Supersedure or hiatus?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Wolfer, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. Wolfer

    Wolfer New Member

    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Went all the way through my best hive today. Hadn't been all the way in quite awhile. I usually find eggs by the third frame in and don't go any further. A few days ago I was in the top box which is full of honey and heard a queen piping. I don't know what that means if anything. Today I decided to check it out.
    First thing I notice is no brood, larva, eggs. I can't hardly see eggs in my new bee suit but I can see larva.
    On the way back thru I find the queen. As I'm watching I see her lay two eggs. In different cells of course. Even after watching her lay I still couldn't see eggs. I did find a few just hatched larva.
    Even though this queen is going on two years old I don't believe they swarmed. The hive still has a lot of honey and is boiling with bees. I think she was superseded and the new one just started laying.

    My bees are Russian ferrel cross bees and will cut back during a dearth. I've never known them to stop completely though.

    One of the reasons I don't think they swarmed. Any queen I have over a year old I pull out in the spring and put her in a nuc and let her start over.

    ​Any thoughts? Woody
     
  2. Beeboy

    Beeboy New Member

    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think your right. I think it was a supercedure. I think that when a queen pipes, that is her mating call. I could be wrong but it would fit into the scenario of a supercedure.
     

  3. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have always been told that the new hatched virgin queen is piping to find the old queen for battle? I have seen and heard young queens piping many times, but never seen two queens in combat? Jack
     
  4. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

    Messages:
    3,048
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    "A few days ago I was in the top box which is full of honey and heard a queen piping. I don't know what that means if anything. Today I decided to check it out.First thing I notice is no brood, larva, eggs. I can't hardly see eggs in my new bee suit but I can see larva. On the way back thru I find the queen. As I'm watching I see her lay two eggs. In different cells of course. Even after watching her lay I still couldn't see eggs. I did find a few just hatched larva. Even though this queen is going on two years old I don't believe they swarmed. The hive still has a lot of honey and is boiling with bees. I think she was superseded and the new one just started laying. My bees are Russian ferrel cross bees and will cut back during a dearth. I've never known them to stop completely though."

    my best guess is supersedure......the old queen was probably still present in the hive, or another when you heard the piping. no brood present? when was the last time you checked this hive, and what was the condition of the hive when you last checked it? have you been in a dearth? the present queen laying now.....hmmm, may not be the original, because of the piping you heard, and your description of what you found, lack of brood, larvae, eggs. russian queens; russian stock and mutts there of, will stop laying( to a certain degree), completely in a nectar dearth. your queen is probably not 2 years old.

    there are lots of reasons for piping of queens, but one as jack mentioned, "I have always been told that the new hatched virgin queen is piping to find the old queen for battle? I have seen and heard young queens piping many times, but never seen two queens in combat? Jack" .
    also, sometimes the bees will allow the old queen to remain until a new queen takes her place before disposing of her; and russian bees seem to have this 'emergency kit' down. meaning, they will supersede the old queen (if she is alive but failing, or failed), but will not dispose of her until the new queen is laying. hope this made sense.
     
  5. Wolfer

    Wolfer New Member

    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Makes perfect sense. Yes I think this queen is brand new. I'm afraid there's not much Russian left in my bees anymore. They used to keep a queen in the oven most of the time but haven't done it in a couple generations. Just this summer though I checked a hive that was superseding and there were eggs in the cells next to queen cells that the bees were peeling the top layer off the end. I couldn't find the queen but I know she was there 3 days earlier.

     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    an oven seems like a strange place to stow a queen. do you set the oven to bake or broil?

    certain varieties of queens are quite well known to cease egg laying in certain circumstance. carni's (which I think is at least part of the russian bees genetic pedigree) is quite well know for this and has been reported to cease, halt or highly reduce egg laying within three day of the end of a honey flow. a lot of other varieties will do pretty much the same thing if the air temperature gets too hot <I suspect likely as a result of the inability of the hive to keep internal temperature cool enough to rear brood.

    at some point in time with enough experience (it really doesn't take that much) you should be able to discern the approximate (young or old) age of the queen by appearance.
     
  7. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Wolfer, we are having our monthly bee club meeting tonight at the Darr center on S. Kansas ave. at 6:30 pm. Visitors welcome. Jack
     
  8. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    The only way you can be 100% certain of the queen's continuity or replacement in the hive is if she's marked. Unmarked queens can be superceded and you'll be unable to know for sure. Even if you find an empty supercedure queen cell, you might still have the original queen.
     
  9. Wolfer

    Wolfer New Member

    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    On judging the age of a queen. I can't. This queen was pretty big for a just started laying queen but this is a strong hive and they tend to build a big queen. This queen is very dark like most of my queens are and I thought the original was a little lighter. Back when she was born my queens were about average Russian color. I have one queen now that is borderline black and some of my bees are about as black as bees come. I also have some that could pass as Itialians though not very many.
    I hadn't seen the original queen since I put her in the nuc in the spring. When doing an inspection if everything looks and sounds normal as soon as I see eggs and brood I may not go any further.

    There is another possible but unlikely scenerio. I've had a queen or two that started laying drones. The bees would remove the eggs. I'll know in a week. Before when it happened it was queens I had raised too early and I don't think they mated well. They were fine for a couple months before going bad.
    ive not had it happen with an older queen but I'm sure it possible.
     
  10. Wolfer

    Wolfer New Member

    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Jack
    ​by the time I got home from work and fixed the little woman's flat tire it was too late to make it. I've never been to one and would like to go sometime. Woody
     
  11. Wolfer

    Wolfer New Member

    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well it been a little over a week and I went in today expecting to see lots of eggs and just hatched larva. To my surprise there were no eggs and the only larva are big and fat and floating in royal jelly. All queen cells. I think they'll be capped tomorrow. These were on the frame I saw her lay the eggs on. There was no other larva except the 8-10 queen cells.
    Did I kill her putting the frame back in? Possible of course but unlikely, I'm very cautious with a frame with a queen on it.
    That's the best I can come up with though.

    Im leaving for CO. thur morn and won't be back for 10 days. My last unneeded nuc should be laying by then. I can combine them somewhere if it don't work out. This hive is full of drones. Well not overly so just typical queen less full and my long hive still has drone brood.
    ​We will see what happens.
     
  12. Wolfer

    Wolfer New Member

    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Update
    went in today to check on population to see if I needed to add a frame of brood. Since this is a second attempt at raising a queen I was concerned about laying workers.
    The population is down but this was a very strong hive so there's still a lot of bees. My new queen is a light golden brown and is the lightest colored queen I've had in a couple years. She has eggs and young larva on four frames so looks like she will work out. I'll probably give them a frame of brood cause I suspect by the time this brood hatches they'll be getting low on bees.
    This is the latest I've ever raised a queen but I still have several drones flying so I guess you can ( sometimes ) raise a queen in sept in Mo.

    There were 8 or 10 big fat queen cells in this hive that I hated to lose but I was in Colorado when it was time to move them to a mating nuc. Besides I have the resources to help out a couple new hives, I don't have enough to help out 8 new hves so I just let nature take its course. Woody
     
  13. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sometimes this is just the best (and easiest) thing to do. :thumbsup: