Queen activity

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Beeboy, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. Beeboy

    Beeboy New Member

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    Hello fellow beeks, it looks like spring is upon us. Some sooner than others, but none the less...it won't be long. I hope everybody survived with the girls. I lost one over the winter, & that leaves me with only one. I will be splitting this hive, (the good lord willing) as soon as it is possible.

    Yesterday was a beautiful day here in Sapulpa, Ok. 75 degrees, not a cloud in the sky, & a very soft breeze. It's cold today, but yesterday was rated a 5 star.

    Since it was so nice, I decided to take a peek at my little girls. They were very busy bring in goodies, but they were not to happy to see me. Anyway, unexpectedly I looked down on a frame, & my eyes fell right on the queen...there she was acting like she was waiting on a servant to bring her a sip of mead. So I just watched for awhile.

    I tried to take a video of her, but it somehow got deleted...don't ask.

    I noticed that she was not very active. She would go to a spot, & just sit there while others tended to her. She would sit there for a minute or two, then move to another location & sit there for awhile while she was being tended to again, & then do it all over again.

    I tried to take notice to see if she was laying, but it appeared to me that she was doing nothing. Just sitting there. Her tail didn't go down into a cell or anything.

    When she moved around she would seem energetic, & like nothing was wrong with her, but when she just sat there, she worried me.

    There was a small amount of brood at or near the top of some other frames, but very little. It is obvious that there is some flow going on, as there was a lot of uncapped honey, & fresh pollen. There was more uncapped honey than there was capped honey.

    I have noticed that other queens that I have seen are kinda orange on the tail section, but she was pretty dark brown. I don't know if this means anything or not. This hive did swarm on me last year, so the queen should only be one year old. In fact she won't be a year old until May or June. She is a carnolian queen.

    Any thoughts of the inactivity of the royal highness? I do remember reading where she made a visit to the hospital, so maybe she's still recovering from that...who knows? :grin:
     
  2. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I think that's your answer right there. 75 and a breeze is not what the queen likes to be exposed to very much. Plus, bright light. It was 75 and sunny in my opinion would cause the queen to stay still on the frames in between moving around. Queens are very sensitive to bright light, and will often scurry away and try to move to the other side of a frame if you are holding here in the sun or bright light. They will do this repeatedly, run to the darker side of the frame.
    I think your queen was simply being defensive in the sun and cool breeze, by hanging on and remaining still for a while. I've seen my own queens do this too, and while videotaping them i've had to give them a little touch with my fingertip to get them to move for the camera. ;)
     

  3. Beeboy

    Beeboy New Member

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    If the breeze was any less, there would not have been a breeze it was that soft. Now the bright lights, yep, it was very bright out. I do remember the queen running from one side of the frame to the other darker side, but she didn't do that. She just sat there. I'm probably worrying over nothing, but worrying anyway.
     
  4. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    The important questions are: Do I have eggs? Do I have larva? Do I have capped brood? If yes, she has earned a rest, the bees will lead her where they want her. :)
     
  5. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    beeboy,
    as omie said queens will move from light to dark, and queens have different behavior, depending on many variables, and 'reading the signs' i guess, best way i can say this....
    what caught my 'antennae'......:grin:......
    you said you had pollen and nectar coming in, if you have pollen and nectar coming in your queen should be laying up a storm, and what i read was "There was a small amount of brood at or near the top of some other frames, but very little."
    i would be concerned about this queen, as lee said, do you see eggs and larvae? , you already described the capped larvae being very minimal.

    you also said:
    "I have noticed that other queens that I have seen are kinda orange on the tail section, but she was pretty dark brown. I don't know if this means anything or not. This hive did swarm on me last year, so the queen should only be one year old. In fact she won't be a year old until May or June. She is a carnolian queen."

    okay the hive swarmed, the current queen is one year old and carniolan? did you requeen after the hive swarmed or did you let the bees re queen themselves?
    can better answer your question about your queen.
     
  6. Beeboy

    Beeboy New Member

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    I did not request this hive. I require end all the rest except tis one because this hive had just swarmed. The brood that was there was all drone brood also. I saw no eggs, no larva, only capped drone brood. I am going to give her a few more days and check again. She maybe needing replaced.
     
  7. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    beeboy,
    based on what you said and your observations, i would requeen this hive, your current queen is inferior.
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip...
    There was a small amount of brood at or near the top of some other frames, but very little.

    tecumseh...
    based upon the above I would think riverbee statement above is right on.
     
  9. Beeboy

    Beeboy New Member

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    Thanks guys. That's not what I wanted to hear, but I appreciate all your replies. This is a good board.
     
  10. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    beeboy, it is what you want to hear....:grin:
    yes, a great board.....
    requeen and post back an update to this hive.....
     
  11. Beeboy

    Beeboy New Member

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    I put brood in this hive & now have a new queen as I noticed some new brood two days ago. Looks like I barely rescued them. Thanks for all your help!
     
  12. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    I'm happy for your success in raising a new queen, but, until you can identify the new brood as being workers and not drones, you can't rest on your laurels.
    As to your question, "I have noticed that other queens that I have seen are kinda orange on the tail section, but she was pretty dark brown. I don't know if this means anything or not."
    While beeks tend to prefer seeing nice plump yellow abdomens on their queens, in truth, a dark-bellied lady can sometimes be a superior queen. The only way to know for sure is to follow her performance.
     
  13. Beeboy

    Beeboy New Member

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    While I am confident that the brood is not drone brood, I am not resting. Her pattern isn't all that great. I'm going to give it another week or so, and if its no better I will probably replace her as well.
     
  14. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    You can't judge a queen from her laying pattern when she first starts out. It sometimes takes a while for her to get things into order. Give her more than a week----more like a month--- before you decide if it is necessary to replace her.
     
  15. Beeboy

    Beeboy New Member

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    Ok. I will. Thanks for that bit of information.
     
  16. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Yes, brand new queens often take a few weeks to get into high gear. Plus, they sometimes will lay more than one egg in each cell for the first week they start laying. Many a newbie has pinched a brand new good queen, thinking she was no good when all she needed was a couple more weeks of laying experience. The odds are in your favor that your new queen will be fine.
     
  17. Beeboy

    Beeboy New Member

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    I like it when odds are in my favor! Thanks guys!
     
  18. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    Beeboy, glad to hear you are more confident in that colony now. Letting the bees take one of those eggs and make a queen is a wondrous thing to watch. As alluded to in post #4 above, I like to watch for eggs and developing brood to indirectly know how the queen in doing, whether I see her or not. With eggs, they can make a queen when they need/want to. Well handled Beeboy. :)
     
  19. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Sounds like you did a fine job of describing what you were seeing, got some great advice and acted accordingly. Give that new queen some more time and let us know how she worked out.