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Polished cells in brood nest

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Polyanwood 

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One of my hives into which I introduced the new New Zealand queen 12 days ago has no eggs, BUT the cells in the brood nest have been cleared of stores and really well polished. What odds do you give that she is about to get going? (Have put in a test frame just in case they did ball her.)
 

VEG 

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I would have thought that a mated queen would have started to lay by now, but the polished out cells is a good sign that they are getting ready.
 

Poly Hive 

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Hmm lets see what the test frame says.

How did you introduce her?

PH
 

VEG 

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Dont mated queens start to lay almost as soon as they are released?
 

Polyanwood 

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I didn't introduce her the best way. This was the queenless half of an artificial swarm. I destroyed the queen cells and introduced her leaving her attendants in the cage with her because it was getting dark and cold. Bees did not react badly when I put her in. They weren't cross.

I was wondering how recently she was mated.
 

VEG 

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Dont think you are supposed to leave the attendants in when introducing.
 

Polyanwood 

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I know you're not supposed to leave attendants in but they had been in that cage a long time and it was difficult getting them out without losing her. I found it well stressful getting the attendants out last time. The other 3 I introduced same day are fine, but you could predict that this colony would have the biggest problem. Other colonies I killed the queen and put in a new queen the same day. This one had no queen, so will not have been expecting one... i think that lowers the odds of them accepting her.
 

grizzly 

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Oops
Always always release the attendants before introducing the queen, fingers crossed she is ok.

That aside Polyanwood did you get the queen from Pipers Honey in Petersfield ?
 

Polyanwood 

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No, not from Piper's Honey. A bee buddy in the local association orders them in direct from the breeders. He gets bulk discount then.
 

grizzly 

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nice one, have you had them before ?
 

Polyanwood 

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No, I haven't, but my bees have been defensive and I thought it was me, but when I went to see his, I realised that actually my bees were very, very defensive compared to his NZ ones. My neighbours already hate the bees, so I am up for compromising because they are scared.

I will be interested to see whether they are as profific and as productive as the defensive mongrels. To me it did look like his hives were not doing as well as mine last year, but we all know location, location, location, so am hoping that the new bees will be as productive as the old ones.

He sometimes handles his NZ bees without gloves.:cheers2:
 

grizzly 

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I would love to handle them without gloves and smock, i would always wear some protection over my face, but just a net would be great.
Thats what i hope they allow me to do, honey is a bonus with this hive, its more for education.
 

VEG 

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The fella i bought my 2 nucs off just had a veil on and t shirt (and trousers). I tried to handle them without gloves but just cant get used to them crawling on my hands, so have gone back to gloves :(
 

jon 

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Use nitrile/latex gloves. The bees crawl over them but rarely sting and you have the same sensitivity as working with bare hands.

I have native/mongrel type bees which are not renowned for being the most placid but it works for me. I also just use a veil rather than a bee suit or smock.
 

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