Small Queencells??

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roo 

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Hello People,
I have put a test frame in to one of my colonys that I suspect is queenless. They have built about ten tiny sealed queencells. Does anybody know why they build these useless queencells? I assume they can be of no use?:confused:
Thanks
Roo
 

MuswellMetro 

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Hello People,
I have put a test frame in to one of my colonys that I suspect is queenless. They have built about ten tiny sealed queencells. Does anybody know why they build these useless queencells? I assume they can be of no use?:confused:
Thanks
Roo

are you talking empty QC sealed( capped) cells or QC with larva and royal jelly that have been sealed

if it is the latter it is panic...get a queen so the biuld as many viable scrub queen cells from normal cells as they have not eggs in a prepared play/empty QC...then survival of the fittest..and she will be a poor queen
 

Midland Beek 

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Hello People,
I have put a test frame in to one of my colonys that I suspect is queenless. They have built about ten tiny sealed queencells. Does anybody know why they build these useless queencells? I assume they can be of no use.
It doesn't surprise me that a queenless colony has tried to raise 10 new queens, but I would guess they have diluted their effort and as such maybe have not raised a single 'good' one.

Don't leave them to it. Destroy all queen cells and make sure they do not raise a queen of their own, ie. make them hopelessly queenless.

Buy new queen or unite.
 

Dewin Dwl 

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Someone please enlighten me. This is the colony's natural mechanism for rescuing itself from queenlessness had it had its own eggs & realised it was queenless at that time. The test frame is a neat way of compensating for those cases where queen pheromone is still about but the queen is no longer laying (million and one reasons!)
Ok I can see it is not the ideal queen development, starting horizontal without the right age bees to attend. However what is produced will be viable enough for colony survival for a while. If she proves inadequate the colony will initiate supercedure. As this is a more planned route then the resultant queen is likely to be an upgrade.
Why are we so hung-up about scrub-queens? The temperament of their offspring will be a mix of the test-frame colony plus whatever drones she meets: a variable we surely live with anyway.
OK I can see there being a hiccup in honey production but putting that aside, what is the issue in terms of genetics/viability etc.

Has a negative reputation for scrub-Qs come from attempting to kick-start a q-less colony by inserting a test-frame then leaving it all to happen?
 

Finman 

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Often emergency cells are small. You may look inside and you notice that all queen milk is consumed. In normal queen cell there are quite much extra food. if the colony is small, emergency cells are even smaller than in normal colony. The queen will be about worker size.
 

Finman 

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Someone please enlighten me. This is the colony's natural mechanism for rescuing itself from queenlessness had it had its own eggs & realised it was queenless at that time. The test frame is a neat way of compensating for those cases where queen pheromone is still about but the queen is no longer laying (million and one reasons!)
Ok I can see it is not the ideal queen development, starting horizontal without the right age bees to attend. However what is produced will be viable enough for colony survival for a while. If she proves inadequate the colony will initiate supercedure. As this is a more planned route then the resultant queen is likely to be an upgrade.
Why are we so hung-up about scrub-queens? The temperament of their offspring will be a mix of the test-frame colony plus whatever drones she meets: a variable we surely live with anyway.
OK I can see there being a hiccup in honey production but putting that aside, what is the issue in terms of genetics/viability etc.

Has a negative reputation for scrub-Qs come from attempting to kick-start a q-less colony by inserting a test-frame then leaving it all to happen?
I cannot understand what you are saying. Something...?

Testframe is good. It reveals are there any queen. Often they are difficult to find. Just last week I look a fried's hive and it gived a sign of queenless colony. We were joining it to nabouring colony and then I saw in uppermost box a laying queen. - I continued joining but I made a nuc for the queen.

.
 

oliver90owner 

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And, further, 3 weeks lost now, and then likely later in the season (when they supercede again through the queen failing) with the associated poor build-up of winter bees (and stores?), or a failed queen during the winter.....

Is it all really worthwhile? Doing it right first time seems the much better option.

Those with several colonies, do not worry too much if one becomes queenless; it happens and is easily overcome one way, or another. One more queen to be found or one less colony to over-winter. Beekeeping with only one colony is difficult, with two much easier. With half a dozen, more work but much easier from the management perspective.

An alternative might be a 'loose co-operative' with close-by beeks in the same boat?

Regards, RAB
 

skydragon 

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Confused??

Going back to Roo's question - why would bees make a number of small QC from a test frame? Can anyone answer his question...

Finman wrote >>if the colony is small, emergency cells are even smaller than in normal colony. The queen will be about worker size<< Finman, at what point are there not enough bees to make good-quality large QC's? Is there a rule that can be applied (such as there should be at least 5 seams of bees)?

RAB wrote >>Doing it right first time seems the much better option<< what has Roo done wrong? Surely adding a test frame is the right way (or one of the right ways) of getting a queenless colony to make a new queen?
 
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Finman 

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Is there a rule that can be applied (such as there should be at least 5 seams of bees)?

?
2 boxes = 20 seams. 5 frame is really small.

Yes, they can. Last summer a twist size colony made a normal size queen, but if you raise queens, it is better to be strong 2 box hive added with nurser bees.

Why things should be minimalistic.
 

roo 

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test frame queen cells?

Thanks for your thoughts everyone. Was wondering how many beeks out there have had successful queens from a test frame?
 

Hivemaker. 

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Yes they can produce a perfectly good queen if the colony is resonably strong and the correct age larvae is selected.
 

Blue Spinnaker 

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I've tried this and the bee inspector officially declared my hive queenless today, so it's not been very successful :(
He said the queens had not developed sufficiently to be viable, and opened an emergency cell to show me and it was a rather weedy looking bee inside.

I have been advised to put in a good queen cell on a frame from a neighbour's hive. I'm going to try to get it done tomorrow, but the forecast is rubbish. Oh well, keep trying :)
 
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