One of my native Queens.

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Curly green finger's

Apiculturist to the bones
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BeeKeeping Supporter
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Messages
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Location
Titterstone clee South Shropshire
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
86 + nucs/ mini nucs
Evening this is a bit of a story about a superior black queen I got given from a friend/mentor who helped me out last year.
This gentleman has passed away on Thursday night , I could go on about his illness but I want to talk about his queen and colony he gave me as a parting gift as he retired at 80 years old
He was a black bee man and lived in South Shropshire on one of the hills, he had been a beekeeper most of his life and could rear queen's for fun something I wished I'd of asked him to show me.
The colony and Queen he said was three years old and the queen was" a good black un she ena gunna treat yu badly " his words!
So this queen I've used for some of my grafting attempts and the daughters are much the same as her.
This queen is now being superseded and today I've removed three really good capped cells after making up strong nucs.
Queen is present and laying so definitely supersedure.
Will they produce more supersedure cells? I hope so.
The workers are over 90% black with a dark brown first banding which to me is a fairly pure strain of amms, more than any I have seen anyway.
He wasn't a member of any association being from the travelling community and originally from Ireland they keep themselves to themselves.
I spoke to one of his elder lads tonight on the phone and will hopefully pay my respects as and when I can.
It's funny to me that this queen is superseding this season around the time of his passing, and I hope I can keep this strain of bee going if only I new how to ii.
Thanks you for your queen and colony I will treasure the daughters and look after them to the best of my abilities.
 
Keep checking every likely hood they will continue to make cells.
 
Keep checking every likely hood they will continue to make cells.
I won't be able to keep making strong nucs up though, but I could put the cells in the incubator :).
And use them in mini nucs.
How long will they keep making cells for?
I suppose, how longs a peace of string.
 
The old girl could stop at any time so your guess is as good as mine.
 
The old girl could stop at any time so your guess is as good as mine.
I will keep checking them and try and get a photo of her next time.
She is my oldest queen not the biggest either.
Why are supersedure cells so big they are crackers considering she isnt that big.
I'll answer that! they select slowly and have time to feed them up.
 
You can harvest supercedure cells for only so long; with an old queen 2 or 3 cycles would be my best guess - but as you say, they are well-fed and can produce good queens.
 
You can harvest supercedure cells for only so long; with an old queen 2 or 3 cycles would be my best guess - but as you say, they are well-fed and can produce good queens.
Time frame pls?
Apologies editing here.......
 
Likely much depends on what sort of drone meet the black queen's daughters on their mating flights.
 
Well I've made the strong nucs on the same site which is our highest apiary and two of our main apiarys are a mile bellow with 40 colonys 20 at each site on either side of the hill so which ever way they go they will hopefully meet my black drones.
I've tryed to incapsulate the hill or trying to any way.
 
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Well I've made the strong nucs on the same site which is our highest apiary and two of our main apiarys are a mile bellow with 40 colonys 20 at each site on either side of the hill so which ever way they go they will hopefully meet my black drones.
I've tryed to incapsulate the hill or trying to any way.

If you've got any spare I'll buy a queen from you although no worries if not.

Sorry to hear of the loss of your friend.
 
Time frame pls?
Apologies editing here.......
The timing will depend on how desperate the bees are to replace their mum. However I would anticipate that after 7 - 10 days you would see another queencell sealed. Before you remove it, do check that the old queen is still present or at least eggs are present.
 
The timing will depend on how desperate the bees are to replace their mum. However I would anticipate that after 7 - 10 days you would see another queencell sealed. Before you remove it, do check that the old queen is still present or at least eggs are present.
Will do thanks for the reply.
 
So I looked at the old girl colony today and they have started one more cell, and one has emerged and the old girl was laying eggs,
I couldn't find the virgin queen but I didn't really want to,that wasn't my thoughts and what i wanted to do... Ive removed the old girl and put her in a three frame nuc with some emerging brood and food and comb, and started to feed them some honey,
I want to graft from any eggs she lays do you think this will be OK?

I've also marked the frame with the cell they were raising.

After the old girl has layed some eggs I'm going to preserve her..
 
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This one is three years old this season and as you say dani they are mixed race still lovely bees to work with and the drones are all black, when the weather is not so good like today, they are flying in wind and rain bringing in pollen, there quite a custom to this hill and what ever weather is thrown at them.
I will keep selecting the best locals it might take me decade's but I love working with them.
I do keep bucks x locals which will get out in the bad weather and are bigger looking bees in general compared to my darker girls.
I have a red tailed queen in a mini nuc a buck x and she is finally laying at last I almost introduced her to the freezer last week but I'm glad I didn't.
Patience is a vertue :)
Perhaps the thread title should of said one of my local queen's but she is as near native to this area as one can get, with influence from Welsh genetics,
That man can rear some lovely stock. :)
 
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