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Requeening and QCs

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barratt_sab 

House Bee
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
275
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Location
Herts / Essex border
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
12
We requeened one colony in a WBC with a 14x12 brood box as follows:

The colony was new this year (a combination of a small cast and a nuc) but was doing relatively well. There were bees on 7 or 8 14x12 frames, with 5 good frames of brood in all stages and some stores. The stores had been diminishing, in common with our other colonies, and they had been uncapping honey in the super and removing it. Other than that, the colony seemed fine – the queen was laying consistently, and hadn’t stopped laying even when forage went to zero (unlike one of our 2010 queens).

The supplier of the nuc had a difficult time coming up with sufficient queens this spring. The nuc was supplied a one year old queen and we were promised a 2010 queen in time for autumn requeening; she arrived on Thursday 19th August.

In the evening of Thurday 19th, we removed the old queen. We removed the only super on the hive and put on a rapid feeder with 3 or 4 pints of heavy syrup. There were a few (4 or 5) play cups in the hive, which had been there a while, but no queen cells (that we could see) in the hive at this point.

In the morning of Friday 19th, we put the new queen in the hive, in a plastic queen cage. She looked a bit small, but seemed fine (legs, wings etc) as did the attendant bees in the cage. She is marked and clipped.

In the evening of Monday 23rd, we checked that she had been released, and she had. We didn’t see any eggs, but we did see the new queen on the brood. We didn’t see any queen cells, but also didn’t take long, as we’d only had the hive open three days before.

Last night (30th August), we inspected as normal. The queen was located and seemed fine – and possibly a bit bigger. The bees seemed quite happy. They had some stores and we saw capped brood. We couldn’t see any eggs or uncapped brood.

We found six capped queen cells. They were in the centre of three of the central frames, right in the middle of the existing brood pattern, not at the bottom of the frames. We went through the box twice with three sets of eyes and removed all the queen cells we could find.

There is plenty of space in the hive - 2 14x12 frames of undrawn foundation and perhaps 3 frames of unused drawn comb. We have had some robbing and some wasp problems, but if anything, this hive suffered less than the others. The weather has not been great, but they have been getting out each day and have been bringing in pollen.

We would have put Apiguard on last week but delayed for a week to give them a chance to settle with the new queen. We put it on all the hives last night.

I would be grateful for any views on what provoked them into building QCs.

Is it as simple as the period of Q- from the Thursday evening until whenever she was released from the cage?

Having removed the QCs, is there anything else we need to be doing?
 
T

Tom Bick 

Guest
It is possible that soon after you removing the old queen they started queen cells and have continued with them even though you have introduced a new queen.

Also it is possible you have a problem with your new queen

Try a test frame with eggs from one of your other hives and see what happens.
 

barratt_sab 

House Bee
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
275
Reaction score
0
Location
Herts / Essex border
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
12
It is possible that soon after you removing the old queen they started queen cells and have continued with them even though you have introduced a new queen.

Also it is possible you have a problem with your new queen

Try a test frame with eggs from one of your other hives and see what happens.
Would you do this now, or wait until the next inspection (1 week)?

Because I am so superstitious, when we removed the old queen, I didn’t squash her - she’s sitting in a nuc with a small group of bees and a feeder in another location. We do therefore have the option of putting her back in again (obviously not with the new queen in place).
 
T

Tom Bick 

Guest
Yes do is sap you only have to remove one of your un drawn frames and replace with test frame then check 3 days later.

Good move keeping old queen as for putting her back if the new queen is no good I dont see why not
 

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