Runaway queen

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by ktbearpaws, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. ktbearpaws

    ktbearpaws New Member

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    I installed 2 hives Memorial day weekend....3 days later... I went to check my hives and one was empty. So I ordered another package and re-installed the hive. This time I clippped and marked the queen...
    Well...this evening I went to check my hives and found a ball of bees about 40 ft from my hives.
    I scooped up the ball, and "lo and behold" my clipped and marked queen was in the middle.
    So I put her back in the hive but, I am leary she may try to leave again....
    I can't understand why they won't stay in the one hive. It is brand new. I made it myself.
    And the first hive is made from the same materials, and they seem to like it fine.
    What can I do to make sure she stays in the hive???
     
  2. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    not a lot to go on. I assume you are hiving them on foundation not drawn comb. Are you reducing the entrance down. If you are not feeding I would recommend putting a feeder of 1:1 syrup on. you got to give them a reason to stay if there is no food the will most likely abscond if there is not a good flow on. I noticed you said you built your own hive what kind of wood did you use. If you have other hives you could help anchor them to the hive with a frame of open brood. And then there is sometimes they just dont like there home but 2 leaving back to back says to me there is something that someone here on the forum can put there finger on and help you if i havent hit on something already
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    are you feeding?

    a queen excluder at the bottom board might help.
     
  4. ktbearpaws

    ktbearpaws New Member

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    Yeah... I'm feeding.
    And I also put out some "brood builder" pattties.
    I used 1" regular pine boards from Lowes to build my supers. So I can't see a problem there... I don't have any brood yet ...so that isn't an option..
    Another thing that puzzles me...
    The first hive seems to be a lot less active than the second for some reason.
    The second hive is feeding on the syrup like crazy, where the first hive hardly seems to notice it at all.
     
  5. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    what kind of feeders are you using I would use a hive top feeder. if you have a boardman they are famous for starting robbing bu i dont think thats the problem. I might suggest removing some frames and adding a follower board to give them less room Hows the weather been there is it hot if so do you have good ventilation for the bees. I would take a look at the hive that is doing good and see if you can see anything different than in the hive you are having problems with. maybe someone from your area can chime in and offer some advise.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    perhaps some explanation of what and how you are feeding might help?

    and a weather report (mostly related to how the flow is going or not going) might be useful clues.

    like riverrat I don't much encourage folks to use those slide in the front door boardman feeders.

    if the other hive is pulling foundation then a frame of comb pulled from there might make the other hive want to stick a bit longer.

    if hive 1 is doing ok I wouldn't be so alarmed. a lot of times flow is related to a specific time/hours of the day and unless you happened to be there and watching you would likely never know.

    perhaps it might be the appropriate time to ask from whom did you obtain the packages?

    are you in the Huntington area?
     
  7. ktbearpaws

    ktbearpaws New Member

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    Nah...I'm in Beckley..... How about you?
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    My oldest sister went to college over around Beckley. I was born down in Putnam County which is where I began keeping bees almost 50 years ago. Currently I reside in College Station, TX.

    as you might know Huntington and Beckley are worlds apart in regards to the environment of the bee (and by extension beekeepers). the soils different, the floral types are different and the difference in elevation is significant also.

    none of this is directed towards your problem but 'where u is' does have some bearing on how folks like myself analyze your problems or concerns.

    If you are experiencing a good deal of bleak grey weather that is quite typical of southern West Virginia then I would suspect 1) that the hive in question is absconding due to starvation or lack of feed resources. the other possibility 2) the queen that came in the packages was poorly mated and she is still attempting to mate (which she will never be able to do due to the clipped wing + the time frame involved means she would never be an acceptable queen even if she could fly).

    number 1 above may be made worse by the position of the boardman feeder if you shoved it in the front door since almost all will leak to some degree and create a certain level of robbing created by the syrup thereby making the bees in that box a bit nervous. any kind of feeder that places the feed closer and above the brood nest is a much better solution than a boardman feeder. one of the cheapest feeder I have used in recent time is a one gallon sealable freezer bag (I typically fill them half full) placed directly on the top bars above the cluster.... I puncture the bag twice (at or about the label area) twice with a fork. once stabbed you need to push the air out of the top of the bag. you may need to add an empty box or imirie shim (sp? as in George Imirie Pink pages which if you are a new beekeeper should be required reading) since the bags are thick enough you may have problems using the existing cover.

    good luck...
     
  9. ktbearpaws

    ktbearpaws New Member

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    Well.... I checked my second hive to see if the Queen left. If shes in there I didn't find her.
    The bees are drawing comb and storing the syrup...but no sign of eggs.
    And right in the middle of the drawn comb they have made to or three capped larger cells.
    Not sure where to go from here....I have read a few books, but, none of them covered problems like this...
    My first hive still has their queen, but don't seem to be very active as far as feeding..Again..."ditto" on the no eggs.
    They haven't drawn as much comb as the second hive...