Raising an Emergency queen -what are the odds for success now?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Lburou, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    I'm raising an emergency queen. Hive went queenless sometime between 27 SEP and 13 OCT.

    Added a frame of eggs from a sister hive 13 October. One small queen emerged 22 October, but she was tiny and did not move well on the combs by the time I saw her 23 October. I removed her from the hive, leaving half a dozen good looking queen cells and taking three slightly smaller cells into the house to watch them hatch and practice marking the hatched queens.

    Of the three cells taken into the house, one hatched yesterday morning (the26th) and I opened the third to find a pale, but otherwise well formed queen and she is doing fine in the house -judging by the hatched cells in the house, I strongly suspect the other queen cells in the hive have hatched by now.

    QUESTION: The weather for the next week is forcast to be in the 60's this weekend and 70's next week. Only a few drones around, but they are here. What are the chances of getting a queen through her mating flights this late and with reduced drone numbers? I have backup plans if this doesn't work.

    P.S. I've used hopguard while my drones were maturing in the hives, will that have a major impact on the quality of their sperm? There are feral bees in the area that may have some drones stilll available too.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Just one opinion, but I think your chances are very good.

    I know nothing about hopguard.
     

  3. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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  4. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm waiting for the answer to this myself
     
  5. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    I (incorrectly) thought I'd read somewhere about hopguard having a bad affect on the sperm of drones maturing in the presence of hopguard. I saw the first drone on the bottom of a screened bottom board this AM, and do not have that many in the first place, that is why I'm concerned.

    Thanks for the encouragement, it is a bit late to have this many marbles in one bag. ;)

    Added: Synthetic miticides are the ones affecting drones: Fluvalinate, Coumaphos, Chlorfenvinphos, Amitraz & Havistan.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    since I do not treat myself your question about hopguard I cannot not answer based on any experience. if this is one of the newer 'natural' products used for varroa I would assume the short term effects are small. most of the problems associated with the older products takes a bit of time and repeated application to show themselves <and represent all the evidence I would need not to use any.

    I am 3 hours south of you and the distance can make a good deal of difference relative to the season and timing of stuff relative to the bees. we have had a couple of cool spell here but not so cool that any and all drones have now been tossed. matter of fact I would be quite surprised if I don't have hive out there with drones still hatching each and every day. I have had new queens mate here as late as December although invariable they tend to be poorly mated.... which just means they lay a while and then sometime in the spring of the year are supersceded. as I have suggested to Gypsi late season mating of queens can raise the possibilities of Africanized drones influencing the mating <so keep this in mind if the hive become a bit hostile in the future and have some plan to deal with this quickly if it does.

    and welcome to the forum and might I ask which side of Dallas Forth Worth do you call home?
     
  7. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    Thanks for the welcome tecumseh :)

    I live 35 miles SW of Fort Worth -on the Brazos River, (in Pecan Plantation), equidistant from Cleburne, Granbury and Glen Rose.

    If a poorly mated queen can get through the winter, that will be fine -it is after all, just a 5 frame NUC grown to seven frames now. We have frost on the roof in the mornings this week, and that has brought on some house cleaning in the hive. Very concerned about drone availability. I had just requeened in SEP and they superseded her within a week, but that supersedure failed. :eek:

    May have to go to plan B for a late queen soon. I did a cut out of a small feral colony last week, so I could combine them, but those bees are an unknown quantity at this point in terms of lineage and hygienic characteristics. I robbed the frame of eggs from a hive with a hygienic queen from BeeWeaver to produce these queen cells, those are the genes I want to keep in my little apiary.
     
  8. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    Thanks, that is just what I needed to feel more optimistic about my few drones and their potency. I have reread Randy Oliver's articles on this and hopguard was not one of those treatments affecting the drones....Whew! :)
     
  9. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    tecumseh, I'm growing a strong five frame NUC for a friend, (who is new-to-bees), in Round Rock. He will pick the NUC up next weekend. If he has questions, are you available to mentor him locally? A visit to your apiary might help him a lot when the time is right. I'll get him set up for winter and show him how to feed. I'm sending one of my best queens with him, she is mixed with local ferals & Carniolan/Italian bees.
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a Lburou snip...
    I live 35 miles SW of Fort Worth -on the Brazos River, (in Pecan Plantation), between Cleburne, Granbury and Glen Rose.

    tecumseh...
    thanks.... my wife goes up that way quite often on her way to Fossil Rim (the african wildlife place) so I pretty well know the area. I am here most of the times and certainly would give him any help I can. if he has a computer you might also suggest he tag onto the central Texas beekeeper associations face book page... he can also tag onto my own face book page there with is E.t. Ash. we do a very comprehensive bee school in the spring (late March). I don't know how out of hand the school will be this year, but last year we had attendance of about 400 folks.
     
  11. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Let me join in with Tecumseh welcoming you to the forum. Sorry my distance doesn't let me join him in offering help. For what it's worth, I share the optimistic opinions expressed so far about your new queen's chances. Don't give up on her if she doesn't start laying like a champ--remember that she is going into winter and even if she is mated and potentially outstanding, she might hold back showing you her laying abilities till early spring when the build-up starts.:grin:
     
  12. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    Thanks for the warm welcome :)

    All I need is to get the hive through our mild Winter; they can make another more robust and fecund queen in Summer if they don't like her. A killing frost night before last -had watermelon and tomatoes on the vine- but in the 70's this week with a breeze, so weather is cooperating for mating flights.....If there are any drones around. Any eggs at all in a week, I'll be happy. :)
     
  13. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    Failed to make new queen.

    I inspected the hive on NOV 10th and 13th and found no queen and no eggs. I combined this small hive with a group of bees I gathered for this purpose.

    I mixed sugar syrup and a few drops of vanilla, then sprayed both sides of all the frames I was combining and put the new frames in a deep super over the original hive body. No fighting observed at the time and the queen is laying today (no dead bees laying anywhere). I'll feed them as long as they will take it but I think they will have plenty for the winter and spring, but may be a bit short on pollen. will keep an eye out. :)
     
  14. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a lot of times Lee at the cooler temperature you can add bees on comb to another partial box of bees without really adding or doing anything. I often times do this in singles and initially allow some minimum space (gap) between the two sets of frames with the unrelated bees set into the two sides of the box. after a day of so I then push the frames together.
     
  15. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    Yes tecumseh, I do that too, usually a frame at at time. We have had a week of the worst robbing I've ever seen, I was doubtful that ordinary handling would avert a real clash when the two groups met. The hives were on alert from the git go.

    It was cold (60-65 degrees ;) ), and the 8 frame body without a queen was almost full of bees, so I just made the 'space' you report between the two hive bodies. Added the vanilla just in case, (several old timers around here use it even in hot weather). Went back yesterday and consolidated everything into one 8 frame deep. I'm happy the way things turned out, was real fortunate for the little colony to turn up when I needed a queen. She is a beauty! :)