more on the chalkbrood hive

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Tyro, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. Tyro

    Tyro Member

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    I ordered a queen to replace the one in my hive with the high levels of chalkbrood (see "painted workers" thread). She came today and I went out yesterday evening to pinch the old queen.

    This old queen is runny and always hiding, but I found her on the third frame I looked at. I was just about to pinch her (I tend to try to catch them between my thumb and my hive tool) - and I just touched her with the hive tool and she JUMPED into the air and flew off!

    I wasn't able to keep very good track of her, but I thought that I saw her land on the frames hanging outside of the hive. After another 30 minutes of searching, I still didn't find her.

    I went back tonight to get her so that I can install the new queen tomorrow morning. Didn't find her again, BUT now there are 8 new supercedure cells, all on the same side of the same frame. All are the same size (they are at the 'acorn' stage), all with similar/same aged larvae floating in royal jelly.

    Can I assume that the original queen didn't make it back to the hive? The cells weren't there (that I noticed yesterday). What is the best way to proceed with installing the new queen?

    Thanks

    Mike
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Find her. They will let her stay until just before the cells emerge.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    What Iddee said. Do not assume she is done with her mischief. If necessary shake the entire hive thru a box with queen excluder attached to the bottom. I typically set this on an empty deep right at the front door of the hive and apply a lot of smoke with the intent of driving all the worker bees to the ground and leaving only the drones and queen on the top side of the excluder material.

    If the existing queen had chalkbrood you likely do not want to have any of her offspring. I would definitely smash all cells.
     
  4. Tyro

    Tyro Member

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    Well, I am intending to mush the cells. I just found it interesting that they produced them right after she took off. I had assumed she made it back to the hive - but when I saw the cells, I wasn't sure. I am going to go through it again this morning. The excluder idea is a good one. Thanks!

    Mike
     
  5. Tyro

    Tyro Member

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    Well, I went through the hive this morning as Tec suggested. I pushed the bees through the excluder three times. No queen. I made sure that each frame was clear of bees and the box was empty before I set it back up. I did cut 12 queen cells - all about the same age. There were very few eggs in cells. On Thursday (2+ days ago) there were two solid frames of eggs. Today there was only maybe a 1/4 frame (total).

    I am thinking that there is no queen. Is this a relatively safe assumption?

    Mike
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    With precautions, yes. Place the new queen in the hive in a way she can't be released. Wait 4 days. If no eggs are present then, manually release her.
     
  7. Tyro

    Tyro Member

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    That is exactly what I did - tape over the candy plug. I will check on Thursday.

    Thanks Iddee and Tec!

    Mike
     
  8. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    I have 2 questions that this thread has made me think of.
    1. Will a queen usually return to the hive if she flies off-say, during an inspection?
    and,
    2. Isn't it awfully late in the year to be re-queening?
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    1... Yes, if you stand real still. As she flys off, you are the highest object around. She will orient on you. If you don't move, she will find her way back.

    2...No, but it is too late to let a hive raise it's own queen.
     
  10. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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  11. Tyro

    Tyro Member

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    Update - I checked today.

    cut 8 ss cells - most capped. The intro queen was still alive in the cage. Didn't see a queen and there were no eggs - only very old larvae and capped cells.

    So I pulled the tape over the candy and will check in a few days to see if she gets out.

    Thanks for all the advice

    Mike