What caused my colonies to fail?

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

Erichalfbee 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
27,412
Reaction score
8,904
Location
Ceredigion
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
9
If for example I caught two small casts 5 days apart....could I just put them each in a bb and combine using the newspaper method? Would I need to find and kill one of the queens first or would it still work if I couldn’t find a queen?
I’ve always killed one queen. Listening to Murray’s talk for Somerset beekeepers he said he often doesn’t bother and leaves them to it. It’s not what we are taught but this is a guy who runs a phenomenal operation. Maybe we make too much of this idea that both queens will be killed or damaged.
 

Erichalfbee 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
27,412
Reaction score
8,904
Location
Ceredigion
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
9
How about disease though? Shouldn’t swarms of unknown origin be quarantined first? I’m in an EFB area, I wouldn’t want to add a tiny cast swarm to one of my colonies.
If I was in an EFB area I wouldn’t be setting bait hives at all.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

International Beekeeper of Mystery
***
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
30,346
Reaction score
8,634
Location
Glanaman,Carmarthenshire,Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Too many - but not nearly enough
Listening to Murray’s talk for Somerset beekeepers he said he often doesn’t bother and leaves them to it
Done it once or twice and the colonies were fine afterwards, one of them ended up a massive producing colony the following season
Maybe we make too much of this idea that both queens will be killed or damaged.
I think the wisdom out there now is that most of the time the workers stage manage the 'fights' to ensure one queen comes out relatively unscathed.
 

Newbeeneil 

Queen Bee
***
Joined
Jan 1, 2018
Messages
2,899
Reaction score
2,142
Location
Sussex
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
30 plus 19 that I maintain for clients.
I suppose this is personal preference, considering that most casts very often don't last and if it was later in the season even more so to requeen.
I disagree, all my swarms go into my isolation apiary, of the 5 that were in there at the start of winter I have lost 2 late ones that were weak. The other 3 are very busy and have loads of stores. If they are well behaved in the spring I certainly won't be requeening.
I like to give them a chance and see if they have traits I like,
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

International Beekeeper of Mystery
***
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
30,346
Reaction score
8,634
Location
Glanaman,Carmarthenshire,Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Too many - but not nearly enough
If they are well behaved in the spring I certainly won't be requeening.
I like to give them a chance and see if they have traits I like,
:iagree: I'm not one to run around collecting swarms but any that I do collect (or turn up at Brynmair - a regular event) They're given the chance to prove themselves before I decide on the queen's fate,
I still have some queens descended from the first swarm to arrive at Brynmair - they were like lambs, as were their descendants and were great for keeping at the training apiary, they were also prodigious honey producers, I have another from a swarm I rescued from a young lady's bush in Amanford although ever so slightly tetchy (the great grandaughter is much better) another good honey producer and produces the most wonderful white capped frames.
 

Beebe 

Survivor bee
***
Joined
Jan 18, 2021
Messages
1,430
Reaction score
1,346
Location
Scotland
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Owned by six
I disagree, all my swarms go into my isolation apiary, of the 5 that were in there at the start of winter I have lost 2 late ones that were weak. The other 3 are very busy and have loads of stores. If they are well behaved in the spring I certainly won't be requeening.
I like to give them a chance and see if they have traits I like,
Although obviously size and timing of swarming appear to be the major factors, simply by surviving when other colonies have failed, they are showing a trait that I like.
 

Do224 

Field Bee
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
508
Reaction score
229
Location
Cumbria
Hive Type
national
I disagree, all my swarms go into my isolation apiary, of the 5 that were in there at the start of winter I have lost 2 late ones that were weak. The other 3 are very busy and have loads of stores. If they are well behaved in the spring I certainly won't be requeening.
I like to give them a chance and see if they have traits I like,
what do you think caused your weak ones to perish in the end…not enough bees, varroa, starvation? Or a combination…
 

Newbeeneil 

Queen Bee
***
Joined
Jan 1, 2018
Messages
2,899
Reaction score
2,142
Location
Sussex
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
30 plus 19 that I maintain for clients.
what do you think caused your weak ones to perish in the end…not enough bees, varroa, starvation? Or a combination…
To be honest, starvation, I was in hospital during a critical time during feeding for winter and a number of my hives were too light.
 

Arfermo 

Queen Bee
***
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Messages
2,834
Reaction score
420
Location
Midlands
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Enough
I don’t see the need. He’s a beginner. It’s nice to see how they get on. I love catching them and seeing how they grow. They do get requeened in their second year sometimes.
I have a small prime and a cast from the wild bees on the potting shed roof. I’m itching to see how they do this season. The prime queen would be in her third year so I will probably replace her with a queen from Murray
Got a phone number for 'Murray' please as I need at least one NICE Q to replace a swarmed job from 2020 that didn't do much last year..
 

Do224 

Field Bee
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
508
Reaction score
229
Location
Cumbria
Hive Type
national
Did the second vape today. This was the inspection tray showing the drop since Tuesday. Is the debris likely to be all brood cappings or cappings from stores, or is it impossible to tell?

very few varroa from what I can see

8FE76F9F-19E8-4930-A497-D555F32F1D44.jpegE3E245F3-6F32-4EF6-A02E-B68EEC303AE5.jpeg
 

Do224 

Field Bee
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
508
Reaction score
229
Location
Cumbria
Hive Type
national
Brood cappings I can see and bits of fondant
Or crystalized stores and brood cappings
How can you tell they’re brood cappings…colour? Is that a normal amount to see over a couple of days at this time of year? Seems a lot to me but I have no idea…
 

Erichalfbee 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
27,412
Reaction score
8,904
Location
Ceredigion
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
9
How can you tell they’re brood cappings…colour? Is that a normal amount to see over a couple of days at this time of year? Seems a lot to me but I have no idea…
Brood cappings have propolis in them and are brown ish.
Stores cappings are clear so have little colour.
Certainly this time of year you can get one on top of the other as brood and stores are on the same frame.
 

Latest posts

Top