Advice FAST, please

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by bwwertz, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. bwwertz

    bwwertz New Member

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    Yes, unfortunately, everything I do is often at warp speed. Only time I go slowly is when I'm actually working the bees. Another reason why I love them so much. =)
    My hive that made it through the winter (only 1 of 7) I just finished working. All comb is drawn out. I spotted 1 queen cell/swarm cell on the bottom of one of the frames.
    My question: I'd REALLY like honey this year - have a ton of people already asking for it (No, I don't make the honey, the bees do - I tell them) so.....
    Should I make a nuc with the swarm cell?
    Scrape off or leave the swarm cell and add a deep super?
    Scrape off or leave the swarm cell and add a medium/honey super?
    Queen excluder involved/not involved?

    My three other hives are all packages installed 2 1/2 weeks ago. They're doing well and will soon be ready for another addition (deep? medium? queen excluder?)

    Also, is the general rule is to add supers when foundation is 90% drawn or all 10 frames drawn foundation is 90% full?

    My thoughts - more bees = more honey brought in when the flow is on, so add another deep with all drawn comb. But I don't know when the flow is on/will be on. Really would prefer not to make a nuc as I'm setting this hive back and I'd really like some honey. I personally am down to my last small jar of liquid gold and it's in high demand for others as well.
    Thoughts? Iddee, you're close to my neck of the woods. What would you do?

    Thank you!!!!
    Briton

    (I also say FAST help because I've only got part of today and some of tomorrow (if no rain) to do this.)
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    IMHO
    Do not scrape off that cell. If there is only one, it could be that they are trying to supercede or emergency replace your existing queen. Usually with swarm cells you will find them in numbers greater than 5 or 6 and as many as 15 or more. Just because this one cell is located at the bottom of a frame does not mean it is a swarm cell. There is no iron clad rule about queen cell locations.
    As far as your other hives, it all depends on what equipment you want to run. I use two deeps for brood, and super above that for honey. I don't bother with an excluder until I find it necessary.
    I add another box when 8 or 9 frames are drawn, moving a couple frames of drawn stuff up to bait the next box.
     

  3. indypartridge

    indypartridge New Member

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    Pay attention to what Perry said. Couldn't agree more.
     
  4. bwwertz

    bwwertz New Member

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    Ok, thank you super much! =) what are your thoughts on running a deep or medium since it's honey I'm after?
    What kind of frames should I move up? Capped brood? Eggs? With or without queen on it? How many?
    You guys (and gals) are awesome! =) THANK YOU!
     
  5. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    what perry said.....
    i use deeps for brood and mediums for supers, depends on how much lifting you want to do, personally i would recommend using mediums for honey supers. and what perry meant was to take drawn frames from a super already on and to add them to the next super to encourage the bees to draw foundation, or to get them busy on the next box.....
    i also add sooner than 8 or 9 frames, depends on the flow, maybe 5 to 7, and another goes (but i only use 9 frames in a super). good luck!
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Your flow is on. It will continue until the last of June.

    I never purposely destroy a queen cell.
    I would remove the queen and one or two frames of open brood and put in a nuc with three or four drawn or undrawn frames. The main hive will bring in more honey, as they don't have open larva to feed, so more bees become foragers while the cell emerges and mates.

    Then you can choose the queen with the best pattern and combine after the flow, or let the nuc build into another hive.
     
  7. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    I agree 100% with the learned and grey-bearded Perry and the august Iddee :)

    I made the mistake of opening a hive last Fall with two supersedure cells anchored to two adjacent frames. While pulling the frames apart, I disturbed them enough to ruin them. Leave your cell alone and you may not lose much honey production in that hive. Mess with it and you may have a queenless hive. Wait as long as you can stand to look again. Look again in, how long would you say Perry, two weeks, maybe slightly less?

    P.S. Actually, if you have the equipment, Iddee's plan sounds real good too. :)
     
  8. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I was about to answer your question Lee, and I was trying to decide whether or not that was an open cell, or capped? Then I realized that Briton never mentioned either.
    Briton, are you sure it was a queen cell, or just a cup?
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    yep what Perry and Iddee said..
     
  10. bwwertz

    bwwertz New Member

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    Perry, it was an uncapped queen cell with a good sized - soon to be gal - in there.
    Interesting advice from a local beek of many many years....to paraphrase.....
    "Even though it's only one cell, if it's at the bottom, it is a swarm cell. They already in swarm mode. To break this and prevent a swarm, split the hive - checkerboarding existing frames with empty drawn frames. Queen in one split, "swarm cell" in other split. 2-3 days later recombine by adding the second split on top." (Think they said to then scrape queen cell.)
    Thoughts on this?
    I'm very tempted to make a Nuc. Have all the equipment to do so, but as I said - with honey priority #1 (2nd to bees health & vitality of course), should I make Nuc? Add med honey supers next or one more deep for brood? (I use mediums for honey and run 9 instead of ten too.)
     
  11. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Many years doesn't always mean lots of knowledge.
     
  12. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I would follow Iddee's line of thinking then. Make up a nuc and let the parent hive pull in extra honey while they raise another queen.

    "Many years doesn't always mean lots of knowledge"
    I agree, white beards are a clear indicator though. :wink:
     
  13. bwwertz

    bwwertz New Member

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    "P.S": the queen in this hive is only 1yr old and was my calmest hive with a great brood pattern.
     
  14. bwwertz

    bwwertz New Member

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    Iddee, I do agree. Just so interesting (and frustrating) when you get lots of different advice from all very experienced keeps.
    I also hate to destroy a queen cell. They're there for a reason and it's like (to me) someone giving me a brand new hive. I still have a LOT of drawn frames from all my dead outs, so they aren't starting completely from scratch.

    Could I not just make a split?

    Will they swarm if I just put a deep up top - checkerboarding top and bottom?
     
  15. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    You can just make a split, but it cuts your chances of getting honey. You said you wanted to harvest from that hive. The way I explained it, you will be safe whether it is a swarm cell or supercedure, and gives you a BETTER chance of getting a harvest.
     
  16. bwwertz

    bwwertz New Member

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    Well, the weather has prevented me from doing anything today, but after all the input (THANK YOU!) and talking with my Dad, we're going to make a nuc and leave the open (soon to be capped, I'm sure) queen cell in the existing hive with perhaps one frame of eggs. We'll take the nuc with the existing queen to another location where they're providing polination for a small time farmer.
    Keep ya posted! =)
     
  17. bwwertz

    bwwertz New Member

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    Very odd thing I saw today! Followed Iddee's advice and moved my Nuc WITH queen 3 miles away. Went back today, queen still laying, I SAW her, but also saw some cells with multiple eggs.
    WHAT ON EARTH!? Opinions?
     
  18. bwwertz

    bwwertz New Member

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    This queen is only 1 year old by the way.