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ian wallace 

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Hi all i have been a bee keeper only for a few weeks and i need some help.

i bought an old hive of bees on the 14 of may this year.

the hive consists of the following
one brood box
one supper used as half a brood
one queen excluder
and one super half full of honey
crown board and roof

because the hive has been neglected for a while the frames were a mess.
so on the brood frames i cleaned up all the top bars and bottom bars and found the queen and removed all the queen cups that looked to me that they had been there for some time.

on the supper (brood) frames, all of these frame were all honey with the odd drone and worker cell at the bottom, and they were all braced together, so i cleaned them up and because these frame are very old i have moved these to the top supper and replaced them with new frames.

the frames that were in the supper i have removed and storded and replaced them with the frames of honey from the brood.

i made sure that the queen was in the brood box replaced the queen excluder and closed up the hive all nice a tidy.

today i have been back to the hive and i cannot find any new eggs.
i have found the queen, and there is caped brood, drones and workers, not much, there is a lot of open honey in the brood and pollen but no new eggs.

i have found some new queen cups, i could not see if they had eggs in them, but i did notice some bees sticking there heads in.

is there any need to panic yet?
 

buzz lightyear 

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you need to look for queen cells. You talk about queen cups, I assume you mean "play cups".
The question is are they making swarm cells or not?
Queens slim down and stop laying shortly before swarming, so establish the issue re queen cells.
It would be helpful to know how many frames of brood, hive type etc..
Have you been on an association course, do you have a mentor?
Have you spare equipment, should you need to manipulate re: Swarm control.

Welcome to the forum,
Buzz
 

Roy S 

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Welcome to the forum, where about are you? it would help knowing where you are in case nearby beekeepers can give you a hand if needed.

regards

Roy
 

ian wallace 

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Thank you all for a very kind welcome
I have been on a bee course and I do have a mentor
but the guy is very busy as he is a big
bee farmer

I emailed him last night and he told me
not to panic

I live in Calne in Wiltshire
the hive I have is a national with ten frames in the brood
the two outer ones on both ends are full of honey
and the rest are I would say 80% empty cells
with a little polen and wet honey

I did mean queen cells in my first message
don't know what you guys ment by play cups

But that said these cells are not that big
so I don't know if they are still making them

they are not as big as the cells I cut out
the Sunday before
 

Poly Hive 

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If your colony is making queen cells as you say you cut out a week ago they are telling you they are going to swarm.

You need to AS them as soon as possible and look up play cup and swarm cell to learn the difference.

Mean while it reads to me that your colony is seriously considering throwing a swarm, and cutting out cells will NOT stop them.

PH
 

Heather 

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Play cups look like empty acorn cups- queen cells have been developed to be longer (from those cups) -AND HAVE LARVAE IN - then they mean business.
 

ian wallace 

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Ok well at the moment they are play cells

so what is the best action to take
should I split the hive or let them do there
thing
 

Rosti 

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Ian, if they are play cells (upturned acorns, with no eggs, no larvea/royal jelly in them) then let the bees do what bees do.

It is reckoned that every time you go into a hive you can put the girls back 2 days. Give them time, let them build up. If you have no active queen cells now then you have 10 days before anything is going to happen. Just let yourself get into a 7 day inspection cycle during swarm season, plan what you want to inspect for, then reflect on observations, plan and act accordingly. Post if things change at next inspection. R
 

Poly Hive 

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Seems you do not have a handle on play cups versus queencells.

They are NOT the same thing.

A play cup is an incipient queen cell. Even if it has an egg in it it means nothing.

If it has a larvae in it then it is a queen cell in the making.

PH
 

ian wallace 

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well guys, i cannot thank you enough for all your help.
i am getting into a seven day inspection,
i will take a look at my girls next sunday and see what going on.

also i will get a bate hive ready and put that up, if they are going swarm then i will what to try and get them in there.

once again
big thank you to all, this is all very new to me, bee keeping and forums, so
thanks
 

Rosti 

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Seems you do not have a handle on play cups versus queencells.

They are NOT the same thing.

A play cup is an incipient queen cell. Even if it has an egg in it it means nothing.

If it has a larvae in it then it is a queen cell in the making.

PH
I have a handle PH, we just have different views at what point to register possible activity, either way a 7 day cycle should keep anyone on the right side of required action.
 

Poly Hive 

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The remark was for Mr Wallace who started the thread. He seems confused still as to what a play cup is as opposed to a cell.

There is no discussion on what is what, a cup is a play cup up until it contains a grub at which point it is a statement of intent to sup or swarm.

It's as black and white as that. A rare instance of clarity from the bees.

PH
 

Rosti 

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Whoops! apologies for over reaction PH, normal balance restored!

:biggrinjester:

In Ian Wallace's defence though, learning curve and all that!

This forum is surely as much about asking the silly question in cyber space so you avoid the silly mistake in reality? I remember reading Hooper when I started, getting confused, got bees, less confused, read Cramp, felt better, read Hopper again saw some light, did it for myself, messed it up, then understood.

:party:
 

Poly Hive 

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Which is why this forum is so important to the newbies.

Getting reassurance makes all the difference. (I hope)

PH
 

Mike a 

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Which is why this forum is so important to the newbies.

Getting reassurance makes all the difference. (I hope)

PH
Not just for newbies, I learn as I read various threads to get an alternative perspective. Its good to question our methods and training than blindly assume you are right and so every one else must be wrong.

Thank you one and all for making the forum so good.
 

ian wallace 

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Well guys you all have been very helpfull
so thank you to you all

it's great that people can chat and advise
on a hobbie that we all enjoy

hopefully I will not ask to meny dumb questions
but if I do please bare with me lol.
 

ian wallace 

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Hi guys
just to let you all know. I put up a bate hive
up on my garage today with some old frames
It's about ten yards away from the hive

it's the old brood box that they used to live in

I thought if they are going to swarm then I would
try and bate them
 

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