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Bee dilema
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alison
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Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 12908
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 08 9:17 pm    Post subject: Bee dilema  Reply with quote    

Here is the senario.

7-8 weeks ago I noticed the hive no longer had sealed brood, but I did spot the queen and marked her.
We have had sealed brood all winter.
Assuming it was a new virgin queen I waitied the week to be able to fly, then the 3 weeks for mating flights.
I then waited another fortnight, as I was advised to, at the apairy, as whe may just be slow.
Today I checked again.
There are still loads of bees, they are ok aggression wise, not too aggressive.
There is plenty of food, and flying bees
Q is still marked and found.

What should I do.
I think the bees will be too old to be nurse bees, if I buy a new Q, and won't look after the brood.

Any suggestions.

Jamanda
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Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 34919
Location: Devon
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 08 9:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Bee dilema Reply with quote    

alison wrote:
Here is the senario.

7-8 weeks ago I noticed the hive no longer had sealed brood, but I did spot the queen and marked her.
We have had sealed brood all winter.
Assuming it was a new virgin queen I waitied the week to be able to fly, then the 3 weeks for mating flights.
I then waited another fortnight, as I was advised to, at the apairy, as whe may just be slow.
Today I checked again.
There are still loads of bees, they are ok aggression wise, not too aggressive.
There is plenty of food, and flying bees
Q is still marked and found.

What should I do.
I think the bees will be too old to be nurse bees, if I buy a new Q, and won't look after the brood.

Any suggestions.


There's an open day at the apiary on Sunday afternoon, if you fancy going and asking them lot.

alison
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Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 12908
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 08 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have asked them, and as you know where 3 beekeepers are joined together, three opinions will be forth coming!

Jamanda
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Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 34919
Location: Devon
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 08 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

alison wrote:
I have asked them, and as you know where 3 beekeepers are joined together, three opinions will be forth coming!


Ah What were the options?

alison
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 12908
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 08 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I will say, but I am looking for lots of suggestions first

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 08 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If you have another hive I would move the non laying queen to a nuc with 3 frames of bees & introduce a frame of eggs from a queen right colony to the now queenless colony.
If the queen in the nuc hasn't started laying by the time queen cells are raised from the eggs cull the queen & a couple of days later cut out a queen cell or two & introduce them to the nuc.
This way you have a nuc & the original colony both raising queens so chances of mating success are doubled.
Alternatively you could just cull the queen & unite the colony with a queenright colony using the newspaper method increasing the foraging force for what's left of the season.
Swarming season has all but passed so as long as they have plenty of room I doubt the increased colony size will induce swarming.


alison
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Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 12908
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 08 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

This was my only hive, due to doubling up last autumn, after the failure of a colony to raise a Q 3 times.

I was intending to have 3 hives by the end of the season, so I could go through the winter with more stength and then expand and produce more honey next year.

alison
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Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 12908
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 08 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Not sure swarming has completely passed, we have had a couple at the apairy in the last week or so.

joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7095
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 08 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I would go with Tavascacrow - You are in almost the same position as I am except I have a laying worker rather than a poor Queen

You could always buy a queen in but they are rather scarce this year - I'm going to check my bee's in about an hour hoping its not raining and see if they are drawing Queen cells out of the frame of brood and eggs I gave them on Tuesday so I can go to the Bee meeting this afternoon knowing whether I need to buy in a Queen as we have a couple of folk who do raise Queens on a regular basis

Bees can revert to brood feeders if necessary apparantly

If thats not possible - I'd reunite back down

alison
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Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 12908
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 08 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I haven't got another hive though, this is the only one.

I have no frames of brood at all, and nothing to merge with.

joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7095
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 08 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ahh sorry - I miss understood - Erm well in that case you need to buy a queen in PDQ or ask at the apiary if you could have a frame of eggs from someone and possibly some nurse bee's - actually if you are doing that you need to get bee's from atleast 2 different colonies - that way they won't know who to fight and things settle down alot faster

Then mix all 3 colonies together in a nuc and hopefully get the Queen raised and laying - then cull the other Queen and unite the nuc with the failing colony

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 08 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

alison wrote:
This was my only hive, due to doubling up last autumn, after the failure of a colony to raise a Q 3 times.

I put that down to lack of feral colonies in the locality & possibly drones in the apiary being weakened with varroa.
Even if mite levels are acceptable their preference for drone cells means their population will be concentrated on the males.
When I started beekeeping pre varroa it was rare to find unmated queens, only happened when the weather was particularly wet or cold now it seems to be a common problem.
Hope you find a laying queen somewhere & get things right again.

alison
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 12908
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 08 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Weather was my problem last year. Each time I re queened we then had a month of rain, with no let up.

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35907
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 08 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Can you negotiate with someone local for a few frames of brood and nurse-bees from a healthy hive?

lottie



Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 5059
Location: ceredigion
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 08 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Have you tried for a queen?---I got one a couple of years ago around this time as I had a queen that hatched and disappeared---got it from Mike Roberts at easy bee and that is now my most productive hive by far. She was 20 if I remember right.
P.S. The swarming season might be over further south but not here---the colonies build up later.

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