Every now and then

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by PerryBee, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    You run across something that just doesn't feel right.
    I was inspecting the hives in one of my yards and something struck me as odd.
    I removed my honey supers and tilted back the upper deep to check for any sign of swarm cells. I spotted a few that had been started, very early stages, but they were loaded.
    OK then, I start hunting for the queen and the first thing that catches my eye is that there is very little open brood, and even fewer young larvae and eggs.
    Now normally when I find a situation like this I still see eggs, right up to the day the old girl leaves, which is just before or around the time they cap the queen cells. I was figuring she must have flown the coop early, but suddenly there she was, normal size and all, but real runny, almost like virgins run around.
    I was kinds stumped (hot too) and maybe wasn't thinking clearly, but my guess was maybe she was a replacement queen I must have missed on an earlier inspection? Going against one of my rules, I removed the beginner cells, thinking, well, I'm not sure what I was thinking. Just a gut reaction I guess.
    Oh, and another thing. I was going through another hive yesterday and found a queen on frame 3, and then another one on frame 10. I wondered how she could have moved that fast, and she seemed to look different than what I had just seen, so I went back, and do you think I could find the first one again?
    And another thing, I went through a 5 frame nuc 3 times trying to find the queen that was laying eggs, and could not find her. It was after this that I figured I had enough of the heat and called it a day.
    Some days things go easy, and some days it just seems like a fight all day.
     
  2. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    Perry, an old adage from graduate school comes to mind.... "The more I learn, the more I know I don't know". We have some basic things about bees down pretty well, but there is still a lot we don't know. Finding and handling queens is the most stressful thing in beekeeping for me. Maybe one of your queens was on 'walkabout'. ;)
     

  3. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    I know the feeling Perry, with the mid 90'sF (humidity 70's) weather that we are having. When working outyards and robbing bees,sweating through every stitch of clothes you have on, plus the bill of your cap dripping with sweat, makes it hard to think straight:???: I can only work two hives before i have to go to the truck and turn on the air:roll:.Been making up nucs to go through winter with, (5 so far 15 to go) taking 3 frames of brood with bees from strong hives that i've robbed, plus a frame of honey and pollen to make 5 frame nucs.Setting on the tailgate in the shade, looking each brood frame over so i don't take there queen home with me, with sweat running in my eyes gives the chance of that not happening is probably around 50%.:lol: Jack
     
  4. Dunkel

    Dunkel New Member

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    I too have have a couple of queens in the same hive. I chaulked it up to daughter queens and expected a supercedure, but I never really followed up on it. I was just happy they had one, :smile:. They may have had trouble slimming down the old girl in the one hive, common among humans also:lol: When she does look out, often a few mating flights precede swarming.
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I suspect multiple queens in a hive is much more common than some folks might think. For myself... once I have located one queen I pretty much quit looking for another.