Quantcast

Squash the queen?

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

viridens 

Field Bee
Joined
Jul 24, 2010
Messages
679
Reaction score
19
Location
Somerset
Hive Type
warre
Number of Hives
4. Experimenting with Warres after 30 years of Nationals
I collected a late weak swarm which turned out to be queenless when hived. I gave them a frame with eggs and they raised a queen, hatched about 3 weeks ago. During all this time they have been decimated (and dismantled - wasps leaving the hive with 1/2 bees) by wasp attacks, which are unusually bad here this year. From covering 3 frames, they are down to a small cluster, queen & maybe 150 workers, and I am feeding them. My other hives are at good strength & coping.

With all the wasp damage i'm sure any eggs or brood will have been taken, so I can't be sure whether this new queen has mated. So the question is, do I just crush this queen & call it a day, or is there some heroic rescue I can try to save her & regenerate this hive?
 
Last edited:

viridens 

Field Bee
Joined
Jul 24, 2010
Messages
679
Reaction score
19
Location
Somerset
Hive Type
warre
Number of Hives
4. Experimenting with Warres after 30 years of Nationals
Make up a nuc from your other hives.
Thanks for the reply.

Nearly August seems late in the season to start a nuc, and a shame to take 30-40% out of a busy brood box at this time of the year. Assuming the queen is mated, I would only be gaining 3 weeks over starting a queenless nuc from scratch...
 

Polyanwood 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
Messages
2,203
Reaction score
1
Location
London
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
45
I overwintered a few nucs last winter. Didn't lose one, and they were in high demand in the Spring.

You can do it, just need to remember to make sure they don't starve. You don't have to take all the frames for the nuc from the same hive... If you use more than 2 donor hives that will be fine.. add a little talcum powder to each set of bees and there will be no problems and no one hive suffers a big hit.
 

kazmcc 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 9, 2010
Messages
3,149
Reaction score
1
Location
Longsight, Manchester, UK
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
None, although I have my eye on one ( Just don't tell Dusty ;) )
You can do it, just need to remember to make sure they don't starve.
Can you feed half way through winter, so if you have a small amount of stores for them, could you wait until they have eaten them, then feed.....or would you have to put both in and strap them up all winter?

I guess what I'm asking is, I know you can't inspect them, but would taking the lid off and putting a feeder on be ok, or would that release valuable heat?
 

Polyanwood 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
Messages
2,203
Reaction score
1
Location
London
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
45
i and most people on here would not use a feeder in the Winter. The idea is that you feed, feed, feed until it gets cooler..... September time usually.. then you put on baker's fondant in a plastic bag over the crownboard and you make sure they don't run out of fondant, then in the Spring start with weak syrup if they are low on stores.
 

MJBee 

Drone Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
1,818
Reaction score
0
Location
Dordogne 24360 France
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
16 a mix of Commercial, National, 14 x 12, Dadant and a Warre
Bees cannot cope with liquid sugar feed during the winter so if they need a feed it has to be fondant. I make my own from Frizbee's recipe (see stickies) but it is available from bakers in the uk. It is placed either over the feed hole on the crown board or better still on top of the brood frames. Usually the bees take it as they want it BUT they have been known to trake the lot and store it:drool5:
 

ENZO 

House Bee
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Messages
139
Reaction score
0
Location
Jersey C.I.
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
16
Don't be worried about bringing a Nuc through winter, I do several every year and they are nearly always successful with young queens, as for feeding Nucs, I put in two brood frames of stores, either side and a block of fondant on top of the crownboard, under the roof. I have insulated roofs so it's warmer up there, I check Jan/Feb just by lifting the roof and if they are eating the fondant I keep an eye on it and replace with a fresh block of fondant when the old block is consumed as there may well be very little stores in the brood chamber.

Fondant is my measure for the remaining stores in the brood box, if the bees do not touch it then I presume they have stores in the brood chamber, if it's all eaten then I'm pleased I put it there, This method for stores evaluation works for me most of the time but as with everything beekeeping, there are exceptions.

And for the new beekeepers, Fondant can be fed any time of year when needed.

Enzo.
 
Last edited:

Hivemaker. 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
14,310
Reaction score
1
Location
Exmoor.
Hive Type
national
No problems making up nuc's until the end of august early september,as long as you make them up strong enough.
 

viridens 

Field Bee
Joined
Jul 24, 2010
Messages
679
Reaction score
19
Location
Somerset
Hive Type
warre
Number of Hives
4. Experimenting with Warres after 30 years of Nationals
ok. Now considering a nuc to save the (virgin?) queen. I have placed previous nucs with brother 3 miles down the road. He has now moved abroad. I have no experience of nucs on same site as 'donor' hives. Any advice/experience, or is squashing the most sensible option overall?
 
Last edited:

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,628
Reaction score
26
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
House bees do not 'go home'. Flyingbees do.

Operate and treat accordingly. Quite simple really when you think about it.

More bees than you might think (need a strong force of bees, particularly important for this time of the year), no immediate feeding to prevent robbing by the other donor colonies, feeding (no foragers) and a small entrance (protection against robbing bees and particularly wasps)

Regards, RAB
 

Friar Tuck 

House Bee
Joined
May 30, 2010
Messages
316
Reaction score
0
Location
Wiltshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3
I have been told wasps wont enter a tube! and a beek that i know uses 1inch hosepipe on his entrance he has about 4 or 5 in a line with a modified entrance block....

Has any one else herd of this technique ?
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,628
Reaction score
26
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
Not a circular tube specifically. Probably mentioned in bee books of the 1940s and previous ones too! So nothing new.

Wasps will enter a tube but the point is the colony guards have more chance of getting to them before the wasps can evade them.

Regards, RAB
 

Latest posts

Top