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Is it possible to use the same test frame twice in two separate colonies ?

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shudderdun 

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Is it possible to use the same test frame twice in two separate hives ?

I have four colonies at my out apiary, two are thriving and the other two, well, I have not seen any eggs for four weeks and there is no sealed brood left, all cells are clear in both of these colonies, so, without going into historical details, I am "almost" certain these two hives are Queenless but want to bee 100% sure before merging each with each of the other two Queenright colonies.

I don't want to go through the wrelms of re Queening, if anything I want to reduce the number of my colonies and merge/strengthen the two Queenright hives.

You could ask why don't I just use two separate test frames I know, but I am curious.

So, if the first colony started to make Queen cells, proving it "was" Queenless, could I then let them seal the cell/cells and offer it to the second thought Queenless colony and see if they take them down or nurture them ?

Apologies if this sounds daft.

Thank you.
 
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It's a bit late for test frames ...but ..

If you want to try you don't need a full frame of eggs .. just cut out two sections of eggs from the donor frame and insert one into a frame in each of the colonies you want to test... So in that way you are using one frame for two hives .... and you still won't have wasted the rest of the frame as well ...
 

Erichalfbee 

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Is it possible to use the same test frame twice in two separate hives ?



Thank you.
If you have eggs on your test frame and you can spot a queen cell being drawn in three days then, yes.
Put one test frame in for three days, take it out and put it in the next, destroying any queen cells

EDIT Philip's idea is better. I forgot about the biscuit cutter.
 

shudderdun 

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Thanks Dani and Pargyle, two interesting options, will pop up there today, see what mood they are in and try one method or tuther !
 

Erichalfbee 

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Let us know how it goes
 

shudderdun 

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Reporting back !

Three plus days after offering my test frame to Hive 1, I found and took down 12 QS's,10 sealed (we're they working on older grubs ? ) must admit I wasn't expecting to see sealed QC,s ?
As Dani suggested, I took all the cells down and have offered the same frame to Hive 2 !
Any thoughts ?
Thanks.
G
 

Erichalfbee 

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Reporting back !

Three plus days after offering my test frame to Hive 1, I found and took down 12 QS's,10 sealed (we're they working on older grubs ? ) must admit I wasn't expecting to see sealed QC,s ?
As Dani suggested, I took all the cells down and have offered the same frame to Hive 2 !
Any thoughts ?
Thanks.
G
Well you have the first hive to unite with another.
 

shudderdun 

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Nipped up to my out apiary today to inspect Hive 1 to see how the newspaper merg went, not good, a good mug of dead bees in front of the hive (starting to decompose).
Further inspection showed they had well chewed through the newspaper which together with a QE separate the Q+ bottom box from the Q- top box. I could not see the original Q, no fresh eggs, lava, grubs but a single runt of a QC in the middle of a frame that I took down (did this in case I wanted to try and re-merg with another colony, didn't want to have to start searching for a tiny Q later on)

Checked Hive 2, the one I later offered the test frame to, two runt sealed QC,s no sign of eggs, lava, grubs from an original Q so it is looking as if this colony was also Q- !!!

I have one Q right colony left up there, but am now wondering do I risk another merg, I do have four colonies at home, confused what to do ? Is it bad practice to just leave them alone in this kind of situation, there is lots of store in both the two Q- colonies.
 

drex 

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Rather than just let them dwindle, why not take them home and shake them out in front of the queen right hives. .
 
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Nipped up to my out apiary today to inspect Hive 1 to see how the newspaper merg went, not good, a good mug of dead bees in front of the hive (starting to decompose).
Further inspection showed they had well chewed through the newspaper which together with a QE separate the Q+ bottom box from the Q- top box. I could not see the original Q, no fresh eggs, lava, grubs but a single runt of a QC in the middle of a frame that I took down (did this in case I wanted to try and re-merg with another colony, didn't want to have to start searching for a tiny Q later on)

Checked Hive 2, the one I later offered the test frame to, two runt sealed QC,s no sign of eggs, lava, grubs from an original Q so it is looking as if this colony was also Q- !!!

I have one Q right colony left up there, but am now wondering do I risk another merg, I do have four colonies at home, confused what to do ? Is it bad practice to just leave them alone in this kind of situation, there is lots of store in both the two Q- colonies.
Someone on here will be merging colonies for winter - and will, no doubt, be squishing a queen that has been layng.,.. may not be the best queen in the world but with two queenless colonies to combine and a laying queen to introduce (with the stores from two hives) you have the makings of a colony to get through the winter and you can make a decision in spring about what to do with them.

Start a new thread 'Queen wanted now' and explain your circunmstances ..someone will have one for the cost of the postage and the cage ...
 

shudderdun 

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Lesson Learnt !

Checked Hive 1 and Hive 2 at my out apiary earlier today (while the sun was shining !)


Hive 2 :- Despite the bees trying to make QC's on the test frame I removed from Hive 1 .... I now found a small amount of BIAS (a coupleof drone cells, but mainly Worker Brood) and fresh one day old eggs on other frames within the colony, amazing, I really thought this colony was Q - and was quite surprised to see what I did ! especially with seeing them attempting to make QC's. I wonder if this may have been some sort of ferenome passed on from Hive 1 that made them try ??? I didn't see a Q and wasn't going to go mad looking for her, whatever size she was.


Hive 1 :- Found sealed brood and definitely no Q, also another sealed QC that I must have missed, so I decided to take this down and will unite Hive 1 with Hive 2 once the brood has emerged.


I wont try that exercise again, but it was worth trying and I have learned from it, things become too complicated.


If anything, put in the same situation again this late in the season where test frame resources are not so abundant I would do what Pargyle suggested and use a small separate amount of eggs !


Thank you everyone for your input.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Lesson Learnt !

Checked Hive 1 and Hive 2 at my out apiary earlier today (while the sun was shining !)


Hive 2 :- Despite the bees trying to make QC's on the test frame I removed from Hive 1 .... I now found a small amount of BIAS (a coupleof drone cells, but mainly Worker Brood) and fresh one day old eggs on other frames within the colony, amazing, I really thought this colony was Q - and was quite surprised to see what I did ! especially with seeing them attempting to make QC's. I wonder if this may have been some sort of ferenome passed on from Hive 1 that made them try ??? I didn't see a Q and wasn't going to go mad looking for her, whatever size she was.





Thank you everyone for your input.
Sometimes adding a frame of brood gets a reluctant new queen laying
I look forward to an update next year.
They do keep us guessing don't they?
 

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