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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Checked on all the bees today. My Dad's hive was moved the other night to a watermelon patch (no watermelons planted yet). It's less than .1 miles away, but as strong as his hive is, I hoped the foragers we'd lose to my hive in the old spot would benefit them and not "cost" Dad's a lot. It seems to be true. The queen is laying lots of eggs and the bees are drawing out a total of 5 frames in the upper deep at a VERY rapid rate. I was also feeding them 1:1 syrup to "entice" the wax/comb building and they have drained it dry in 2 days!!!!! It was a gallon and a half of syrup. Thinking I'll pull the feeder off after they finish off the rest of the syrup I put in today even though the frames are all the way drawn yet. Everything is blooming around here like crazy. Thoughts on feeding? Anyway, that hive looks fantastic. Reading a post from another member - not sure if we'll move Dad's hive 5 miles away until the watermelons start blooming or take the risk of leaving them there and the new foragers will start to pollinate melons rather than revisiting proven sources. Thoughts?
About 2 weeks ago I took five frames of all stages of brood and two frames of honey (capped & uncapped) and put them in a brand new nuc. Boy, was I excited to finally have a nuc box! We moved it 5 miles away to a friend's house and today was the first day I had been in the hive since. I was worried since we moved them during the day (I thought the benefit from day moving was worth the risk - I also like to experiment a little) that we wouldn't have that many foragers. I saw some foragers coming in with pollen and the frames had plenty of bees all over them and one BEAUTIFUL queen cell. =) She should be emerging soon since the nuc was made up 10 days ago. I'm so excited! If only I could watch her "hatch!" I do have an observation hive on loan - would that be a death wish for my queen if I put that frame in the hive and kept it in my house? Also, there's a lot of drone brood in the nuc that hasn't hatched yet....should I be worried if the queen hatches and there are no visible drones in my hive? I remember another member telling me once that drones would come from all around to mate with the queen when she takes her flight, and I'm really looking forward to introducing some new "genes" to the next generation of bees, but still nervous about the lack of drones in the nuc. And without seeing or knowing the surrounding drone population - I tend to have trouble "trusting" what I can't see or prove (personality quirk). =(
I also worked my hive which is still at home (where my Dad's and nuc were moved from). NOW they're DEFINITELY acting queenless. Perhaps it took the foragers from my Dad's hive that didn't reorient to the new location to make them realize either it was a queen that "hatched" late and never mated or the other things you all suggested. Whatever the case - they finally realized something was missing and are VERY agressive. I even thought of efmesch's post about the "tune" of a queenless hive. I heard it today when I walked up. =) I saw quite a few queen cells upon inspection - tried to scrape all but one really nice one (they were not fully closed and/or partially squished). I have not bothered to work the lower deep of this hive due to the girls' aggressiveness, but I'm sure it's still as it was - mostly empty with some pollen/honey. I'm hoping on the next warm and sunny day when I have a few hours I can put in the screened bottom board with the "mite board." Should I reduce this hive down to one deep until the queen gets up and laying? I've got a lot of bees up top - not sure how many in the bottom. I want them to become stronger and thus reducing the shb & mite threat, but I don't want to reduce them and not "check" them fast enough and they swarm after the queen mates. Would love some input from the experts! =)
Happy Spring, beeks! =)
 

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"" I saw quite a few queen cells upon inspection - tried to scrape all but one really nice one (they were not fully closed and/or partially squished).""

WHY?, WHY?, and WHY?

Do you really know which cells are best? What if the queen gets eaten by a bird on her mating flight. What if she dies just before emerging? What if she is born deformed. That's why they make more than one cell. They don't know if just one will make it.
 

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Never fails, every year new keeps KILL their hive and wonder what happened.
 

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When I first started I remember being advised by someone that to help "prevent" swarming, destroy any queen cells you find. It wasn't until later on that I realized (combination of experience and lots of reading, etc.) that once bees begin swarm preparation it's pretty much a done deal.
Folks starting out will make mistakes (I still do), and the hard ones are the ones we tend to remember best. I would not be too harsh with a inexperienced keep's error, there is so much to learn and absorb, with so many opinions being offered, it can probably be overwhelming.
Probably the best advice I can recall reading and it still rings true for me today, "when in doubt, do nothing".
 

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I didn't meen to make you feel like that, but after you think about it you won't do that again.
Remember "Bee will be BEES" they know how to do it and they know what they want or need and when better than we do.

Think twice act once
 

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not trying to make you feel like an idiot, but hopefully realize that by virtue of the fact your bees are preparing to swarm, perhaps you need to rethink your hive management style. At the end of the day, you absolutely will have an occasional swarm. But minimumizing those losses, and they are losses, you may increase your hive count, but lose in the honey department as there is not a snowballs chance in hades two medium colonies will generate as much as 1 strong colony, and if ALL your hives are strong, well all the better. There are very basic things you can do to nearly eliminate swarming---not entirely but nearly so. One more thing, the parent queen issues with a swarm shortly before the virgin queens hatch out which means she has STOPPED laying eggs several days to a week prior to the swarm to lighten up to fly. If your destroyinh the queen cells but for one or two you risk becomming hopelessly queenless should anything go wrong. Just my thinking again better to avoid the need for queen cells to begin with rather then deal with the aftermath of swarms, and the crippling after swarms.
Barry
 

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thanks for the correction Iddee didn't realize that or didn't read it
 

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Swarm control basics 101
Brood space, nectar storage space, avoiding congestion in hive, lastly ventilation. More often then not in fixing one helps with a few of the others.
Barry
 

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Swarm control basics 101
Brood space, nectar storage space, avoiding congestion in hive, lastly ventilation. More often then not in fixing one helps with a few of the others.
Barry
You forgot to mention fall replacement of older queens. Young queens tend not to swarm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Didn't destroy for swarm reasons. I have had some "queen" problem in my hive for some time - no brood. I was so worried by previous reading and researching that if two (or more) queens emerge at the same time they could kill each other and I'd be back to square one. Also have read that the queen cells are very sensitive and even the slightest "dent" in the cell could kill them (two of the queen cells were definitely "dented").
Very right with your reasonings as to why I shouldn't have destroyed - but unfortunately that advice came too late for me. Still would love some further insight on my post (except for my major flub aforementioned) - they're the questions usually followed by me asking "Thoughts?"
Thank ya'll.
 
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