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rich 

New Bee
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Hi All,
Well here we go again, the start of my third season of this obsessive hobby called beekeeping. :)
I do wish the bees would at least try reading the books. Then again, that would take all the surprises out of the inspections

Last year I had a swarm on the 12th April, everyone was saying ?no chance of a swarm after the cold weather? LOL ?.. this year I have an attempt at supersedure before it?s even March
This is quite a small hive, on about four frames in the autumn, and hadn't really expected them to make it through the winter. (A late swarm)
Everything looked fine and dandy today, lots of activity, loads of pollen going in, all good signs.
When I opened up I found a fair amount of stores and two frames with about a three inch across patch of sealed brood on each side, no eggs or lava at all. Slap bang in the middle of both frames was a sealed queen cell and a couple of queen cups.
The bees were quite placid, not as aggressive as I would have expected if they were queenless. I didn't spend too much time looking for a queen; I?ll do that next time in.

I think I will go back in ASAP and destroy the queen cells, (sure don?t want a virgin queen to find) then leave for a week or so until all the sealed brood has emerged, then find the queen, if she's still alive, and put her in a nuc with a couple of frames from one of the hives that has loads of bees, and take to my out apiary ten miles away. Then unite the small colony with one of my other colonies.
I?m looking to ?lose? this queen later anyway, but think it prudent to keep her as a ?just in case? for the time being. If indeed she is still alive and just having a rest up.

What would you do?

This is the only hive I have with a solid floor; I must say I was very surprise at how much damper it was than my other hives which are all on OMF. I think that solid ones distended for a re-vamp.

Rich
 

gavin 

Drone Bee
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Hi Rich

Sounds like supercedure. Why do anything? You are more likely to do harm by removing queen cells and the like.

They will be superceding for a reason, presumably the quality of the current queen. If there are drones present (are there?) you should have a quiet and gradual transition from one queen to the next. If the new queen fails (quite likely at this time of year) the old one will carry on.

On the other hand you might have lost the old queen for some reason, and the bees are now trying to fix things. Again, leaving alone is the best policy for now.

best wishes

Gavin
 

Bcrazy 

Drone Bee
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nil bees given away all colonies
Hi rich,
You never cease to amaze me, if anything out of the ordinary is going to happen then its going to happen to you. Keeps you on your toes!

I agree with Gavin leave alone and see what transpires.

By the way if you have any queens that are superfluous to your requirements then please bear me in mind as I need old queens for dissection work.

Regards;
 

rich 

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Gavin and Bcrazy thanks for you thoughts.
What concerns me is ending up with a drone laying queen if she doesn?t get mated, which I would think is the most likely outcome this early in the year.

Hi Bcrazy,
Yes, tell me about it, I though I'd had my fill last year, but as you can see it goes on and on :) but I'm sure learning a heck of a lot in a short space of time, and loving every minute of the challenges the bees are throwing up.
Sorry to have missed you this afternoon in Cambridge.

No problem, I'll keep you in mind if I have any old queens going spare. I'm looking to do a spot of raising my own queens this year, I have a really wonderfully calm and productive colony of "local" stock I'm very keen to breed from. So look out for my questioning e-mails.

Thanks again
Rich
 

gavin 

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Hi Rich

Yes a failed mating is quite likely - but as a mated queen is possible, and we are talking supercedure rather than swarming, you lose nothing by leaving them in peace.

all the best

Gavin
 

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