Not a Fun Day, Need Advice.

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by HenniPenni, May 10, 2012.

  1. HenniPenni

    HenniPenni New Member

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    Hi All,
    I am very new to the bee world. I have 4 hives. My husband bought a double deep hive of Carniolans for me, my first hive. Then a friend gave me a swarm of Italians. Last Friday, we bought two Nucs. One was Cordovan and the other Italian.

    The Carniolans are a very strong hive and to my uneducated eye appeared to show signs of overcrowding. So after discussion I decided to do a split. In preparation for the split, I purchased two Carniolan queens. One for the split and one to requeen the original hive. So after a couple of days of gray and raining weather here in the foothills of NC, I finally had a beautiful afternoon to execute the split and requeen the original hive.

    First of all I will start off saying that I made some mistakes that I know of. Maybe some that I don't know of yet. But, everything seemed to go well as far as the split was concerned. Except that later while eating dinner I realized I did not take the cork out of the candy end and I don't think I shook down enough bees for this Nuc.
    So after dinner I went back out and did so.

    Now for the not so fun part...As I said before this hive had two deep hive bodies and I had already placed a medium super on it last week. So as I was going through the top hive I pulled the frames for the nuc. Okay so far. Then I continued examining the top hive body for the queen and investigate for queen cells. I found a few queen cells, but no queen in the top hive body. I know there was a live queen as late as last Saturday.

    So I proceeded to the lower hive body. Still no queen found. She is marked. At this point I am very nervous because I am slow and the hive has been disrupted for quite some time. Since I was lost in time, I don't even know how long. But I went through the frames again as I reassemled the bottom hive. I tried to check out the inside walls and screen bottom board as I went, but did not see her. So I moved back to the upper hive body and checked for her again. No queen found. I then went back the the nuc. Maybe I missed her and moved her over. Which would be a problem since I already installed my new queen cage. Agh!!! I was so upset at this time that I just put it all back together and reversed the hive bodies.

    Now I don't know what to do. I have my new queen, but I am afraid to install her. Does anyone have any advice? I made a lot of rookie mistakes! One more thing....As I went through the frames the second time, I tried to pay more attention to signs of recent laying. I found sealed brood, larva that filled the bottom of the cell, but I could not see signs of rice like eggs. But I was wearing my screened hood and fear that it obstructs my view for seeing them. Just not sure! Help!
     
  2. Medic1259

    Medic1259 New Member

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    Im a newbee too ... My question is why if the hive is very strong would you want to requeen it?
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    If you had a hard laying queen filling a double deep, why would you want to replace her?

    If you did replace her, why not with her own prodigy?

    You had queen cells from her, so all you had to do was set one box off onto another bottom board and be sure there was a queen cell in each. Wait 5 days and see which one had eggs. If they have already swarmed, neither would have eggs. If not, the one she was in would have eggs. Both would be queen right with her blood line.

    I would now place a queen excluder between the to deeps and wait 5 days. Check both boxes and the nuc then and if either of the three have eggs, she is there. The queens you have should be fine if you give them a couple drops of water daily and the attendants stay alive.

    OR, pull another nuc or two.
     
  4. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Can you see the eggs in this light new comb?:
    AprilBEE%u00252B015.jpg

    eggs2.jpg

    And in this dark comb?:
    BDD_eggs+%u0025283%29LR.jpg

    Eggs are VERY tiny.
     
  5. HenniPenni

    HenniPenni New Member

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    Thanks to all for your replies. Let me take your questions one at a time....

    Why to requeen? I don't know what I am doing and was following on-line advise I read from a Master Beekeeper who believes you should requeen yearly.

    The hive is strong...Yes. This is a second year hive. My husband got this hive for me on 4/20. On my initial inspection, I did not see a lot of new eggs. I expected to see more brood on the frames. When I first saw the queen, she was scurrying around on the frame(s) like her wings were on fire. I mentioned this when speaking with someone knowledgable and they advised that could be indicating a problem.

    Why not replace her with her prodigy?.... I like the traits that I understood these bees to have. I wanted to keep them as true as possible. At the time we decided to requeen, I had only another hive of Italian bees. I know lots of people love them. I may too at some point. But compared to the Carniolans, my Italians (a swarm) are pretty tempermental. So we purchased a new Italian queen and two Carniolans. Then we got the nucs of Cordovans and the Italian queens was reported to be from less tempermental stock. It was worth a try to me. As a newbee, it made sense.

    Her queen cells....as a newbee I didn't have the know how. Still learning! But it sounds like good advice. However, since I had my new queen in hand, I destroyed queen cells as I went through the hive. I may have missed some! I did keep one. But, I removed it from the hive. I still have it here in my house. I thought maybe if I could pull out more brood, I could just put it back on one of the frames. But, as I said, I did not see signs of new eggs. But do have brood. Could I put just that brood along with pollen and honey in the nuc? Or should I go ahead with option 2 below and see I can determine if old queen is still there? I wish I had someone here with me that could point out what I should be seeing as I look through the frames. Once I see I have confirmation that I see the same thing they do, I would have a lot more confidence.

    Thanks again for feedback. Replies are welcome.
     
  6. HenniPenni

    HenniPenni New Member

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    More...

    Can I see the eggs in the pictures... Yes. But not in the dark one. I think the foundation in my frames are black. Maybe the plastic.? I tried turning to the sunlight and tried in the shade. I just did not/could not see 1-2 day old eggs.
     
  7. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    Go to walmart or the drug store and get a cheap magnifying glass.
     
  8. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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  9. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    For me at least, I could not see eggs for a long time. Then one day I realized they were there right under my nose but they were so small that I thought they were light reflections on the bottoms of the black cells. Once I realized that, I had no more trouble spotting eggs. :D
     
  10. HenniPenni

    HenniPenni New Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement!

    Thanks for the encouragement.

    Also the suggestion for the magnifying glass is a good one. I have to go into town today. I will pick one up.

    Iddee...I know Jon and used to work with his wife Amanda. I will try to get in touch with them.

    Thanks again.


     
  11. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    I recently learned what eggs looked like. I had to cut some sagging foundation out of a couple frames where the bees had drawn only on one side and when I was in there I was pretty sure this hive didn't have a queen. They had stopped drawing wax and and I didn't see any larvae or capped brood. Anyway, I was showing the kids the piece of comb I had cut out later that night and sure as sh!t there were eggs in that piece of comb.
     
  12. dr.buzz

    dr.buzz New Member

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    Don't feel too bad, somehow the bees will come out OK despite us wrecking their situations.....It's never as bad as you first imagine and you aren't doing too bad considering all of the conflicting advice in the bee world. I'll mention a few things that might be of some use to you.
    I've never bought a queen, but have read many times that if you have a caged queen, you can test for queenlessness in a hive by putting the cage on the top bars and seeing how they all react to her. If they are pissy and try to bite at her, etc., it's because they already have a queen. If they try to feed her and are not aggressive, it's because they are queenless.

    I have marked a queen and put her back on her frame and literally 30 seconds later could not locate her. Where the marking is can easily be hidden by another bee if she is standing still, but she can be fast and elusive, too. Never worry too much about not finding the queen. It's common not to find her, and you are more likely to accidentally roll or squash her by looking too much. Ditto the eggs, they can be hard to see. I can tilt a frame at different angles in different types of light and either see no eggs or, with a slight change in angle hundreds of them all show up in rows....Try to keep the sun behind you over your shoulder when you look. And always hold the frame you are inspecting over your box so the queen doesn't fall on the ground where you step on her. Oh, and I might be wrong, but if you took a queen cell in the house and didn't keep it at like 90 degrees, I don't think it's any good anymore, but DYOR on that....

    Oh, and wanting a new queen because you didn't want the characteristics from a temperamental hive.....I have noticed that the hives I liked avoiding last year are docile this year, and vice versa. It depends on the conditions of the hive at the time and there are many variables....Maybe a skunk was bugging one hive and they were mean the next day, or they were queenless because you killed her in an inspection, etc...Our brains will engage in patternicity and sometimes we connect dots that aren't there. What happens if your pure Carni queen hive starts zapping you and the Italians are mellow that day or whatever? Then you have to change all of your perceptions again.
    Besides, the queen you give them might not be the queen you find in there a month or two later. I'm not fussing at you, I understand the queen breeders are trying to pay their mortgages too, I just don't understand non-commercial folks buying queens when your bees will make them so easily for you.

    Anyway, take notes, you'll learn more that way. Hive inspections can be tiring and stressful when you are new, and sometimes you get all done and don't remember what was what. If you don't have a helper and it's too bothersome trying to take notes with gloves on or whatever, get a cheapy voice activated digital recorder and wear it on a cord around your neck. Then you can just record all of your observations and write it down later. Mine used to be like this, "OK, Hive 7A. This is the split from Hive 7 from last month. I'm seeing tons of yellow and white pollen. I gave them the queen with the split and we have eggs, larvae and capped brood in 4 frames up top and 3 or 4 frames in bottom box. Starting to see drone comb between the boxes. Lots of stored pollen in bottom box."

    Anyway, have fun, it will all come together for you.....
     
  13. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Omie:

    I wish I had seen pictures of eggs like that when I first took up bees. I went weeks, finally lying to my mentor to alleviate his frustration with my inability to see eggs. Suddenly, one day you spot them and now that you know what it is you are looking for, it becomes easier.
     
  14. HenniPenni

    HenniPenni New Member

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    Today, I put on my big girl panties and marched back out to my hive with a magnifying glass as was suggested. I went through all my frames again. There were no new eggs on the frames. Just larva several days old. I did see one queen cup with a larva. I left it alone. I also combed through the hive for the queen while taking into consideration that there were no eggs found, I installed my new queen. I also took another split from this hive as was suggested. This afternoon, we talked with someone I know and trust. Since I then had two full hive bodies with 10 full frames and 10 new frames, I decided to take out the 10 new frames and reduce the original hive to a single deep hive and put on a medium super so they can start loading for their winter.

    Since I destroyed the queen cells and am not sure the one I found today will net me a new queen, I purchased another queen for the second split. I made a rookie mistake. I will probably make many more. So I just made a decision and went with it. Sometimes we just have to learn from and PAY for our mistakes. Time will tell if I was a good decision.

    However, I do so appreciate everyone's feedback. I've learned a lot in the past 20 days!
     
  15. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    Firstly there were eggs in all the pictures you posted, your right the dark one is a challenge but there. :thumbsup:
    How far along were the developement of the queen cells, and where on the comb were they located and about how many? I ask because if there were quite a few and located along the lower half of the frames they probably were swarm cells, if located in the middle of the frames and few, were probably emergency or superceedure cells. The type of queen cell is important information to try to figure out whats going on in your hives, While will always build cell cups for swarm cells untill the existing queen lays an egg in it nothing becomes of it, emergency cells and superceedure cells are made under less then ideal circumstances from the hives perspective--queen is either failing or damaged or dead. If were swarm cells, and you destroyed mature queen cells, the old queen has probably already left, and unless you allowed one cell to hatch- that colony is hopelessly queenless, with no way, without assistance to raise thier own queenWith emergency and superceedure cells, it is not too unusal for mother and daugther queen to lay in the same colony untill one day the old queen disappears.
    LOL welcome to the world of beekeeping, not quite the same as owning a dog....
    Barry
     
  16. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    if you have purchased laying queens in hand stowing these in a well populated hive is very simple. some folks call this 'banking' queens but really only requires some open space at the top of the hive when you can place one or two frame of brood (optimally above an excluder). I typically just lay the introduction cages face up with the frames of young brood on each side. in this fashion you can hold queen for quite some time.

    once you have convinced yourself that those $20 bugs will not perish over night then you can take you time with the splitting. split the hives however you see fit and then come back 4 or 5 days later to see which part of the split has queen cells and which do not. a warning here is.... prior to placing in the newly mated queen you will need to knock down or destroy EVERY queen cell in the box.

    most time if a queen cell is just started then the queen is still in the box. with sealed queen cells whether the old queen is still in the box is a flip of the coin.
     
  17. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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