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hoomin_erra 

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Hey All.

Got my first hive about a month back. 4 frame Nuc, tightly packed.
I placed them and left them for 2 days to settle.
Transferred them from the travel hive to their new home (Smith Brood)
I have been checking them each saturday and they are doing fine. Stocks are coming in, and eggs are present.
Checked yesterday, and i have queen cups WITH eggs present, yet they haven't drawn out all the foundation in brood, and none in the super.

Still 2 brood frames with foundation, unused. So i assume that they have enough space.

Why would they be getting ready to swarm?
Do i move brood frames to the outer edges and the foundation to the centre?
I assume it's a bit late in the season to try and split them seeing as they aren't even at full strength yet?

Any reasonings or advice would be greatly received.
 

Brosville 

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because it's an entirely natural instinct.......
 
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Do you have any information about the queen...?

Old queen...new queen etc.

Sometimes they just do that. Eggs in a play cup mean not a lot, a primed cup....primed with lots of royal jelly (looks like white snot) in the bottom tells a different story. The queen may lay in a play cup and the bees will move the egg.

Don't split the brood nest up, you can 'work' it, but never split it and put brood next to the outer walls.

It isn't really a big enough colony to split just yet. Did you break down the cups to give yourself a little time to think? If so then check again in a few days - maybe 4 to see if they have a serious intention to swarm.

They could be dissatisfied with the queen for some reason. It is an opinion to be taken seriously, but at this time of year queen cells almost certainly mean a swarm even if you only leave one. I wouldn't trust them to supercede and not swarm whatever the books say.

If they are serious with their intention, a plan, if you have somewhere else away to put them, would be to split, allow the split to raise a new queen and then re-unite when she is laying, destroying the old queen first. You can't do that if they are in close proximity at this time of year, they need to be at least 3 miles apart. Or you could just buy in a new queen.

Other views will vary and I'm sure you will get more soon :)

Frisbee
 

Rosti 

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Checked yesterday, and i have queen cups WITH eggs present, Why would they be getting ready to swarm?
QUOTE]

They are not necessarily going to swarm, it is possible that they will pull down these play cups.
Monitor, you only have a colony with a clear intent to swarm once you have queen cells, not play cups. You are right to register the activity, I suggest the thing you do now is monitor at a 7 day interval. Too much monitoring intervention will put your young colony un-necessarily backward and wont add noticeably to your knowledge of their intent.

You should be prepared to take action if they are determined to swarm (full capped queen cells present or obviously building cell structure toward this with developing larvae in RJ). Do you have spare frames and foundation and a second brood box set (incl roof, crown and floor)? Alternative is demaree method where you could get a second brood box and a couple of supers that you'll need later anyway and skip the roof and floor purchase. Back stop is use the travel box you already have (but that is really too small) to AS them into. Some spare kit purchase would be a good idea, you have potentially have a week to prepare.

Also be prepared for the possibility that the girls are just teasing you! women don't you know :biggrinjester:
 

hoomin_erra 

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No jelly, just eggs.

No info on the queen. The person i got them from didn't keep any records on the queens.

I have spare kit so if they swarm i have somewhere for them.

Ok, i'll monitor them every 7 days and see if they fill and cap the queen cells.
 

Rosti 

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I have spare kit so if they swarm i have somewhere for them.
For clarity sake. No you are not intending to wait until they swarm, there is no certainty that you will witness/re-capture anyway. You should be identifying their intent to swarm and then taking action in advance to keep the colony under your control (even though that means splitting them and losing productivity in the short term). If you dont know the providence / age of your queen then a re-queening as a bi-product may be some compensation for their slower build up. But equally you do not want to over winter a single colony - winter loss potential and limited manipulation / donor options next year. perhaps a split to two colonies and looking at the long term is the wise route here anyway?
 

the naked beekeeper 

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Don't wait until they cap it, or you could find they have swarmed already!

Eggs in QCs don't mean anything, but AS time is when you see larva on royal jelly in a drawn out Qcell. They cap it on the 9th day and they can swarm from that moment on.
 

victor meldrew 

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Don't wait until they cap it, or you could find they have swarmed already!

Eggs in QCs don't mean anything, but AS time is when you see larva on royal jelly in a drawn out Qcell. They cap it on the 9th day and they can swarm from that moment on.
Or before if they've recently been thwarted .

John Wilkinson
 

Rosti 

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TNB, agreed, but on a 7 day inspection cycle you would react to either circumstance. The point being clear progression beyond play cups (with or without eggs)
 

Rosti 

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Stupid question of the day - what's the point in spending time making "play cups" only to take them down again? Is there method in this apparent madness? :biggrinjester:
Read (- that's in books with attributable authors to pick up on another thread!), but also observed that play cups can be torn down without use. Literary sources suggest that essentially a practice make perfect situation, they are learning how to make queen cells for when they really have to. I think it's been posted on here too as a theory, source RAB if I remember.
 

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