Damaged an unexpected Queen Cell

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Crofter, May 14, 2013.

  1. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    Took a quick peek into the hives to see how much drone brood was capped or hatched and discovered a half drawn out queen cell with a very large and well fed larvae. I damaged a bit of the rim with an inward dent. The walls are only drawn so that she almost fills it as it is drawn.

    I had not noticed any fresh eggs but could be covered by bees; worker larvae about three days old and lots of nicely capped worker cells. I may have done in the old queen when inspecting last week or perhaps they are superceding her. That hive was unusually testy but I thought just the weather being a bit cool so I buttoned it back up quick and didnt look any further for a queen. There is purple eyed drone brood in cells between frames so they would barely barely be old enough to breed that queen if she survives to hatch: May have to lend them a frame of eggs from one of the other hives in a week or so.

    I was just complaining about being bored waiting for things to bloom; now I have a situation to deal with.
     
  2. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    If you give them a frame wioth some eggs on it in a week, you will be covering your bases nicely in case you did kill off both queens.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    or just give it some time and see if they will create some more queen cells.
     
  4. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I guess as long as I dont let them get into laying workers there is not much rush. Grabbing another frame with eggs would be no problem but the drone situation might be still iffy. I guess having fresh open brood is supposed to reduce workers laying too; might be good from that aspect. The brood would not be wasted anyhow. I have replacement queens coming first week of May and planning on splitting and requeening the older queens with ones I make later in the season. The boxes may be pretty full by the time I get the replacement queen though. Would it help to put on the third deep or honey supers?

    Tomorrow I am going to carefully have a look at that queen cell to see if they patched it and continued to cap it or emptied it out. I did not go any further into the bottom deep to see if there were more queen cells but did not think it was swarm prep with no drones yet.
     
  5. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    If I had a dollar for every queen cell I've accidentally smashed this year, I'd make more than I will on honey, that's for sure... UGH!
     
  6. Dunkel

    Dunkel New Member

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    Yep, Been trying to get one hive lined out from a laying worker all spring. Shook out, added open brood twice and finally found a queen cell and messed it up putting in an adjacent frame. Emotions took a wild ride. They tore it down and will be getting a queen friday. Oh well, having better luck with a few others. Forget the screw ups,( treat like a mob hit, it never happened) and focus on the positives.
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I do like Dunkel's attitude. Actually at this point I tend to consider both the positive and negative aspects of any situation in the bee yard... Dunkel is of course correct in that too often we dwell on the negative and totally ignore the positive aspect of a situation.

    for example.. a hive dies of something unusual that you have read about but never seen personally... now not only do have experience to go along with what you have read but the disease eliminated one hive that you could have spent hours and hours (plus lots of syrup, medication and fuel) fiddling with trying to keep it going.
     
  8. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Make sure they have some fresh eggs so they can make a new QC if they have no queen and no young larvae or eggs.
     
  9. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I followed Omies advice and put in a frame with eggs and every age larvae. I thought I could see a few eggs and the damage cell was gone. There appears to be another cell started but might be drone as well. Kind of a 45 degree angle on it at this point but fed larvae in it. We will see what they think of that. After I got back inside I thought about having perhaps scraped down the cells a la mad splitter Mel but they will know what to do (or not do)
     
  10. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I think now that yhou gave them some new eggs you should leave everything alone for about 8 or 9 days. Be careful if you go in that you dont damage any new QCs! ;)
     
  11. Dunkel

    Dunkel New Member

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    That's what I'd have done. But I sometimes ain't right in the head.:wink: Hey if they were ready to make one they are ready for one, the brood should keep the laying workers in check.

    Buddy that started with me was OCD and wanted to get rid of one hive that didn't get it's second deep like the others. Looking back he was probably right but thats besides the point. They drove him crazy, bad dreams and no sleep, he still helps me out pulling honey but has to stay out of it. Can't let an insect get the best of you! Even if you everything right, they don't play by the rules. And when its our fault, which is the worst, realize no ones perfect. Roll on and good luck.

    BTW Don't try to direct release a queen using a screwdriver and prying out the staple while hot with gloves on. Out of 5 bees you will slip and hit the queen every time. Wife will take the children away for the day while you sit and stare at the discovery channel and drool.:???:
     
  12. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    "BTW Don't try to direct release a queen using a screwdriver and prying out the staple while hot with gloves on. Out of 5 bees you will slip and hit the queen every time. Wife will take the children away for the day while you sit and stare at the discovery channel and drool.:???:"

    ........:lol:
     
  13. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I just came close to blowing tomatoe juice on the computer screen! OK Omie I will stay out of there for a while. There is lots of pollen and nectar traffic and they seem happy. Dandelions are in full bloom.
     
  14. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I carefully went in after 4 days using a flashlight to peer between frames either side of the planted frame with eggs and brood. No sign of started cells. Put in another frame and closed them up. Today, 5 days later again inspected and same story; not started queen cells so I took another frame from a different hive and notched down the bottom of cells with the youngest of larvae next to the eggs. I notched two spots on each side of the frame. There have been no other eggs aside from the ones I put in.

    They dont seem to think they need a queen! If there is a virgin queen in there I dont think there were any drones available to mate with but in any case I should soon start to see some developments one way or the other. Does an unmated queen make good breeding drones?

    How long would you think it should take for them to start obvious work of drawing queen cells after giving them notched cells with larvae (if they were indeed queenless)?
     
  15. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I had a look today to see what the bees did with the larvae cells I notched down; I would have liked to wait another day but tomorrow forecast not good. In any case I could not have been more surprised. Not a sign of queen cell construction and the patches I tore down to the plastic foundation have all been redrawn around the larvae and eggs like I had never touched it. There are a few eggs not hatched but could be the donors. No sign of worker laying at least.

    I think I am still within the timeframe for their own emergency queen to be in the making if they had some other cells besides the original I damaged. It sure seems a long time waiting and not knowing for sure. Even if I had another queen it would likely be risky to try to requeen; combining with one of the queenright hives would likely get that hives queen killed and I dont put much faith in the potential value of the emergency queen because of the shortage of drones and good weather for mating. Frustrating! I am glad I dont need this to pay rent or groceries:lol:
     
  16. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    They are acting like they have a new queen already. She may not have had enough time yet to produce larvae you can easily see.
     
  17. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    Thanks, Omie;

    If she is in there she sure is "hiding her candle under a can". It looks like rain for the next four or five days so I shouldnt be tempted to bother them. Yesterday is the last eggs I put in so the next eggs I see in there should be hers; obviously they have not been impressed by the queen making kits I gave them so they must have something else up their little sleeves!
     
  18. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    I agree with Omie about the queen in your colony. Since a queen can fly further than a drone, and there is some instinct reported about avoiding a mating with drones too closely related with the queen, it is more important how many drones are out there from other colonies. Early this Spring, when there were very few drones in my hives, I noticed quite a few drones in the feral take outs I was doing. Do you have feral bees in your area? If yes, there should be drones available. :)
     
  19. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    Lburou; that is a major part of my reservations. As far as I know there are absolutely no ferals here and at least three miles to one other hive that may or may not have survived the winter. They must think they have some kind of a queen so I dont think I have much choice but to wait and see.
     
  20. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    Well there was good news from todays inspection; eggs and some young brood and the bees were calm. They had their own queen in the works I guess, so my donor frames would not have been needed. It did help to keep the numbers up though and perhaps took a bit of swarming pressure off the other hives.