2 queen cells
Calling all beekeepers who have been at this for over 20 years - did this always happen - did they always have another go at swarming or superceding a good new queen - or has R.P.on the other side got a valid point - it is a recent and worrying trend?
 

admin 

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
6,392
Reaction score
3
Location
Hampshire uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6
I dont think it's that unusual for a swarm to supercede an old queen.

She will often lay up a frame first then stop laying,She is prepering for her own demise.
 

Heather 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
4,066
Reaction score
49
Location
Newick, East Sussex
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
15
This cast had a virgin queen .and she is doing well - a classic scenario....She has produced 5 frames of brood
 

admin 

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
6,392
Reaction score
3
Location
Hampshire uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6
Sorry Heather,I never noticed you said CAST,I was still on my first cup of coffee.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
2,433
Reaction score
0
Location
Kingsbridge, South Devon
Hive Type
none
Number of Hives
0 - Now in beeless retirement!
Could just be "swarmy" bees- so best not to breed from them and try and remove drone brood so they don't perpetuate the trait amongst the local bees.
 

Poly Hive 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
13,655
Reaction score
3
Location
Scottish Borders
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
9 and 18 Nucs
Could be that she never mated that well.

I have certainly seen this before and a certain person is but I feel trying to make a name for himself.

The bees know best and if they are unhappy with her they will replace her.

Nothing new about that at all.

PH
 

Heather 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
4,066
Reaction score
49
Location
Newick, East Sussex
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
15
Hmmm 5 frames brood - i think they are being a bit churlish:toetap05: will see if she goes off boil but i think the swarmy route- she seems faultless- will drone cull:boxing_smiley:
 

Chris B 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 9, 2008
Messages
2,205
Reaction score
0
Location
Bromsgrove, Worcestershire
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
300
This year I've had several swarms that have got established and then swarmed again. I've only ever had that once before in 11 seasons. I don't think it's a queen deficiency. The "problem" is the bees have had a good year. They do it because they can.
I discovered one such case yesterday. They were originally 2 small castes from an oak tree that I chucked together. They came good and expanded rapidly, filling half a super before swarming again. It's been suggested to me this ultra-swarminess is keeping some ferals alive, frequent brood breaks helping to keep varroa in check. I reckon there's a bit of truth in that.
 

Nopants 

House Bee
Joined
Jun 10, 2009
Messages
123
Reaction score
0
Location
northants
Hive Type
none
Number of Hives
30
This year I've had several swarms that have got established and then swarmed again. I've only ever had that once before in 11 seasons. I don't think it's a queen deficiency. The "problem" is the bees have had a good year. They do it because they can.
I discovered one such case yesterday. They were originally 2 small castes from an oak tree that I chucked together. They came good and expanded rapidly, filling half a super before swarming again. It's been suggested to me this ultra-swarminess is keeping some ferals alive, frequent brood breaks helping to keep varroa in check. I reckon there's a bit of truth in that.
I had a new 2009 queen only hived her 5 weeks ago 4 frames of brood and she swarmed in a week leaving 3 queen cells. Certainly not what the books say. Obviously something genetically wrong some where.
 

Crg 

House Bee
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Messages
330
Reaction score
0
Location
London, UK
Hive Type
other
This cast had a virgin queen .and she is doing well - a classic scenario....She has produced 5 frames of brood
I've seen this behaviour with young queens in hives of mostly older bees, tends to sort itself out once more younger bees are around.

But also unless you like dealing with swarmy bees you're always better off requeening from non swarming stock rather than keeping that queen.
 

jon 

House Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
406
Reaction score
0
Location
N. Ireland
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
40-50
I have certainly seen this before and a certain person is but I feel trying to make a name for himself.
Leave the bitterness behind you PH and you will be a better man for it.
Good to keep an open mind.

I don't know what is behind incidents such as the one Heather reports but I am seeing exactly the same this year. RP does not know what is causing it either. There was a thread on the other site and various possibilities were listed such as pheromone intereference, pesticide contamination, residue in the wax and others. It is an area which needs some serious research. Last year I was quite sceptical but this year I checked my colonies much more frequently and I have seen a lot more of this. I have also had virgin queens in 5 frame nucs swarming leaving the remains of the nuc hopelessly queenless. This has happened with 2 nucs where I was able to retrieve the swarm and reunite, as well as several more which went queenless so I may well have lost the virgin with a frame or two of bees.
 

jon 

House Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
406
Reaction score
0
Location
N. Ireland
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
40-50
This year I've had several swarms that have got established and then swarmed again.
I don't think that is so unusual and I have certainly seen it myself.
I overfed a swarm and clogged up the brood area with syrup and it swarmed on me a couple of months after housing it.
It probably happens more in a good year when the bees are bringing in an excess of nectar.
 
Last edited:

Poly Hive 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
13,655
Reaction score
3
Location
Scottish Borders
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
9 and 18 Nucs
I'd be obliged Jon if you kept your personal comments to yourself thanks.

I am not bitter in the slightest. I just feel that what is being said is plain wrong.

Talk to the big boys and see what they are saying. The amateurs (in general) do not have the experience to comment on what is usual or not.

The lads with thousands of colonies do.

which is why the BFA carries considerably more weight with DEFRA than BBKA can ever hope to.

The weather has a great deal to answer for here, and this year in it's own way has been as exceptional as the last three were dire.

Here it was very hot for roughly 10 days, with temperatures at or over 30 degrees. How normal is that?

Now. If you have a colony on a 10 day inspection and the well meaning beekeeper has supered on the day before the temps soared, what is likely to happen? Swarm is what as the colonies were shy of at least a couple of supers.

Nothing sinister in my book, as, as far as I can see nothing has changed over the years apart from varroa.

PH
 

jon 

House Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
406
Reaction score
0
Location
N. Ireland
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
40-50
It may be plain wrong but "making a name for himself" is an uncalled for personal comment. That's why I didn't let it pass. You didn't have to say that but you chose to.

I had a case similar to Heather's with a new queen laying for 5 weeks.
It was on double brood and 4 supers including 2 empty ones.
It produced a classic supersedure cell in the centre of a pollen frame with no other brood on either side of the frame.
Weather may well play a part but it is not by any means the only factor involved.
 

admin 

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
6,392
Reaction score
3
Location
Hampshire uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6
I have also had virgin queens in 5 frame nucs swarming leaving the remains of the nuc hopelessly queenless. This has happened with 2 nucs.
Same thing happened to me only last week,I spent 10 minutes checking the 3 brood frames for a QC but nothing,only 1 day old larvae and no eggs.

I am glad you posted because I was scratching my head.
The queen was less than 3 weeks old,I opened them up to hive them as they had expanded fast,not many bees missing either,only about a frames worth.
 

jon 

House Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
406
Reaction score
0
Location
N. Ireland
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
40-50
Admin:
This definitely happened twice as I was able to retrieve the swarm in each case and I suspect it has happened a further 3 or 4 times with nucs where the queen "disappeared" and I didn't see the swarm.

I reunited and both virgins went on to mate and start laying. In one case it is a really good colony currently on 9 frames of brood. In the other it laid for a few days and then stopped. I had to requeen with a spare one I had in an apidea.

These were virgin queens about 7-10 days after hatching when they swarmed.
 

Norton 

Drone Bee
Joined
Nov 30, 2008
Messages
1,166
Reaction score
11
Location
Paris, France
Hive Type
langstroth
I had a new 2009 queen only hived her 5 weeks ago 4 frames of brood and she swarmed in a week leaving 3 queen cells. Certainly not what the books say. Obviously something genetically wrong some where.
Hello,
You misunderstood some things here. Changing the queen often doesn't work until the hive has changed the worker force to the new queen's offsping. The control bees that are the players have already taken the decision to swarm before you introduced the queen and so often just go ahead anyway and swarm. This is looking at things from a genetic point of view. Of course if you have a hive that is in swarming mode and you split it up into three or more nucs and introduce queens - then none of them are going to swarm as the extreme splitting knocks the instinct on the head.
Best regards
Norton.
 

Wendy122 

New Bee
Joined
Nov 29, 2008
Messages
53
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10
Years of experience does not always mean good knowledge.

2 hives for 30 years is about 3000 looks at colones.

100 hives for 3 years has same 3000 looks

1000 colonies well you must have 100s of beekeeping years experience.

Experience is about how you have interacted with the bees and the moore you see the more you have.

Sorry to go lightly off the topic.

W

PS

To stuff up my theory some 30 year 100 hive beekeepers have poor knowledge also.
 

Heather 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
4,066
Reaction score
49
Location
Newick, East Sussex
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
15
Good point Wendy -But I was just wondering if bees are behaving today as they did 20 years ago, or is this behaviour of colonies wanting to requeen newly mated good laying queens a recent phenomenon -
 

Roy S 

House Bee
Joined
Mar 12, 2009
Messages
212
Reaction score
1
Location
uk, Huyton, Liverpool
Hive Type
national
Bees are no different to any other organism on the planet, they are driven to survive and reproduce. Thats all we and every other organism is here for.
Wether the reasons are obvious to us or not the bees are basically satisfying a biological need to either survive or reproduce.
Maybe there is a good nectar flow on and the bees are forseing a shortage of space?, maybe they can detect a shortcoming in the queen?.
This year is the first exceptonal year in a good while, and the bees are taking advantage of it I think. And yes thngs did happen like this over 20 years ago....just that we didnt have the benefit of the instant communication with the countrywide and global beekeeping scene that the internet affords us today.
 

Latest posts

Top