Please Advice

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

the naked beekeeper 

Field Bee
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
742
Reaction score
0
Location
S.E. Cornwall
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Enough
Hi all,

I have one colony at the moment.
A pretty aggressive set of mongrels, covering 7-8 frames, with 6 frames laid of brood.

Last week I saw QCs with eggs.
There were still 3 undrawn frames of foundation, so I let them be.

This week, still 3 frame undrawn foundation and some cups are now drawn out cells with larvae floating.

As time.

So I moved the hive over to a new site, some 2-3 feet away and put a new hive on the old site.
As I set about looking for the Q, they were turning nastier by the minute and stings were gathering all over my hood.

It became so unbearable, I still couldn't find her so I grabbed a frame of brood with a larvae in a queen cell and put it in the new hive on the old site, inspected the Q wasn't on it and filled the rest up with old frames.
Some with stores.

My question, is this situation workable?
ie, will this colony survive?
I am hoping the flying bees will all return their and raise their new queen.
And the old queen will have plenty of brood but mainly house bees on the new site.

As a footnote, I am to requeen very soon anyway.
Their behaviour was not tolerable.

Thank you all, you wonderful people for any advice coming my way.....
 

jezd 

Drone Bee
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,541
Reaction score
2
Location
UK
Hive Type
other
Number of Hives
299.1
Ok, not sure if I can help or not, firstly bees go up and down on the miffy scale and without knowing the history they could be like that for any number of reasons, not least its often due to beekeeper actions (not saying that in your case). I would like to know why there are so bad tempered?

You have not stopped the swarm drive of the colony by doing what you have done I dont think.

If you have left the old queen in the old hive even though you have moved it then I suspect they will swam once QC's are capped off - yes old bees will go to old site too.

I think your old queen will leave soon, 50/50.

Jez
 

bushman1872 

House Bee
Joined
Apr 22, 2010
Messages
111
Reaction score
0
Location
Hampshire, winchester
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
Had a simillar problem with my lot, still had loads of foundation in the brood to work but inner frames were filled to the hilt next week queen cups, my mistake I thought they were play cups, another 7 days and I had capped QC's. Anyway I artificially swarmed them and in the process of doing so they went a bit berserk flying into my face and veil and following me a good 150 yards when i'd finished. I left them to it for a bit and came back a week later and they seemed to have calmed down somewhat. Maybe yours need a little time to settle.
In terms of your swarm control measures the old hive may well still swarm but you probably know that, I guess you were trying to artificially swarm them when they turned nasty. Would be great if you could find the queen and get her in the new hive then let bees raise a new queen which when mated might produce nicer tendancies you could thennkill the old queen and unite the 2 colonies. I find if i'm getting really pestered that walking away twirling smoke seems to lessen the amount of bees in my face.
 

jezd 

Drone Bee
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,541
Reaction score
2
Location
UK
Hive Type
other
Number of Hives
299.1
ps in my experience, if you have aggressive bees then fine spray (top of frames frames and seams and then each frame side) with 1:1 sryrup, gives them something esle to do instead of trying to kill you
 

the naked beekeeper 

Field Bee
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
742
Reaction score
0
Location
S.E. Cornwall
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Enough
Thanks for your replies.

The colony has always been, shall we say, excitable.
They are only getting worse and their behaviour is unacceptable.

I help a local beekeeper with his 30+ hives and not one of them are anywhere near as bad as this, so I have good grounds for comparison.

Any adivr for further actions??
Shall I knock out the Queen cells in the old hive on the new site? Or will they do this anyway as all their flying bees will (hopefully) have gone back to the original site?

Or shall I look again for the queen and pop her across into the new hive on old site??
 

jezd 

Drone Bee
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,541
Reaction score
2
Location
UK
Hive Type
other
Number of Hives
299.1
what are you wanting at this point? to do increases, or simpe AS?

Also you mention the undrawn frames as a frustration, these can become a barrier for growth in some bees and you need to encourage them to move out - have you got other drawn comb?

How much spare kit do you have?

I would triple layer up and sort them how you wanted too in first place (have the syrup spray too).
 
Last edited:

Poly Hive 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
13,653
Reaction score
6
Location
Scottish Borders
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
9 and 18 Nucs
As requested TNB.

You now have two lots of bees in two hives, one possibly with a queen and the other producing a cell.

Both lots are nasty.

Firstly I would establish whether you have the Queen in the new stance. If there is no sign of any fresh brood or eggs then she either off the lay, or not there so a test frame is needed.

You say you help a person with decent tempered stocks so phone them and beg two frames of young brood/eggs. Put them in and remove that cell.

To spell it out clearly. Remove any cells your bees have produced from your material. You do not want that line to continue.

Add the test frame to the hive with the "queen" to check that she is actually there or not. If she is kill her and let them raise a cell on the good frame you are using as the test.

Alternately buy in two queens and re-queen.

Esp by buying in the queens you will be in a far better position to achieve some honey this season.

Hope this helps and any queries just ask away.

PH
 

Roy S 

House Bee
Joined
Mar 12, 2009
Messages
212
Reaction score
1
Location
uk, Huyton, Liverpool
Hive Type
national
As PH said the last thing you want to be doing is basically propagating bad tempered bees, if there is a local beekeeper around with good tempered bees then if you can use a couple of frames of their eggs great.

Doesnt the BKA down there have a pretty active beebreeding group working with dark/native type bees? I'm sure I was speaking to the secretary of the group about this subject at Stoneleigh this year.

If not, I can recommend the Amm's from Bikerstaffes :cheers2:
 
Last edited:

the naked beekeeper 

Field Bee
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
742
Reaction score
0
Location
S.E. Cornwall
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Enough
Thanks all.

I have phoned the chap I work with, he is actually the secretary of BIPCo (Bee Improvement Programme for Cornwall) and he has promised me that the next 2 decent mated queens are coming my way. No begging needed!

Yes we have quite a promising little group Roy.
I have only just recently joined and there's no better way to learn than to work with these people. We have a grant for up to 12k over 2 years to raise our target of 100 native/near native bees a year. Selecting for 5 traits.

I am sincerely hoping they can both crack on and give me some honey this year. I have come to the decision that I will not tolerate that temper any longer. Having seen how much more amenable bees can be.
 

Poly Hive 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
13,653
Reaction score
6
Location
Scottish Borders
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
9 and 18 Nucs
Didn't think you would mind if I posted this.

But be aware you NEED to know your status before trying to introduce a new Q. Near all queens lost on introduction are lost because there is ALREADY a queen of some sort present, this is where the test frame becomes critical.

PH
 

susbees 

Queen Bee
Joined
May 7, 2010
Messages
3,233
Reaction score
0
Location
Welsh Marches, by Montgomery
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
35ish
Add the test frame to the hive with the "queen" to check that she is actually there or not. If she is kill her and let them raise a cell on the good frame you are using as the test.

PH
Daft question: can you spell out what you would expect to happen?
 

Poly Hive 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
13,653
Reaction score
6
Location
Scottish Borders
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
9 and 18 Nucs
this really should be a sticky but here goes.

A test frame is a brood frame which has eggs and or young larvae in it.

It is marked, a drawing pin is the classic but a scrape with the hive tool does fine, and inserted into the suspect colony.

To the acute eye the result is there the next day but for the more inexperienced in three or four days time there will be obvious queen cell building, IF the colony is Queenless.

If however there are no signs of queen cell building, then the colony has a queen of some sort.

If there are queen cells then it is safe to introduce a queen. If not then it is a pretty much sure bet your bonny and expensive queen is doomed to the common fate of such creatures. Death.

You have to know the condition of your colony. So test it and find out before jumping in and yelling my bees are queenless.... rubbish they are.

Most times by far they have a virgin running around and they are truly difficult to see. (I went through 12 nucs yesterday with virgins and I was trying out of curiosity to see how many I could spot and saw none.) and further I was not surprised at that result.

So there you are.

PH
 

susbees 

Queen Bee
Joined
May 7, 2010
Messages
3,233
Reaction score
0
Location
Welsh Marches, by Montgomery
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
35ish
Test frame of eggs added to both halfs of the split in question. Both the capped QCs that we had seen open originally appear to be duds (are they not supposed to tear these down?). Neither shaken or mishandled. One emergency QC destroyed. Lots of polished cells starting to appear and nothing to lay in them. Will check these Thursday or Saturday. When it's not about to rain as it was today.

Meanwhile we await to the two mininucs, one looking not as strong as the other. SOMEWHERE there's a strong wasp nest...all we need.
 

Polyanwood 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
Messages
2,203
Reaction score
1
Location
London
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
45
Interesting... when they are queenless they often back fill the brood nest with stores, but as soon as they have a virgin, they start clearing it out and polishing the cells ready for their queen to lay...perhaps you have a queen after all, but test frames will show definitively.
 

Latest posts

Top