Can the girls leave with no queen cells?

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enrico 

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Thanks!
I've put a thick piece of polystyrene insulation but over the metal roof. I'm concerned that it will block air flow as well as insulate if I put it above the cover board. Unless I put a hole in where the frame cover hole is? I've also heard they love to feed on polystyrene 🤷🏻
Great suggestion about the entrance reducer. I'll do that tonight while they're tucked away.
That hole is for feeding. You don't need it so cover it with a piece of something solid.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Thanks!
I've put a thick piece of polystyrene insulation but over the metal roof. I'm concerned that it will block air flow as well as insulate if I put it above the cover board. Unless I put a hole in where the frame cover hole is? I've also heard they love to feed on polystyrene 🤷🏻
Great suggestion about the entrance reducer. I'll do that tonight while they're tucked away.
you don't need any holes in the cover board, in fact, it makes it harder for them to sort out the airflow in the hive.
If there's a flow on, the bees bearding late afternoon/evening are doing it to make more room inside for the ventilation bees to move the air around
 

italic63 

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If ypu remove that metal entrance reducer/mouseguard overnight then that should help them a bit. Insulation above the cover board will too.

Bearding and swarming are two very different things so personally wouldn't panic.
Ok so I've followed your suggestions and taken away the entrance reducer and added insulation above the cover board. Bearding is really lots today (see pic) but then again it's even hotter today. I saw a suggestion online to make a hole at the top of the hive to increase air circulation. Mine doesn't have one and seems a bit extreme to be honest. Do you think that's a good idea?A236A137-D1E0-4554-AF55-0494B35806A8.jpeg
 
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Defensiveness likely due to being Q-.
Hi I’ve observed this even more so this year re temper changes, as I’ve put all my queens into Nucs when doing swarm control.

Is there less defensiveness with a vertical split I wonder, assuming queen is put in a box above or below a split board and a bit of brood to keep her company, with the rest of the brood with the flying bees above or below?

Just wondering if this could be a solution to the defensiveness when you make a colony queenless….? Just a bit of pheromone percolating through the split board mesh rather than taking her away altogether….?

It’s a pain when you have bees in your garden and have to put up with the odd hijacking by guard bees, until either a new queen has been made or you’ve united the old queen back. Any thoughts on this from your experience?
 

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I saw a suggestion online to make a hole at the top of the hive to increase air circulation. Mine doesn't have one and seems a bit extreme to be honest. Do you think that's a good idea?
If you don't want to make a hole in the top, you could make up a simple eke with a hole in and put that on top? If they're struggling to control the temperature that much then I don't think you'd be doing them any harm by providing more ventilation.

James
 

magor 

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paint white ya metal roof or and put insulation/foam and above metal roof so as cover the metal from sun
 

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Hi I’ve observed this even more so this year re temper changes, as I’ve put all my queens into Nucs when doing swarm control.

Is there less defensiveness with a vertical split I wonder, assuming queen is put in a box above or below a split board and a bit of brood to keep her company, with the rest of the brood with the flying bees above or below?

Just wondering if this could be a solution to the defensiveness when you make a colony queenless….? Just a bit of pheromone percolating through the split board mesh rather than taking her away altogether….?

It’s a pain when you have bees in your garden and have to put up with the odd hijacking by guard bees, until either a new queen has been made or you’ve united the old queen back. Any thoughts on this from your experience?
I've not really done vertical splits beyond the poor attempts at Demarree this year. I suspect that this approach wouldn't have the desired effect as the whole point of a split is they're separated from the queen and will raise another, regardless of whether the split is vertical, horizontal or nucing the queen, so unlikely to be of benefit. Might be worth a try but hard to do a control to be sure as every colony is slightly different. However, I've also been fortunate in that I haven't had this issue at home as the better half keeps me under control most of the time- I'm not supposed to have bees at home. The swarm, nuc box and mini mating nuc appear to be being tolerated/flying under the radar at the moment!

When I've got Q- colonies, generally they're not too bad as they're usually quite gentle to start with.

I also make a point of applying the clap of doom to any followers which don't give up sharpish. I may be wrong on this but I am of the belief that if you let some survive they'll teach others to dislike your scent (if they release pheromones while mobbing you it will mean newer guards start to associate you with being a threat) and appearance and before you know it there's a lot of grumpy spinsters mobbing you. One of my hives has been a bit awkward and earlier on this year I got harrassed once or twice when checking the hens/sheep on non beekeeping days. Once the 2-3 jerks were no more there was no further issue.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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I saw a suggestion online to make a hole at the top of the hive to increase air circulation.
I saw a suggestion online to make a hole at the top of the hive to increase air circulation. Mine doesn't have one and seems a bit extreme to be honest. Do you think that's a good idea?
I'd say the suggestion was more than a bit silly personally.
Not a good idea at all - the bees are perfectly capable of managing their own air circulation, a hole up top just makes it harder for them
All the hives I have seen out in Africa whether Langstroth or top bar have never had any holes in the crownboards or near the top of the hives - and it's a bit warmer out there.
 
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I've not really done vertical splits beyond the poor attempts at Demarree this year. I suspect that this approach wouldn't have the desired effect as the whole point of a split is they're separated from the queen and will raise another, regardless of whether the split is vertical, horizontal or nucing the queen, so unlikely to be of benefit. Might be worth a try but hard to do a control to be sure as every colony is slightly different. However, I've also been fortunate in that I haven't had this issue at home as the better half keeps me under control most of the time- I'm not supposed to have bees at home. The swarm, nuc box and mini mating nuc appear to be being tolerated/flying under the radar at the moment!

When I've got Q- colonies, generally they're not too bad as they're usually quite gentle to start with.

I also make a point of applying the clap of doom to any followers which don't give up sharpish. I may be wrong on this but I am of the belief that if you let some survive they'll teach others to dislike your scent (if they release pheromones while mobbing you it will mean newer guards start to associate you with being a threat) and appearance and before you know it there's a lot of grumpy spinsters mobbing you. One of my hives has been a bit awkward and earlier on this year I got harrassed once or twice when checking the hens/sheep on non beekeeping days. Once the 2-3 jerks were no more there was no further issue.
Thanks, the few vertical splits I’ve tried, the queen is completely separated from the bulk of the brood / flying bees - the split board has just a small piece of mesh, so there’s no full direct contact but the colony is kept together and it does work. But I haven’t done enough to come to a conclusion on whether this method keeps their temper more ‘normal’ through the swarm control process..,

Mine are good natured when queen right, just a few colonies this year have become v tetchy for just a couple of days or so, when the queen is taken away into a Nuc. They seem to calm down after they know they’ve got good (emergency) cells, but get cranky again if you remove the cells as part of the process to introduce the queen back.

Could @Erichalfbee step in and say what she’s observed re temper changes in the ‘parent’ colony when taking the queen away to a Nuc & if she’s tried vertical splits is temper is more stable, through the process?
 

italic63 

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I'd say the suggestion was more than a bit silly personally.
Not a good idea at all - the bees are perfectly capable of managing their own air circulation, a hole up top just makes it harder for them
All the hives I have seen out in Africa whether Langstroth or top bar have never had any holes in the crownboards or near the top of the hives - and it's a bit warmer out there.
😂. Thanks. Will leave them as they are.
Just a side note. Hive is just outside my house so took a sneak peek when I got up during the night... At 3 this morning (temp 22 degrees) they were still in full beard mode and at 7 all back in the hive 🤷🏻
 

pargyle 

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😂. Thanks. Will leave them as they are.
Just a side note. Hive is just outside my house so took a sneak peek when I got up during the night... At 3 this morning (temp 22 degrees) they were still in full beard mode and at 7 all back in the hive 🤷🏻
Classic signs of them handling their ventilation and making space to ripen honey ...on warm nights mine are often all over the front of the hive. Not a problem.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Could @Erichalfbee step in and say what she’s observed re temper changes in the ‘parent’ colony when taking the queen away to a Nuc & if she’s tried vertical splits is temper is more stable, through the process?
The only “vertical splits” I do are Demaree
As for nucing the queen if the colony is good tempered it seems to make little difference. If they are on the edge it does tip them over.
 

italic63 

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View attachment 31939
Ok so second super added (

OK so new super added with 10 frames of new foundation. (blue one in the picture).
Upper super looks like Acacia honey. It's very light in colour and is the Acacia session here so makes sense. Il check the super for capping in a week and leave the brood chamber for 3 weeks.
So as mentioned I took a look inside the top super this morning and they have started capping! Happy 😊
Thanks again for all your help.
A0F36696-C154-4701-811B-EB74734F4183.jpeg
 

Gilberdyke John 

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I've not really done vertical splits beyond the poor attempts at Demarree this year. I suspect that this approach wouldn't have the desired effect as the whole point of a split is they're separated from the queen and will raise another, regardless of whether the split is vertical, horizontal or nucing the queen, so unlikely to be of benefit. Might be worth a try but hard to do a control to be sure as every colony is slightly different. However, I've also been fortunate in that I haven't had this issue at home as the better half keeps me under control most of the time- I'm not supposed to have bees at home. The swarm, nuc box and mini mating nuc appear to be being tolerated/flying under the radar at the moment!

When I've got Q- colonies, generally they're not too bad as they're usually quite gentle to start with.

I also make a point of applying the clap of doom to any followers which don't give up sharpish. I may be wrong on this but I am of the belief that if you let some survive they'll teach others to dislike your scent (if they release pheromones while mobbing you it will mean newer guards start to associate you with being a threat) and appearance and before you know it there's a lot of grumpy spinsters mobbing you. One of my hives has been a bit awkward and earlier on this year I got harrassed once or twice when checking the hens/sheep on non beekeeping days. Once the 2-3 jerks were no more there was no further issue.
Clap of doom - I like your turn of phrase 😎
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Clap of doom - I like your turn of phrase 😎
my grandfather was an expert at it - anything that kept buzzing him (be it bee or wasp) and clap! it was either dead, or stunned in the shockwave then finished off with his boot.
 
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The only “vertical splits” I do are Demaree
As for nucing the queen if the colony is good tempered it seems to make little difference. If they are on the edge it does tip them over.
Thanks good to hear your experience. The majority of mine are stroppy the next day but then settle down. As you say any that I’m planning to requeen due to temper, it does tip them over the edge.

Can I ask related question about swarm control by putting queen into a Nuc and Peter Little’s reunite - of the old queen back? I’m doing a few this week. In the past I’ve done it end of the season when I didn’t want more increase and reunited the old queen back with her Nuc after taking down the emergency cells in the main hive / parent colony beforehand

I read about Peter’s method again in Steve Donohoe’s interview in his book over the weekend. Seems Peter united the queen back in a cage to the parent. No mention of the Nuc she was in.

Clearly they’ve switched into emergency response so uniting the Nuc with queen shouldn’t trigger swarm fever again, but was there a reason why Peter just put the queen back, other than needing the Nuc for something else perhaps….It’s got me wondering what’s best to do!

What do you think / do Dani?
 

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I think he put the queen back in a cage for time expediency
Busy bee farmer and it takes less time to let the queen out than unite and sort frames out?
He could, as you say have use of the brood for autumn nucs for next year.
I have one just been united two days ago.
I did however swap the mean queen (who still sits in her nuc for the moment) with a nicer one
Will let you know how it goes
 

italic63 

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Your time will come and it will be worth it! I've learnt that if you focus on managing the bees, the honey will usually look after itself. If you fixate on honey, you risk losing the bees which means you lose the honey too.

You may need to buy in a queen but it's still fairly early in the season so there's time to get two colonies and honey still.

To do this, at this point I recommend:
  1. Wait 2-3 weeks to see if you have a laying queen. If there is, go straight to #3.
  2. If there is no queen at that point, buy one in immediately (should be doable in Italy?) and introduce her before the bees get too old to rear brood.
  3. Let the colony grow. Once you have a full colony, either:
    1. move two frames, one of mostly sealed brood, one with eggs/young larvae and one frame of stores plus shake in some more, go back in a week and reduce to one queen cell, hope it mates and you have a nuc. OR
    2. Buy another queen. Move a frame of sealed brood, one of stores and shake in some bees.
This way you should get a full colony, hopefully some honey and at least a nuc as well.
Hello again. Well it's been 3 weeks since this post so the good news is that over the last weekend I was able to extract 6 full frames of honey which were competely capped so thrilled about my first 20 pounds of honey! (The others were still above 22% water so left them for now)
Bad news is that I checked for brood this morning after having left it for the 3 weeks with a queen cell as you suggested. The Queen cell was open so I guess something hatched but zero fresh brood and no signs of a queen.
Plenty of bees and extremely aggressive. I've never seen them attacking my veil by the dozens like that before! Scary.
I guess now the only thing is to buy a local queen. Having been queenless for so long I just hope they accept her.
 

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Hello again. Well it's been 3 weeks since this post so the good news is that over the last weekend I was able to extract 6 full frames of honey which were competely capped so thrilled about my first 20 pounds of honey! (The others were still above 22% water so left them for now)
Bad news is that I checked for brood this morning after having left it for the 3 weeks with a queen cell as you suggested. The Queen cell was open so I guess something hatched but zero fresh brood and no signs of a queen.
Plenty of bees and extremely aggressive. I've never seen them attacking my veil by the dozens like that before! Scary.
I guess now the only thing is to buy a local queen. Having been queenless for so long I just hope they accept her.
Excellent about the honey. They are often more efficient at it when there's less brood around to feed.

What was the weather like? And forage? These can affect temper.

Were the brood cells polished as if a queen may be about to lay? It may be worth asking your neighbour if you can borrow a frame of young brood and eggs for a few days to use as a test frame to confirm whether you need to buy a queen in.
 
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