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killed a queen today

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taff.. 

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thats the short version :(

the slightly longer version.......

I had a nuc that had dwindled down to bugger all, the queen had been laying but no brood had survived, today there was about 150 bees in there. but I had a plan......

someone mentioned that they had sugar icing dusted bees and shaken them into a weak nuc to boost them with success, so I thought s*!t or bust, I'll give them more bees and see what happens.

before starting I found the queen in the donor hive and popped her into a butler cage to make sure she didn't land up in the nuc, then took a frame of bees, gentle shake to dislodge the older bees, sugar dusting then shake into the nuc, and then repeat with another frame.

we then closed up the nuc to let them get on with it, they didn't appear to be fighting so all good so far.

we went back to the donor hive, pulled out a frame of brood to release the queen onto the middle of it, pulled out the bung on the butler cage and the queen rolled out, landed on the frame then rolled down onto the OMF :banghead::banghead:


I've read recently that others have had similar experience with the queen playing dead in shock or whatever, so we closed up and left them for half an hour.

when we opened up again she was in exactly the same position with the bees seeming to be pulling at her. we retrieved her off the floor and found she had one antennae missing, half of a front leg missing and her wings were pretty ragged.

so I had to cash in my insurance policy.... the queen in the nuc.

she's now in the butler cage with a candy plug thats a good inch long in what was the donor hive, I just need a bit of good fortune that she's accepted.


the bees fighting in the nuc was a possibility that I was aware may happen but it hadn't occurred to me that the other queen may peg it :banghead:
 

Heather 

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One of my colonies coming through winter had really dwindled. In a full brood box-1 frame with a few scattered either side.A queen present but minimal brood. I transferred them to a poly Nuc (5 frame) and gave a big dollop of 1:1 syrup feed,and after 3 weeks- they are doing well. They needed less space, more warmth.
Next week- back into a brood box to start the year - better late than never:cheers2:
 

admin 

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You are not a real beekeeper until you have killed a good queen by accident..
Something like that anyway.
 

Mike a 

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I have a nuc which I dont think will last my longer, the queen was a late supersedure in mid September but dispite this she got to laying a couple of very nice frames and seemed an excellent replacement. Although the colony size dropped quickly due to the 5-6 weeks then another 21 days gap between queens and then new brood emerging I had every hope they would come through winter.

About a month ago I opened up their hive very quickly to see how they were doing without lifting any frames as I saw a reasonable amount of bees I closed them up again. Since then the colony size has fallen to the point I moved them into a 4 frame nuc.

The queen has only managed to lay a few eggs on this side of this frame as seen in the picture and as you can see its patchy.



After talking with a few very experienced beeks they have suffered the same with most of their colonies who superseded late in 2009. I had high hopes for her this year but I doubt they will survive and as sad as it is I don't feel its worth adding a frame of eggs-larvae and sealed brood to try and save them.
 

Hivemaker. 

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Mike.
Have you tested for nosema?


You say the queen was a late supercedure,do you mean they swarmed? as in true supercedure there is no delay in egg laying at all,the old queen continues to lay until the new queen is mated and laying as well,so in fact you should of had two laying queens in this hive,the old queen will continue to lay and normally dissapears sometime over winter.


why not make up a small nuc from your other colonys if they are strong enough,at least you could then save this queen.
 
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Norton 

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Hello Mike a,
One of the brood cell caps has a hole in it - maybe foulbrood!
Have another look.
best regards
Norton.
 

taff.. 

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You are not a real beekeeper until you have killed a good queen by accident..
Something like that anyway.
its a steep learning curve thats for sure.

what is it they say about year 2 beeks? :eek:
 

Mike a 

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One of the brood cell caps has a hole in it - maybe foulbrood!
.
That was me, I opened that cell to check it was a recently laid this year, there was a creamy coloured larvae in it which looked good to me.

Hivemaker
I've not seen any visual signs of mess but when I transferred them into the nuc I drizzled a small amount of sugar water with fumidil-B into the top 5 or so cells of a couple of the frames just to ensure it got into the nuc. As I didn't have an eke to use the baggie method of feeding. I ended up setting up an external feeder next to the nuc. Its not some thing I would recommend for the obvious reasons but I thought I would give them half a chance as they are the only colony on this site.
 

rae 

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8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
As something of a beginner, can someone explain what is going on here?

Never seen anything like it.
 

Mike a 

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