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Do224

Drone Bee
Joined
May 27, 2020
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Location
Cumbria
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National
I mentioned in another thread that I had my strongest colony produce queen cells on 1st May. Queen was nuc’d and one cell left in original hive.

Queen emerged around 11th and eggs/small larvae were seen on 26th May.

Took two half full supers off the hive to extract on 29th May and both empty supers were given back to them by lunch time.

Inspected this morning (1st June) and found loads of charged queen cells. Found the queen, marked her and nuc’d her. Left one charged cell in the original hive.

What is going on? Is this just how it goes sometimes or have I done something wrong?
 
You need to read this:

https://theapiarist.org/the-nucleus-method/

The nucleus method does not stop the urge for them to swarm ... the foraging force remains in place and the urge to swarm, particularly during the main swarming season, will remain strong. The nucleus method is simple and quick but the downside is that, in a strong colony, they will probably try again. Which means (as you have found out !) you have to do it again ...

It's not got anything to do with removing the supers .. if they want to go they will make queen cells.

PS: Ahhh ..Steve beat me to it !
 
Should I have given them more space while they were requeening? Both supers were full of bees but only half full of nectar. There were quite a few empty/partly empty frames in their two brood boxes
 
Should I have given them more space while they were requeening? Both supers were full of bees but only half full of nectar. There were quite a few empty/partly empty frames in their two brood boxes
I admit that I don't understand the need for two brood boxes in the situation you have here with this colony, as described by you, with little brood and with the quantity of empty brood frames you mention in this thread (and in the other thread a few days ago about this colony).
 
You will never beat the urge to swarm. It is like telling a teenager not to have sex. The best thing you can do is try to control it but even then they can surprise you. We ALL have swarms, some are better at controlling it than others, some bees are genetically less likely to swarm but all nature needs to reproduce. Don't get down if they swarm, just try tour best and test different ideas until you get one that suits you. I have a friend who lets them swarm and merely collects the swarms. He finds it easier that way but he does have all the ladders and climbing equipment to do it!
 
Thanks for the reassurance. So it’s pretty normal for this to happen or have I been a bit unlucky?
 
Thanks for the reassurance. So it’s pretty normal for this to happen or have I been a bit unlucky?
A tad unlucky but ...., I find that queen cells are often produced with a new queen. I think they are often just not sure about her. I tend to knock down the first lot. By then the new queen will be at full flow and if not then they will try and replace her or ....... Swarm. Sometimes it is best to leave them to it. It really is not the end of the world if you get a swarm, especially if you can retrieve it. But it will always be a risk/guesswork, whatever you do. They are after all very different to us and sometimes seem happy to just mess us around.
 
You will never beat the urge to swarm. It is like telling a teenager not to have sex. The best thing you can do is try to control it but even then they can surprise you. We ALL have swarms, some are better at controlling it than others, some bees are genetically less likely to swarm but all nature needs to reproduce. Don't get down if they swarm, just try tour best and test different ideas until you get one that suits you. I have a friend who lets them swarm and merely collects the swarms. He finds it easier that way but he does have all the ladders and climbing equipment to do it!
Awesome!😜
 
Removing the queen to a nuc simply prevents the swarm, it does not suppress the swarming instinct. Sometimes they settle but in other seasons they build up and go straight back to swarming intentions.
I had this situation today. Inspected a colony that had gone from a Nuc to a full size hive a couple of weeks ago. Found multiple swarm cells.
 
Same here today. Removed the queen and used her to replace one that has some chalk and sacbrood.
That’s my plan too, I’ve got a colony with chalk brood as well so I’ll unite the nuc with that
 
it always pays, when using the nuc form of swarm control, to locate the nuc not too far from the mother hive at first, and not to stuff the nuc entrance with grass, that way all the flying bees, which are the swarm instigators fly back to the mother (queenless) hive. The further away the nuc is first placed from the mother hive, the less chance there is of the A/S being successful
 
it always pays, when using the nuc form of swarm control, to locate the nuc not too far from the mother hive at first, and not to stuff the nuc entrance with grass, that way all the flying bees, which are the swarm instigators fly back to the mother (queenless) hive. The further away the nuc is first placed from the mother hive, the less chance there is of the A/S being successful
Yeah that’s the way I’ve done it and the nuc has been fine 👍. My issue has been with the original colony making swarm preps again as soon as the new queen is mated and laying…I just didn’t expect it at all, especially as the advice is often to leave a colony with a virgin alone for up to a month for her to get mated. If I’d done that in this instance they’d have already swarmed
 
Yeah that’s the way I’ve done it and the nuc has been fine 👍. My issue has been with the original colony making swarm preps again as soon as the new queen is mated and laying…I just didn’t expect it at all, especially as the advice is often to leave a colony with a virgin alone for up to a month for her to get mated. If I’d done that in this instance they’d have already swarmed
Some research done here in Aus has tested levels of mandibular and head gland queen pheromones (about ten different pheromones) in young queens, and found that it takes around three to four weeks for them to peak, and there is a marked increase in many of them in that time. I reckon, in line with Enrico above, that in some cases it might take a while for "stop making more queens" pheromones to come up to "proper" levels.
 

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