Delay on queens

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by crazy8days, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    I found out yesterday due to weather in the east that my mated queens will be about 3 weeks later than anticipated. I'm concerned that the hive I've been feeding MegaBee and light syrup to build numbers will possibly swarm before I can get them split with a new queen. What should I do?
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Keep a close eye on them. If they start to make any swarm preps in the meantime, then grab the queen and do a natural split. Use your queens to make a couple nucs from there.
    (You don't have enough hives anyways) :rolling:
     

  3. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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    yep, that's what my game plan is at the moment. I'm going to keep a close watch on my two hives. I'm hoping to get closer to a flow, then I'll pull the queen and a few frames for a split leaving the original hive queenless.
    While they are making their new queen the nurse bees should start foraging when they have no more eggs to tend. Lots of foragers during a flow = :thumbsup:.
    As the new queen emerges and mates, the original hive will now have their hive in order. If the new queen doesn't work out, I can always put the original queen back in.
    That's my plan and I'm sticking to it...maybe :lol:
     
  4. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Do you have more than one hive? can not remember. If so move brood to make the hives equal in strength, not good to have the strong hive swarmed when the bees from that hive could have been put to work in a weaker hive and keeping the strong hive from swarming. You can pull frames of uncapped brood and put 4 or 5 frames in a super and replace the frames with empty drawn comb so the queen has space to lay. Place the frames of open brood on top expanding the colony to 3 supers.
     
  5. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    My plan was to split the one hive. Requeen. The other queen replace one from a package to get a different breed of bees. Maybe I should use the 2 bought queens to replace the package queens and spilt my hive when flow hits. My main concern they wi swarm. They are already close to 7 frames full
     
  6. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    If you fear them swarming before your new queen arrives, just make a split by taking the old queen out to a nuc or to one deep. By removing the queen, the main hive will not swarm. If you leave the old queen in and only remove some brood & bees, and give them more frames and room, they may still swarm if they already have it in mind to do so.

    After removing the current queen, the main hive will immediately begin making queen cells, which you can remove once your new mailorder queen arrives if you prefer to have the new queen genetics.
    By taking out the queen now, and putting her aside in a nuc or spare box with a few frames of bees and food and brood, you can keep her, avoid a swarm altogether, and later you can either recombine that nuc with another colony (deciding which queens to keep), or simply let it continue to grow into another hive.
     
  7. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    If they are only 7 frames of brood now make sure they have the 2nd brood super so the colony has room to expand.I would not be in any hurry to split until the hive is at 14 frames of brood.
     
  8. tefer2

    tefer2 New Member

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    You must have got a note from Tims blog also. Think it will be longer than 3 weeks.
     
  9. 2Tall

    2Tall New Member

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    If they fill the box add another and move some frames , they will then work on the new space. You never know but with the weather we have had still early to swarm unless they get too crowded. When they begin to backfill is when you have trouble, I have some drones here and some capped also but have not seen they fly yet . can split and let them make one if your queens are delayed more than 3 weeks .
     
  10. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    crazy,
    your bees are on a calendar, if you will, where you are is much different than anyone else. some timing and observation can figure into what you can do, if anything, you can decide what to do if your queens are not arriving on schedule. some suggestions for you. assuming you have them in 2 deeps? 2tall had a great suggestion about adding space.

    congestion-
    don't let them get congested, remove the e/r. add space. a super of foundation or a drawn super. (or a 3rd deep :grin:) you can feed the bees syrup on undrawn foundation for supers, once it's drawn, remove the feed. this is a great time to get foundation drawn, before a flow and 'employs' bees. you want busy bees, no idle bees. don't use a queen excluder. if the bees are backfilling the brood nest, stop feeding and rearrange the frames to open it up for the queen to lay.

    ventilation-
    top and bottom.

    if you start to see signs of swarm prep, then choose some of the great options others have mentioned here until your queens are received. signs are brood/hive explosion, (rapid buildup and increase of hive population which will create congestion, (hive packed full of bees). backfilling of the brood nest with no space to lay, queen cups or cells being constructed at the bottom edges of the frames and some with larvae present. near swarm; loafing foragers, not much flying activity or anything coming in the front door. they will congregate at the hive entrance. (this will happen prior to casting a swarm but weather and congestion can also leave foragers hanging out on the entrance and hive body.) queen cells that are capped off. if you happen to see bees chasing the queen around on the frames, and she is not so plump or as plump as you remembered.....another amazing behavior to me, bees in a unison 'wave' and a high hum, throughout the hive just before the swarm. (best way i can describe it). oops!

    there are other factors that speed swarming; queen age, condition of comb, mites, pest diseases, weather, genetics of your bees. anyone jump in here if i missed something?

    i have been in your shoes, many times, waiting on queens because of weather delay or other, and by adding extra space and what i said about congestion, typically get's me by until the queen's arrive and i also get some needed drawn comb. perry, dave and i were talking about this earlier today. good luck, look forward to an update.

    ps, don't stress...:grin:
     
  11. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    first thing I would do is slow down on the feeding and then make certain there are no impediment in the primary brood nest horizontally. frames with foundation either above or towards the outside of the bottom box will also slow a hive's expansion.

    congestion is quite often a key element of swarming... upper entrance or imirie (sp?) shims will encouage the field bees to come and go from the top and thereby reduce congestion in the primary brood nest.
     
  12. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    Boy! The vast knowledge coming from you veteran keeps is amazing! Right now I think I'm in good shape. There are 2 brood boxes. All foundation is drawn. The pollen patties are almost gone. That's all there getting. The light syrup is getting suck down pretty quick. 1/2 gal. In 3 days. I still have a mouse guard in. Screen bottom board and hive top entrance. They use that more. I'm liking the idea of getting foundation drawn out. So adding another deep with undrawn foundation isn't going to hurt anything just gives them something to do an will give them more space. Any issues with moth or hive beetles if they spread out too much in the 3 deeps?
     
  13. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    Keith, Keep in mind I am following Walts explanation for the activities of the spring colony with all of this.

    1. bees build up brood until the hive is what they consider full.
    2. They then fill the hive back up with nectar until they consider it full of nectar.
    3. they then swarm.

    The consistent factor in that is space. and the since things are full. prevent full from happening in either direction delays swarming.

    I read your second post about how you intend to proceed. Wanting to get closer to the flow before splitting. I am not saying this will not work I am just lookiing at the bees and the explained behavior of the bees.

    You woudl be splitting after the bees are finished building up population. after they have filled the hive back in. making a false swarm after they no longer intended to swarm. and they are switching to foraging mode. In short the timing is all off. They will have room to pack in honey but not the work force to fill it. and they will not produce that work force even if they have the room. Not a given fact just the general direction of the bees activities are not optimal to a split close to the flow. the bees activities are not geared toward building the colony back up.

    Right now in my area I think I am in the last round of colony build up. If I wanted to split my hives now would be the optimum time to do it and still be as close to the flow as possible it is apple blossom time here this week.

    Depending on exactly where you are in the process of sprig build up and hive filling. I would encourage your bees to continue at whatever they are doing but not let them complete it. so if they are back filing the hive. keep giving them space to back fill. once your queens arrive set up nucs for them until post flow. let their hive do it's damage with making honey. being careful that they do not swarm due to crowding. s they finish making their honey. split the hive to reduce crowding adding the nucs with the new queens to the splits. instant full size hive with a mated producing queen.

    If you have late flow you can let the bees make up winter stores from it or you will sacrifice all your honey production to feed the bees through the winter.

    Okay that is my first year beekeeper take on it. but I will add. I have spent massive hours this winter outright studying this spring build up thing. Ans so far this spring my results indicate I am all over this spring build up game. I found at least one method and it is proving reliable so far. I have disagreement in the details but so far the overall effect is just as described.

    The basic idea is never let the bees complete the work they are focused on at this time. wether it is building up brood or back filling. do not let them complete it. because the next order of business for a while anyway is to swarm. If they do not accomplish that they will eventually abandon the idea and just start making honey. as they near the end of that honey making (Hive is nearly full) split them.
     
  14. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    "There are 2 brood boxes. All foundation is drawn. The pollen patties are almost gone. That's all there getting. The light syrup is getting suck down pretty quick. 1/2 gal. In 3 days. I still have a mouse guard in. Screen bottom board and hive top entrance. They use that more. I'm liking the idea of getting foundation drawn out. So adding another deep with undrawn foundation isn't going to hurt anything just gives them something to do an will give them more space. Any issues with moth or hive beetles if they spread out too much in the 3 deeps?"

    crazy what i would do if i were you, is to add a super of foundation or a super of drawn comb, not to discourage you from adding or them drawing foundation on a 3rd deep, utilize your divides or packages to draw a deep. you will be ahead, giving your hive space, relieving congestion, keeping the bees busy, have a drawn super, and a head start on a honey crop.