Hive continuously re-queens

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Hasbee

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Hello, I have a hive that last year that swarmed and made a new queen in time for the winter, although only five seems of bees went through the winter heavily insulated and fed. On first late spring inspection , it had already produced a new queen, no eggs so left it to settle for four weeks, on the next inspection again an open queen cell so they must have quickly produced a queen. All seemed fine with this one as the hive started to build up, last week there were two queen cells and as there were eggs visible I took them down. Yesterday there were two more, I took one down, couldn’t find the queen even with it not being a very full brood box. The queen cells were both charged and in the middle of the frame ,two different frames,no more eggs visible. The question is do I leave them to it, or I have a white queen from another hives earlier split and consider a combine, or something else?
 

enrico

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I would leave them to it. Others may say it is in the genes when you get a swarmy hive!
 

pargyle

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I would leave them to it. Others may say it is in the genes when you get a swarmy hive!
Yes ... I think there comes a point where you just have to let them get on with it ... this colony clearly has a plan and by interfering with their queen cell building all you are doing is frustrating their plans. It may not be 'normal' by the books what bees 'should' do .... but - do they ever conform to what us beekeepers want them to do ?
 

Hasbee

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Thanks , glad they have a plan, not so sure I have!
 

pargyle

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Thanks , glad they have a plan, not so sure I have!
I often feel like that !!

But ....Mike Palmer has the answer - if you can't live with their idiosyncrasies and the incertainty of what is going on .... then a new queen and a new strain of bees is the answer. There are lots of good bee breeders around who will be able to provide a new queen.
 

Hasbee

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I can live with their idiosyncrasies, all adds to the interest, my other hives seem to be running to the script, I just want to be sure that I am not doing something that is detrimental to their life!
thanks for the replies.
 

ericbeaumont

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there were two queen cells
Yesterday there were two more
again an open queen cell

Fewer than three usually suggests supersedure, though during the swarming season bees are just as likely to swarm on supersedure cells.

Repeat supersedure may mean that each mating is unsatisfactory, or that bees have other reasons.

As we're now past the main swarming period, you may decide to take the risk and let them get on with what they want to do.
 

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Its the second wet morning in a row here so here goes.

Would suggest..without actually seeing it so with a pretty major health warning attached to the advice...that others telling you to leave it alone might be the best course of action.

I know a lot of people make big things about their ability to get very early or very late queens mated, but outwith the core stretch of the queen mating season...which is from late Mat to the point in July/Aug when the best colonies evict their drones, the odds of getting good ones declines significantly.

Seems from the facts given that you have a late queen last year that was probably mated in a less than optimum way and as soon as winter was over they were aware she had a very limited span ahead so started supercedure..but this also was outside the perfect window and produced another less than perfectly mated queen. So here they are superceding again....this time at a sensible part of the season.

Leave them to it. 80% certain to get it right this time....and the 20% is just the natural failure rate you get on average,
 

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