question on queen acceptance

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by pistolpete, May 12, 2013.

  1. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    I went to check on the Nuc that I put together yesterday. I left them queenless for about 20 hours, then put the queen box on top of the frames around 10 AM yesterday. when I looked in today they had eaten through the candy. There was a small cluster of bees on the screen of the queen box and bees going in and out of the queen box. It was hard to tell through the bees which refused to be brushed off the cage, but I don't think the queen is in there anymore. The bees were otherwise fairly calm. Does this sound like they accepted the queen or balled her? It's that cluster of bees on the cage that had me worried.

    Also noticed some robbers nosing around, some going in to the hive apparently unchallenged. Almost no foraging bees, just a couple with pollen coming back in. Is it normal for a new nuc to not defend the hive? I reduced the entrance to 1/2" wide. If the robbing continues, I will put on one of Indee's robber screens.
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I just took out my queen cages the other day and they were covered with bees as well. The queens pheromones are still all over the cages and is an attractant to the bees.
    Odds are she is released and accepted. :thumbsup:
     

  3. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    what perry said pistolpete....
    "The queens pheromones are still all over the cages and is an attractant to the bees. Odds are she is released and accepted."

    this is also more so; your description of bees on the cage; if your queen came in a jz bz cage, these cages are scented to increase acceptance. about the robbing, yes, nuc hives can be robbed out, so reducing the entrance is good or moving it, or putting a screen on. best wishes on the new hive.
     
  4. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    I very seldom confirm a queen by seeing her. I wait a week or even two and then inspect for eggs. I consider the presence of eggs. given they are not laying worker eggs as proof the queen is in the hive mated and the brood pattern tells me everything else I need to know. One example I found eggs in a recently queenless colony I was having trouble getting requeened. after a couple of attempts I found eggs but in a poor pattern. I then found the queen. she appeared injured. alive and able to lay to some degree. but not well.
     
  5. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Daniel V, i had a hive like that last year, they would not start queen cells from frames with eggs,and they killed a bred queen i tried to introduce. I had went through this hive several times looking for a queen, after they had dwindled to two frames of bees i found her, she was just a tad bigger than a worker bee and had a limp.By that time it was to late to save them,i killed the queen and dumped the bees in the bee yard hoping they would find a new home. Jack
     
  6. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    looks like for once my worries were well founded. I checked on the nuc today and they have queen cells going. Looks like the queen didn't make it. Also seems like there is some robbing, but I am having a hard time telling. There is no fighting going on that I can see, but there are quite a few bees around that seem tentative to alight on the landing board and then crawl around a bit before going in. I'm used to seeing bees dive straight for the hive entrance without hesitation. Am I correct that these are robbers, or is it just a lot of young bees coming back from orientation flights?