Hive conundrum

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Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
1,965
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Location
Gower, where all the fun happens
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
24 + a few nucs....this has to stop!
Morning all, I have a conundrum with 3 hives and would welcome your views.

- 2 strong hives are in the process of requeening (virgins didn't make it back) with queens expected to emerge early next week. They have 1 frame of emerging brood left. I am tempted to let them get on with it and re-assess at the end month although the long range forecast is not looking promising from the end of next week. Should I cut my losses and unite with a nuc to make sure?
-1 hive, mostly bipolar. 1 day ok, 1 day defensive with bees pouring out to sting you when I OA or strim too close. The queen will go but it's a question of do I do it now by uniting or keep them through the winter so I can make some splits in the spring with it?
 
Point one - I would unite and ensure stronger colonies going into winter.
Point two - I would make changes next year in spring (after re-assessing), not now.
 
Morning all, I have a conundrum with 3 hives and would welcome your views.

- 2 strong hives are in the process of requeening (virgins didn't make it back) with queens expected to emerge early next week. They have 1 frame of emerging brood left. I am tempted to let them get on with it and re-assess at the end month although the long range forecast is not looking promising from the end of next week. Should I cut my losses and unite with a nuc to make sure?
-1 hive, mostly bipolar. 1 day ok, 1 day defensive with bees pouring out to sting you when I OA or strim too close. The queen will go but it's a question of do I do it now by uniting or keep them through the winter so I can make some splits in the spring with it?
Have a similar scenario so will share what I’ve decided to do
1. Problem colony that won’t accept a new queen. Had accepted 2 queens and then killed both after 2 weeks of laying. 2nd queen I introduced very slowly and left lots of time before checking acceptance which appeared good. But still killed after laying for a couple of weeks. So have left them to it. Cell emerged c 28 August, good week of weather this coming week. Haven’t seen any drones being evicted yet and drones still flying. However if you think your colony will accept a queen I’d definitely unite rather than risk it, my options have run out!
2. Couple of colonies have become v defensive this week. Put this down to the time of year and entirely natural. Will leave alone and limit inspections to essentials & continue to assess temper in the Spring
 
Thanks both.
@GuyNir weather is a bit more clement around here which gives a bit more time for hives to build-up although I don't like to have weak hives going into winter.

@elainemary that's so frustrating, I have had this in the past and now don't introduce new queens directly into full hives anymore, only in nucs.

I united 2 hives in July which worked well originally but like you they killed the queen after 3 weeks. With these 2 hives getting slightly older I am a bit worried they may do the same with the new queens and they will be doomed then.
 
If you think the weather etc is good enough you could always make up a strong nuc with a new laying queen to take through winter.
 
Thanks both.
@GuyNir weather is a bit more clement around here which gives a bit more time for hives to build-up although I don't like to have weak hives going into winter.

@elainemary that's so frustrating, I have had this in the past and now don't introduce new queens directly into full hives anymore, only in nucs.

I united 2 hives in July which worked well originally but like you they killed the queen after 3 weeks. With these 2 hives getting slightly older I am a bit worried they may do the same with the new queens and they will be doomed then.
Hi Jeff, in both my cases the queens were introduced via a nuc with their own bees. The first nuc was nice and strong and she was a blue queen so should have had really strong pheromones. Was really peeved as I wanted to use her to breed from next year, but managed to put 4 cells into Nucs after they killed her.
The second queen I took a more cautious approach, again a good strong nuc with about 6 frames of brood, all her own bees, united over newspaper but this time I put her into a push in cage. After a week I put fondant in the cage so they could release her. Colony was v calm & I let her move around the comb checking for worker behaviour before I put her back under the cage and added the fondant. Accepted her for 2 weeks, laying eggs nicely then the 3 rd inspection, no eggs or larva, no queen just emergency cells.
It's down to them now, to make their own queen from a cell I left (it's emerged) or they are doomed, as I'm not giving them another queen to kill.
Really don't know what more I could have done.
 
Hi Jeff, in both my cases the queens were introduced via a nuc with their own bees. The first nuc was nice and strong and she was a blue queen so should have had really strong pheromones. Was really peeved as I wanted to use her to breed from next year, but managed to put 4 cells into Nucs after they killed her.
The second queen I took a more cautious approach, again a good strong nuc with about 6 frames of brood, all her own bees, united over newspaper but this time I put her into a push in cage. After a week I put fondant in the cage so they could release her. Colony was v calm & I let her move around the comb checking for worker behaviour before I put her back under the cage and added the fondant. Accepted her for 2 weeks, laying eggs nicely then the 3 rd inspection, no eggs or larva, no queen just emergency cells.
It's down to them now, to make their own queen from a cell I left (it's emerged) or they are doomed, as I'm not giving them another queen to kill.
Really don't know what more I could have done.
Same as what happened to me with a newly mated queen from a demaree, I was gutted and still don't understand why they wait so many weeks to get rid of them. This is why I am a bit twitchy about uniting these 2 hives but baking that even they would realise killing a queen would doom them!
 
with high risk hives, I’m using the Abelo Q introduction frame cage. I put the new Q with her bees on a frame inside this cage, for a full week. The Q is isolated from the old foragers and lays for a week before I take the frame out.
 
with high risk hives, I’m using the Abelo Q introduction frame cage. I put the new Q with her bees on a frame inside this cage, for a full week. The Q is isolated from the old foragers and lays for a week before I take the frame out.
Seen pics of that, wondering whether & why it would be more effective than a Quintex metal push in cage as the latter didn't save my Q in my case, even though I left her inside it for a week, before adding fondant. Any thoughts of why the full frame cage might be more effective?
 
Seen pics of that, wondering whether & why it would be more effective than a Quintex metal push in cage as the latter didn't save my Q in my case, even though I left her inside it for a week, before adding fondant. Any thoughts of why the full frame cage might be more effective?
For the simple fact you put a full frame in, so the Q has more bees with her, can stay in the cage for longer and laying more. Probably also through the full frame cage being exposed to more new bees, while still isolated & protected.
 

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