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Neil 

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Hi all,
I have got rid of my failing queen as there are only four frames of brood, there isn’t many bees in the hive but plenty of day old eggs so I was curious as to whether the bees will swarm if they produce a new queen. I have been told they won’t because there isn’t enough bees in the hive is this right? :confused:
 

jon 

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You will now get an emergency queen which is likely to be poor especially if there are few bees in the hive.
Why did you think it was a failing queen.
If there are not many bees in the hive, there will not be a lot of brood in the hive. The queen will only produce a brood area proportional to the number of bees available to cover it.
Did you not think to keep the old queen in an apidea or even a small box with a cupful of bees as a backup?
 

Bcrazy 

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The queen will only produce a brood area proportional to the number of bees available to cover it.
Not so.

April/May build up when there is more brood than workers to cover the brood pattern.

Regards;
 

jon 

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That may well be true but it doesn't contradict my statement which you highlighted.

You will never see 5 frames of bees trying to warm 10 frames of brood for example.
 

jimbeekeeper 

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Neil

I have noted you have posted a lot recently regarding, failing queens, bumbing them off and not progresing.

You appear to be jumping from one thing to another with no real focus, possibley messing with the hive too much.

Have you had them tested for Nosema?
 

gavin 

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Hi Neil

Just a little observation. You asked us before whether it was the best course of action to kill the queen in your small colony. One person said unite to a bigger colony, three said it might be disease or poor forage and seek a mentor or a bee inspector to advise, one said it might be struggling to keep warm because of its size, one said bear in mind the other advice but consider keeping the queen in a one-frame nuc ... all good advice but not one of us thought that the best course of action was for you to kill the queen! Your assumption that the queen was failing needed checking.

Jon's advice on keeping this small colony warm is now more important - but the best advice now I would have thought was still to seek help and see if someone can spare you a virgin or a queen cell made by a colony in the right state.

best wishes

Gavin
 

Bcrazy 

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Jon,
You stated the following;
The queen will only produce a brood area proportional to the number of bees available to cover it.
That comment reads to me that the queen in any hive will only produce brood and no more than the workers being able to keep the brood warm.

We all know that in the spring build up there is always more brood produced by the queen than the workers can manage, thus we have 'chilled brood'.

Please try to remember that new beekeepers will at some time mention to others that they read on this forum about the queen which was not right.

You will never see 5 frames of bees trying to warm 10 frames of brood for example.
Why not?

Don't answer that.

Regards;
 

jon 

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BCrazy. I am not disagreeing with you. The key word in the sentence you highlighted is proportional.

Neil. You now have a queenless colony which may well become very bad tempered. In addition, in the best case scenario there will be no laying queen for at least 4 weeks. The colony could well be half of its current size whatever that may be in 4 weeks time. If you only have 4 frames of brood, put it in a 5 frame nuc to keep it warm.

I agree with Gavin, the best thing is to get a queen or a good queen cell and preferably a frame or two of sealed brood to keep numbers up.
 
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Poly Hive 

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I am going to challenge this Bcrazy as frankly it is just wrong.

"We all know that in the spring build up there is always more brood produced by the queen than the workers can manage, thus we have 'chilled brood'."

Chilled brood, which I have yet to see in a Poly Hive BTW is caused by the temperature dropping more than an optimistic colony expects. They then abandon the brood they cannot sustain to protect the rest of the colony.

I suspect you posted perhaps in some haste leaving some points of accuracy adrift.

PH
 

jon 

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IChilled brood, ...is caused by the temperature dropping more than an optimistic colony expects. They then abandon the brood they cannot sustain to protect the rest of the colony.PH
That was my understanding too but I sensed a spat looming!
 

Bcrazy 

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This shows chilled brood from this hive last spring.

As you say PH Facts are things that dinna ding!

Regards;
 

Neil 

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requeening

Hi all,
The reason for requeening my hive is simply because the experienced beekeeper I got my bees from has told me the queen hasn’t been mated properly and she should be replaced as the hive should be filled out a lot more for the area and time of year. The only drawback is he can’t get me a nuc till the end of June. He has said you could try replacing her and has warned me that an emergency one might end up the same quality.
 

admin 

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I am not smitten with this emergency queen not being any good ?

I realise that all the books say you should graft for good queens etc,but for members with a few hives at a hobby level I cant see a problem.

I have a couple of mated emergency queens this year and they are good fat layers.
 

Poly Hive 

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Now now Admin.

Behave please

A queen raised on the emergency impulse is liable to be created from an older grub hence the queen is possibly going to be a poor one.

One example or two does not make the average.

Good queens are planned and bred.

PH
 

Eyeman 

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The queen will only produce a brood area proportional to the number of bees available to cover it.
This is what has always happened in my hives. In a hive which is slow to build up in spring a 'vigorous' queen will lay lots of eggs but the workers will 'eat' or remove them so as to maintain the brood area. Chilled brood is usually the result of the beekeeper.
If you keeper records then a colony which is slow to build up in spring can end up producing the greatest honey yield that season and may also have other desirable traits. So I never cull a colony just because it's slow to get started.
 

jon 

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So I never cull a colony just because it's slow to get started.
Eyeman. Wise words.

the experienced beekeeper I got my bees from has told me the queen hasn’t been mated properly
Neil. A queen which has not been mated properly starts to lay too many drone eggs due to a lack of fertilized eggs and will eventually become a drone layer. If your brood area has far too much drone brood there may have been a mating problem but otherwise, I would doubt it.
 
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jon 

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a 'vigorous' queen will lay lots of eggs but the workers will 'eat' or remove them so as to maintain the brood area.
I have noticed the same.

I had a queen in an apidea during March and April. It was one I resuced from a sick colony which had dwindled and I put in a cupful of bees from a healthy colony. Several times when I looked in, the queen had laid up all the free cells in the apidea but the next day most of them were gone as there were not enough bees to cover them.
 

VEG 

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Originally Posted by Neil
the experienced beekeeper I got my bees from has told me the queen hasn’t been mated properly


If they knew the queen wasnt up to much then in my mind they shouldnt have given/sold them to you knowing this.
 

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