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Urgent, need some advice on queen cells...

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jezd 

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Ok, the short version on the history of this hive is that we had a swarm move into a stack of old supers (7!) full with old frames and it seemed to be a large swarm too. Ok perfect but a bit of a shame they landed in supers. I gradually shock the bees down to 3 supers and added a brood box on the bottom with a qx above it. Finally I shoock all the bees and queen (I hoped) down into the brood box but it seems I was wrong or worse still she has/had died.

What I now have is a brood box with no bees in (they never touch it), then above a QX and three supers with old comb and a number of sealed queen cells on them - about 5-6 in today. I cant find the queen to perform an AS so what do I do? are these cells supercedure? are they emergency? or is it in full swarm mode? - remember this was a swarm itself just 3 weeks ago.

Plenty of capped brood as you see in the pictures (worked and drone), but I didnt see any open larva or eggs mind.

Do I need to act now?? today? do what ? :)

My thoughts are that these are supercedure or emergency cells.........

Cheers, Jez
 
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Mission 

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It looks as though the swarm has immediately swarmed anyway. It does happen sometimes. So pull out all the cells leaving just 1.

If it was me, I would take 2 of the supers and stack them on a floor and use them as a temporary brood chamber, with your crown / clearer board on top. Leave the QX right out of the way for now, you really dont need it. All it will do is complicate things.

If you have other supers with bees on, then stack them over the crown board (making sure you have bee escapes in place). After 24 hours they will have made their way down into the main chamber anyway and will be clear of the supers. Remove the spare supers at that point.

Wait until the new queen is laying and then put a full size brood chamber on top, leaving the supers on the bottom for about 3 weeks. The bees will then make their way up into it. When you see eggs and larvae in the top brood chamber, rotate the boxes so the full size brood chamber ends up below and the supers are on top. Hopefully the queen will have been in the full size brood box and will now be in the bottom. Ideally you will find her!

Now, and only now, should you replace the queen excluder. Any brood hatching will quickly be replaced by stored honey. Any drones hatching will fly out of the top when you inspect.

If you have apideas handy - you could put the removed capped cells into them with some nurse bees. May buy you some insurance against your queen failing.
 

jezd 

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Hi thanks, update!! I think I found her, see two pics below - what do you think, I am sure it is her - I marked her as she was walking about (poor attempt I know).

I now have below :-

Roof
Cover Board
Super - with queen (see pics)
QX
Super - with capped cells
Super - with capped cells
QX
Brood Box
OMF

Sorry to hassle, I am assuming I can do some form of AS now? maybe split the none swarm into (super) 2 nucs?

I am keen to grow my hive count if anyone has a plan that I can use.

Cheers

Jez
 
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sputnam 

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Put the queen in your brood box on the original site, QE then supers on top.
Put all the supers that contain brood, with 1 or 2 QC's (grub out the rest) to one side a few meters away.
Flying bees should return to old site & form your AS.

Once your new queen has emerged & is laying, you can then move her down below a QE into a brood box.

Many other ways of doing an AS, but if you can find the queen, the above is the easiest way.

Might be worth putting a QE under your AS to stop absconding.
Might also be worth putting a frame of uncapped brood in the AS & removing when capped, thus getting rid of most tof the varroa at the same time.

Stephen.
 

Mission 

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Roof
Cover Board
Super - with queen (see pics)
QX
Super - with capped cells
Super - with capped cells
QX
OMF

Thats far too complicated, and has too many queen excluders in use. It's really not necessary.

This is all I would do for now, and I would leave it this way for at least 3 or 4 weeks, until you see brood in the full size brood chamber.

Roof
Cover Board
Full Size Brood Chamber
Super - Remove all capped cells
Super - with queen (see pics)
OMF

Then when your queen is laying in the full size brood chamber swap it to this standard configuration.

Roof
Cover Board
Super
Super
QX
Full Size Brood Chamber
OMF

If your wanting to hatch another queen and start a new hive then do the following. Take your other super with the queen cells. Remove all but one cell otherwise they will cast swarm. Put them on a floor, give them a crown board and roof and then leave them alone for 3 weeks. Once they new queen is laying set it up as before with a full size brood chamber above the super. As soon as the queen is laying in the top full size brood. Reverse again and put your QX between super and brood chamber.

There is absolutely no need to add a QX to the bottom of the hive over the entrance. If they bees are given 2 or 3 weeks undisturbed then they will not abscond.
 

jezd 

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Put the queen in your brood box on the original site, QE then supers on top.
Put all the supers that contain brood, with 1 or 2 QC's (grub out the rest) to one side a few meters away.
Flying bees should return to old site & form your AS.

Once your new queen has emerged & is laying, you can then move her down below a QE into a brood box.

Many other ways of doing an AS, but if you can find the queen, the above is the easiest way.

Might be worth putting a QE under your AS to stop absconding.
Might also be worth putting a frame of uncapped brood in the AS & removing when capped, thus getting rid of most tof the varroa at the same time.

Stephen.
thanks, do you agree that she looks like the queen? she was a little on the small side but was not marked until I slapped the white mess on her (she is ok before anyone shouts at me).

Jez
 

jezd 

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Roof
Cover Board
Super - with queen (see pics)
QX
Super - with capped cells
Super - with capped cells
QX
OMF

Thats far too complicated, and has too many queen excluders in use. It's really not necessary.

This is all I would do for now, and I would leave it this way for at least 3 or 4 weeks, until you see brood in the full size brood chamber.

Roof
Cover Board
Full Size Brood Chamber
Super - Remove all capped cells
Super - with queen (see pics)
OMF

Then when your queen is laying in the full size brood chamber swap it to this standard configuration.

Roof
Cover Board
Super
Super
QX

Full Size Brood Chamber
OMF

If your wanting to hatch another queen and start a new hive then do the following. Take your other super with the queen cells. Remove all but one cell otherwise they will cast swarm. Put them on a floor, give them a crown board and roof and then leave them alone for 3 weeks. Once they new queen is laying set it up as before with a full size brood chamber above the super. As soon as the queen is laying in the top full size brood. Reverse again and put your QX between super and brood chamber.

There is absolutely no need to add a QX to the bottom of the hive over the entrance. If they bees are given 2 or 3 weeks undisturbed then they will not abscond.

thanks again !

I got it slightly wrong as it currently is

Roof
Cover Board
Super - with queen (see pics)
QX
Super - with capped cells
Super - with capped cells
QX
Brood Box - foundation only
OMF

The reason for the QX setup was to just hold things while I sort of the plan to perform in the morning.

Jez
 

Mission 

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Well it look as though you have found the queen anyway, so that makes your job much easier.

The objective has to be to get the brood and the queen into a full size brood chamber and out of the supers. The way I have described will do this for you. The bees will work up into the brood chamber and the queen will follow. When she does you can rotate the boxes and your back in a standard configuration, without the loss of valuable brood rearing time.

Fresh foundation and as little disturbance as is possible will help in your battle to stop them absconding. I can see your reasoning about having a QX at the entrance but I don't think you will have a problem if you leave them be for a couple of weeks to get settled.

Good luck with everything.

Jay.
 

jezd 

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Thanks for the help Jay, in the end I did an AS with the existing queen and flying bees, I then split the left over queen cells to three supers/Nuc (remember these are on supers) and will see if queens emerge ok - I will remove QX's this weekend once I know what state of play things are in. Worst case I can always reunited the bees if some of the queen cells fail. I suspect these are supercedure cells now and not swarm ones, but time will tell how this one ends :)

Jez
 

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Too much explanation. cannot read.

To me it they seems emergency queen cells. Not swarm cells.

But if swarm has gone and you break swarm cells they do emergency.
 

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