Secondary Swarm

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Flyman, May 1, 2011.

  1. Flyman

    Flyman New Member

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    A question that I should know the answer to but don't. The secondary swarm that leaves the hive (the first left about 2 days before), is the queen a virgin or has she mated? I can't find the queen in the second swarm but they will not accept a new queen. Been biting at the cage for 3 days. At this point I feel like there is a queen there but can't find here. This swarm has been in a nuc for 12 days and I see no evidence of eggs. Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    secondary swarm queens are virgins.

    My thinking in your situation would be to give 'em a frame of eggs and remove the caged queen from the hive and just see what they do with the eggs. If you go back into the hive in 3 days and there are eggs in queen cells, you know they were queenless but just didn't want to accept the other queen possibly because they were queenless for too long. The best part is, you don't even have to do anything else at that point to make them queenright because they'll get there on their own with the emergency queen(s) they'll raise.

    If they don't move the eggs to queen cells then you know they have a queen in there somewhere that should start laying any day by that point so no further action is necessary.
     

  3. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I would also say a virgin. From the time she hatched out until you can see eggs would be 18 to 20 days after she hatched out.

    Maybe they are biting at the cage to release her, just a thought.
     
  4. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Those virgin queens can be real hard to spot. They aren't as big, tend to run and hide a lot as well.
    I'm with Ben and G3 on this one.
     
  5. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I was looking for a longer body, and she was hiding part of it in a cell.
     
  6. Flyman

    Flyman New Member

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    Thanks everyone. I thought logic dictated she had to be virgin, I just wasn't sure. Agree with Perrybee about the new queens being hard to find. The whole hive has that "anxious" disposition that a queenless hive has. I will give them a frame of eggs and open brood and see what happens.
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a flyman snip..
    This swarm has been in a nuc for 12 days and I see no evidence of eggs.

    tecumseh:
    add a frame of brood (mark this frame as a reference) and wait another 7 days. at 12 days the virgin may have begun her mating flight but is quite unlikely to have laid anything at all. much like spotting queens (or sand dollars) spotting virgins does get easier after a while.

    hives with no queen laying always appear a bit nervous or anxious to me. I guess it is one of those patterns I look for, without really thinking about it...