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Joined
Mar 11, 2021
Messages
1,685
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Location
Glossop, North Derbyshire
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
4 to 12!
One week ago (20th) I had a hive swarm. Due to other pressures this had been neglected a bit (mea culpa). On the 16th there were sealed and unsealed QCs but eggs present & plenty of bees. They were cut back to 1 QC. I wasn't sure whether they had already swarmed & couldn't find the queen.
When they then swarmed on the 20th I wasn't surprised, but was surprised to see them come back (the Q wasn't clipped).
Examining them today there were lots of swarm cells (open & sealed), absolutely rammed with bees, and eggs present, though I didn't see the queen. They are on double brood & 2 supers, though I've added an extra super today.
I can only think that the Q didn't go with the swarm, and has continued laying, and they are having another go. Maybe the QC I left had a problem. The QCs I saw today weren't about to emerge (contained larvae).
As there are eggs present I've removed all the QCs 🤞 To give me time to think & organise (short of kit).
The timeline has me confused!
Any other ideas what's going on & how best to deal with it from here
 
Well .... you've knocked down all the queen cells so there's not much you can do now apart from leave them alone and see what they do next ... look in again in a week and see what they have done ...
 
I was thinking 5 days & then maybe split one way or another. If no EQCs (though sure there will be EQCs or swarm cells) I can add a test frame from my nicest hive. They are rammed with bees so should be able to raise a decent queen.
 
I was thinking 5 days & then maybe split one way or another. If no EQCs (though sure there will be EQCs or swarm cells) I can add a test frame from my nicest hive. They are rammed with bees so should be able to raise a decent queen.
If there are eggs present today they have the means to raise queen cells ...so as you surmise, they probably will ... but, if there is a laying queen still in there and you add a frame of eggs there's no guarantee that they will raise a queen from that frame. If there are still eggs in 5 days then there's likely to be a queen in there somewhere and you may have to find her if there are swarm cells.

I think (and in hindsight and someone else faced with the problem .. nothing worse than asking directions to get somewhere and person you ask says "well I wouldn't have started HERE !") I would have done an A/S today - there's ways to A/S if you can't find the queen. Sorry - not much help that is it ? :)
 
If there are eggs present today they have the means to raise queen cells ...so as you surmise, they probably will ... but, if there is a laying queen still in there and you add a frame of eggs there's no guarantee that they will raise a queen from that frame. If there are still eggs in 5 days then there's likely to be a queen in there somewhere and you may have to find her if there are swarm cells.

I think (and in hindsight and someone else faced with the problem .. nothing worse than asking directions to get somewhere and person you ask says "well I wouldn't have started HERE !") I would have done an A/S today - there's ways to A/S if you can't find the queen. Sorry - not much help that is it ? :)
I did consider splitting them today, I do have a bit of kit left. Very full hive and sealed QCs made me feel they would swarm tomorrow if left (if Q present). I suspect the q+ half would swarm if split and a QC in each.
I could split tomorrow as long as I can put eggs/young larvae in both, but may still swarm.
Considering shaking them all into a box of foundation then QE over, add the brood boxes, another QE, then split the next day. No guarantee Q is present though! 🤔 Could maybe add a frame with eggs.
As you said "I wouldn't start from here!"
 
Don't you just LOVE beekeeping ? - Far better than doing crossword puzzles (unless you like mixing up three puzzles and not looking at the picture of what they are all like when they are done !)
There's always the nihilistic approach - leave them to it and see what happens!
I'm semi-urban though so prefer to minimise swarming (not always successfully!)
 
One week ago (20th) I had a hive swarm. Due to other pressures this had been neglected a bit (mea culpa). On the 16th there were sealed and unsealed QCs but eggs present & plenty of bees. They were cut back to 1 QC. I wasn't sure whether they had already swarmed & couldn't find the queen.
When they then swarmed on the 20th I wasn't surprised, but was surprised to see them come back (the Q wasn't clipped).
Examining them today there were lots of swarm cells (open & sealed), absolutely rammed with bees, and eggs present, though I didn't see the queen. They are on double brood & 2 supers, though I've added an extra super today.
I can only think that the Q didn't go with the swarm, and has continued laying, and they are having another go. Maybe the QC I left had a problem. The QCs I saw today weren't about to emerge (contained larvae).
As there are eggs present I've removed all the QCs 🤞 To give me time to think & organise (short of kit).
The timeline has me confused!
Any other ideas what's going on & how best to deal with it from here
What did the brood look like generally? Is there any recently capped and about to be capped brood for instance?
Did you get a photo by any chance?:unsure:
 
One week ago (20th) I had a hive swarm. Due to other pressures this had been neglected a bit (mea culpa). On the 16th there were sealed and unsealed QCs but eggs present & plenty of bees. They were cut back to 1 QC. I wasn't sure whether they had already swarmed & couldn't find the queen.
When they then swarmed on the 20th I wasn't surprised, but was surprised to see them come back (the Q wasn't clipped).
Examining them today there were lots of swarm cells (open & sealed), absolutely rammed with bees, and eggs present, though I didn't see the queen. They are on double brood & 2 supers, though I've added an extra super today.
I can only think that the Q didn't go with the swarm, and has continued laying, and they are having another go. Maybe the QC I left had a problem. The QCs I saw today weren't about to emerge (contained larvae).
As there are eggs present I've removed all the QCs 🤞 To give me time to think & organise (short of kit).
The timeline has me confused!
Any other ideas what's going on & how best to deal with it from here
Possible timeline:
1. Original queen left with swarm on the 13th (you missed seeing it).
2.Cast swarm took off on the 20th (that's the one you witnessed). There was some issue with the virgin in that swarm. Possibly killed.
3. With no queen in the colony and in the absence of open brood, the existing colony's laying workers developed quickly. Those are the eggs and larvae you are seeing now.
4. Current queen cells have been made from laying worker's eggs.
 
Update.
I examined this hive today, found the marked QC ripe & about to emerge plus 3 other sealed QCs on the bottom of frames, but could possibly be EQCs (younger though).
I had a swarm yesterday which could have been from this colony (now in a hive).
I freed the about to emerge virgin & then destroyed the other QCs (larval stage).
I'm still not sure what has gone on here but it seems sorted!
 

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