Increased aggression

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keithgrimes 

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I have a colony that lost a swarm 11 days ago. There is a capped QC. The bees have got significantly more aggressive,now following, which they never did before,and I am assuming this is normal in a queenless colony (the swarm, which I caught and hived, is lovely). Am I right? And is there anything to be done to calm them apart from waiting for the new queen to emerge,mate,lay eggs?
 

Rosti 

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Its been dry around here, definately with reduced nectar flows, is it with you?

How are they looking for stores? You may have a combination of queenless, weather and stores coming together to make them very fiesty.

If they are significantly down on foragers they may be relying on stores if your local flow has reduced, in which case make sure they have a close water supply and judge whether they need a 1:1 top up feed. Dont give them so much as to simply make them store in the space the queen will need for laying in 3 weeks time though!

Presumably if left alone they dont emerge from the hive for a pre-emptive attack? If you are confident you have a viable queen cell then you need to wait anyway, unless you need to feed because of low stores I would simply leave them a couple of weeks and re-evaluate for progress then.
 

keithgrimes 

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Thanks for that. Lots of very active foragers. It was a pretty strong colony before (and after) the swarm. The only time they get aggressive is when I inspect, no pre emptive strikes. I guess the best course is to leave them alone for a couple of weeks. Water no problem, I live 50 metres from a large river.
 

skydragon 

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I'm still very much in the learning phase, but I can offer the following help.

What you are seeing is normal, in the coming days the QC will hatch and the virgin queen will (hopefully) mate and start laying.

Best bet is to leave them alone for 2 - 3 weeks and only then inspect to see if there are eggs/brood.

I would also suggest you make 100% sure there is only a single QC in the hive, as leaving another QC in there may cause another swarm when the first queen emerges.

I don't think you can do anything about the bee's agression in the meantime, apart from leaving them alone.
 

Rosti 

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Feed the swarm and the parent colony. But watch for wasps and robbing.
buzz
Buzz, I am not sure I agree with this statement. Like everything these things are conditional. If there is a decent flow on then they girls can look after themselves this time of year. Feeding runs the risk of filling brood space with nectar and reducing the colonies ability to build up (no laying space). I realise it's never black and white but this does seem to be a good year for flows......

waits for 'other' view points :boxing_smiley:
 

keithgrimes 

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I asked two experienced beekeepers at my association apiary. One said feed, one said don't feed. Heeelllllpp!
 

Rosti 

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but Keith that's good, you asked two experienced beeks and only got two alternative answers. Give them time, by the weekend you'll have 12 options and 42 conditional statements!
 

YorkshireBees 

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If it was a strong colony before swarming I would guess they are pretty well off for stores, considering it is by now broodless (no lavae to feed).
Does the hive have a super on?
I ask as I have a colony in a similar position and besides the stores in the brood box they have the stores in the super if they needed it.
In my case they are busy collecting anyway, even right up to and directly after a heavy rain shower last night!
Seems the flow (in my area) before the rain was still good and probably a lot better now!
 

oliver90owner 

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Capped queen cell, presumably, 11 days ago? When are you expecting she will emerge?

Or is the queen cell a later-developed one? Capped 3 days later?

Regards, RAB
 

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