Queen Cells in New Hive?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by ndm678, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. ndm678

    ndm678 Member

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    I hived 2 #3 package 2 weeks ago. Each hive got 8 drawn frames (10 total= 2 foundation, 2 capped honey, 6 mostly empty drawn).
    I inspected hive #1 and found frames #5 &6 with a picture perfect 'rainbow over the football' brood pattern. Very little open cells in the 'football'. Nearly all the brood are capped on the insides, outsides are a mix of capped/larvae/eggs. Frames #4 & 7, on the broodnest sides, contain uncapped larvae and eggs, they also contain 5 queen cells. Dangling peanuts in the pollen/honey sections of the frames. The queen was on the frame with 2 of these cells.
    I don't know if the cells are swarm or supercedure. Where they are high on the frame, I would think supercedure. The hive is teeming with bees, it has benefited from drifting, I assume. It fits the guidelines for a 2nd deep, but it's two weeks old.
    My plan is to do nothing, wait a week and see what happens. But I needed to bounce it off folks who know more then me. I've doomed enough hives from doing nothing.
     
  2. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Generally speaking, your thinking is correct about supercedure considering where you are seeing the cells. Have you considered splitting the hive if they are teaming with bees as you mentioned? Take the old queen over to the split and leave the queen cells?
     

  3. ndm678

    ndm678 Member

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    I'm very tempted to split, but wasn't sure if I should be splitting a two week old hive.
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    I would think supercedure. The hive is teeming with bees,

    tecumseh..
    by your description it sounds more like swarming brought on by crowding and a limited place for the queen to lay.
     
  5. ndm678

    ndm678 Member

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    We had about a week of cool, rainy weather that kept the bees stuck in. Now its been unseasonably hot (high 80's) and coming back to 70's this week. Could they be weather related? How should I manage this? I'm tempted, but wary, on splitting. I've got 10 more drawn frames in the freezer and 10 empty frames standing by. IF I were to split, when would I? I would think sooner then later.
     
  6. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    "The hive is teeming with bees,....It fits the guidelines for a 2nd deep, but it's two weeks old."

    i would add the 2nd deep, and i wouldn't divide a 3# package that's two weeks old. i would think what tecumseh said. "sounds more like swarming brought on by crowding and a limited place for the queen to lay."
     
  7. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    sounds more like swarm cells as mentioned above. At this point adding a 2nd deep is to late. The swarm impulse has set in and will continue until they swarm or you intervien and fool them into thinking they swarmed. Which would be doing a split. If they are full of bees I would split them into 2 five frame nucs until the queens hatch and are laying. At that point you can evaluate both hives and determine if you want to continue with 2 hives or combine the 2 back into one.
     
  8. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    Listen to riverbee, she hit the nail right on the head.
    Since the first deep you provided was already 80% drawn out at the time of the installation, I'd add the second deep with foundation.
    As far as splitting, I'd say no. The package has only been in there for 2 weeks, you won't have brood hatching out for ant least another week. you are, however, losing bees every day due to normal attrition. If you split now, you'll have 2 hives with very low numbers of bees in each.
     
  9. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    If they are swarm cells adding a 2nd deep will not stop them from swarming. While normally I would never recommend splitting a 2 week old package. In this case the hive is busting with bees from drifting and overcrowed it leaves you with not much choice3 but to split. If you do nothing or add a 2nd deep when they swarm you will end up with half the bees and a weak hive that will be set back further waiting on a new queen to start laying
     
  10. ndm678

    ndm678 Member

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    I decided to make up some nuc boxes today. They won't be ready to be used today. It's supposed to rain this evening and Monday, so I won't be able to get to them until Tuesday.
    Should I put the 2nd deep on until Tuesday and see what's happening then? I took the frames from the freezer this morning after starting the thread, just in case.
     
  11. ndm678

    ndm678 Member

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    Thanks for all the great awnsers to my question. I would really be lost without this forum. I'm still very hesitant on splitting this hive. Riverat is dead on, the swarm impulse has been triggered.
    I added a 2nd deep yesterday, it's raining here today and I wanted to give them some space and something to do. I added 5 drawn frames and 5 foundation frames.
    I inspected hive #2 yesterday, the broodnest looks just as big as hive #1, but it didn't have swarm cells. I'm reluctant, but I can use this hive as a donor if necessary.
    So, how should I split them? Do I give each nuc a frame capped brood, frame of eggs, and divide up the rest? Would I scrape off the cells that would go into the nuc with queen? Should I give the queenless nuc the frame with 2 cells or 3 cells? Is there anything else I need to consider?
     
  12. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    nd, i hear what riverrat is saying, so a suggestion for you, you might try the demaree method.
    go to this thread:

    swarming

    go to the first post and read the pdf's on the demaree method. i think this method would work for you using 2 hive bodies and a queen excluder (the 2nd pdf). you would achieve stopping any swarming, keeping the original package together, produce some honey and/or split into nucs later using the queen cells the bees will develop in the top box.
     
  13. ndm678

    ndm678 Member

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    Riverbee,
    I like this method a lot better then splitting. Do you think I should use nuc bodies for this or just go with the two deeps?
     
  14. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    nd,
    my humble opinion, 2 deeps.....
     
  15. ndm678

    ndm678 Member

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    After riverbee shed light on the demaree method. I went to work on a double screened spacer. I snuck away from work early due to a 'bee crisis :lol:' to divide the hive up.
    I found a 'pleasantly plump' queen on frame #8, which is now loaded with eggs. I removed it declaring out loud "This will be the center of my broodnest!" I started taking the rest from the '6-10' side. When I reached #7 (the one that had 3 queen cells) I realized and stated "I should have listened to riverbee". The cells are gone. I check out #4, cells gone. No signs they were ever there. I did a quick check and didn't see any more.
    I pondered for a moment about just going forward with the procedure, something has been triggered that I cannot stop, but I decided to put things back the way they were.
    I left the 2nd deep on, its probably way too much space, but it will buy me some time before their 'urge' picks up again.
     
  16. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    nd,
    2 questions:
    1. were the now mia queen cells capped?
    2. what line of bees are you keeping?

    about the now missing queen cells, it is possible that these were either supercedure/'just in case' cells; in case the bees decided to replace her having decided they did not like her. with package bees, bees and queens are 'strangers' to one another, and are 'thrown' together. with a plump laying queen present, and no queen cells, i would say that the bees decided to keep her, and it took them a couple of weeks to figure it out and 'accept' her.

    but..... you learned how to 'demaree'......just in case.........:lol:
     
  17. ndm678

    ndm678 Member

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    Riverbee,
    1. They queen cells weren't capped, but larvae were in them.
    2. The bees are mixed breed. Italian, Carnolian, and Russian.
    I did a lot of reading on swarm and supercedure cells, and lots of reading on 'how to split a hive'. I also got my rear in gear and made up 4 nuc boxes and a 'Demaree Screen'. Judging by the amount of brood in this hive, and the other, it's only a matter of time before I will need to split.
    I'm glad I put that 2nd deep on :thumbsup:, thanks.
     
  18. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    thanks,
    cells not capped? if bees are intent on swarming these cells will be primarily capped (some may be open with larvae visible in them).
    russian in them you say? might want to do some reading on these bees, they will build cups and cells all season long, and it will drive a beekeeper to a beekeepers anonymous meeting....:lol:

    nd, just my humble opinion, with package bees, the swarming impulse is not as great with a younger queen (first year) vs older queens. if these queens are as prolific as you describe, i would add the 2nd deeps, and in the proper timing, add supers, and take advantage of their ability to make honey for you, unless your desire is to divide them and have more bees; with divides your honey crop will be minimal to zero. i think sometimes we get 'wigged out' about the queen cups and cells in our hives :grin:. to a certain degree some bees build them more than others and take them away for various reasons under various circumstances; time of year, weather, lack of pollen/nectar etc, keeper disturbance, etc...; so sometimes sort of an 'insurance policy', or as i said 'just in case' in the event there is a queen problem of some sort.

    wish you well and look forward to an update :grin: