Late season queen cells!

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echidna 

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I had the same discovery in one of mine last week. I assumed that the bees thought she wasn't a good enough queen to make it through winter and needed to be superceded. She was a new queen this year and had never had a good brood pattern so I had wondered if she hadn't mated well. I couldn't imagine a new queen getting mated with so few drones around and cool temperatures in Yorkshire, so I removed the queen (luckily I did find her without too much trouble), and queen cells (shook off frames to see as well as poss), and united with another colony.
LeaBees - I sympathise with what you say about "this wasn't in the book". I've had a lot of that in my 3 years. The thing I've found most difficult is weighing up the pros and cons of different actions when for one reason or another I can't just follow "if this, do that" type guidance.
 
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hemo 

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I would either unite or if one had more hives leave them to it.
 

oliver90owner 

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echidna,

I couldn't imagine a new queen getting mated with so few drones around and cool temperatures in Yorkshire, …

Let’s think about this sensibly. Temperatures may be difficult, but exaclty (or even just approximately) how many drones are needed?

Drone congregation areas are where they are for several reasons. One is temperature - I’ll leave you to think of others.

I think you need to think about what, why and how things may be happening in the bees’ world.
 

LeaBees 

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The QCs may be sealed and viable but may also be dud, or vacated and re-sealed some time ago. Take one out and see what you find; it's easily warm enough to open colonies.
Briefly popped into broodbox at the weekend (was like a summers day) to check one of the cells but didn't get a chance to remove one... Saw a couple that had sides being chewed away and clearly had workers still stuck in head 1st, and saw a couple more with the classic open hinged top so I ceased and shut everything up. Still inconclusive what is going on in there..

Fingers still crossed..
 

Finman 

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Briefly popped into broodbox at the weekend (was like a summers day) to check one of the cells but didn't get a chance to remove one... Saw a couple that had sides being chewed away Still inconclusive what is going on in there..

Fingers still crossed..
Queen cells, where side was chewed away. There is a virgin, which will not mate any more. Too cold weathers.
 

LeaBees 

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Short update and query;
Having pretty much left the colony alone since last post as it is now a binary outcome, I'm at the midwinter treatment consideration stage. Put in the inspection boards to check brood/broodless status - and noticed brown/light brown wax debris amongst the white of the stores. Additionally looks like it is a small and concentrated "cluster" area. I would like to think this indicates some brood activity but could be just wishful thinking.
Those of you accomplished at reading the boards, could you give opinion on that? Also thoughts on point of opening them up to check and/or reduce the frames/box size with insulation to give small cluster decent winter survival chance?
 

Boston Bees 

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Short update and query;
Having pretty much left the colony alone since last post as it is now a binary outcome, I'm at the midwinter treatment consideration stage. Put in the inspection boards to check brood/broodless status - and noticed brown/light brown wax debris amongst the white of the stores. Additionally looks like it is a small and concentrated "cluster" area. I would like to think this indicates some brood activity but could be just wishful thinking.
Those of you accomplished at reading the boards, could you give opinion on that? Also thoughts on point of opening them up to check and/or reduce the frames/box size with insulation to give small cluster decent winter survival chance?
Got a photo of the board?
 

LeaBees 

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LeaBees 

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:iagree:would be helpful but it sounds like brood cappings to me.
I have a hunch you have a mated queen.
I'm just surprised there are still bees in there if no Q. I would have imagined any brood from late September would have expired by now.
 

Curly green finger's 

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I'm just surprised there are still bees in there if no Q. I would have imagined any brood from late September would have expired by now.
Not necessarily late September brood would emerge well into October and could be winter bees how many seems of bee's?
As I said by your description they sound like brood cappings, could do with a photo to clarify.
So the brood would of been layed by a queen 3 weeks ago.
I have fresh brood cappings on some colonys, even a few had 6 frames ( double brood) today.
 

LeaBees 

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:iagree:would be helpful but it sounds like brood cappings to me.
I have a hunch you have a mated queen.
Photo of board attached. As can be seen cluster small and right on the edge of board.
Lot less than was seen last time checked.
 

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LeaBees 

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Guess would have been too good to be true. Guess will see what's occurring in spring..
 

Curly green finger's 

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Photo of board attached. As can be seen cluster small and right on the edge of board.
Lot less than was seen last time checked.
I agree with jbm no brood cappings on that board, I think really all you can do is see what happens in the spring.
 

Finman 

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Guess would have been too good to be true. Guess will see what's occurring in spring..
You think that the virgin has mated in + 10C weather?

You will see mere drone brood in the hive next spring. Such miracle.
 

oliver90owner 

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Fingers crossed. There may be two queens in there or just one. There may be one virgin and one mother queen, or just one queen - either a drone or worker layer. Colony may not even survive. But now is not the time to worry. Too late for that. It will be what it will be.

Finman may be correct, but you might be pleasantly surprised. It is too late to do anything about it now. Bees are survivors - or they die out. Fingers crossed.
 

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