swarm cell in nuc

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Bhodi, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. Bhodi

    Bhodi New Member

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    I got a new hygenic queen from a local guy who's doing a little queen rearing. I supplied the 5-frame nuc to house her while she mated in his yard and the breeder made sure all was well before I took her home. It's been here for nine days.

    I thought I'd try and bring this nuc through the winter, but since it had a late start, not all the frames were full, and there was a lot of drone brood, I added a frame of worker brood with nure bees about 5 or 6 days ago.

    Toady I saw a supercedure cell that is not empty. Its on the new frame I put in last week. Other than that surprise, she seems to be laying well and there is a bunch of capped worker brood and much less drone brood. They are putting up pollen and nectar,

    Any thoughts on what to expect or what I can do? Is swarming/supercedure unavoidable?
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    first of all I think perhaps some folks lay to much meaning on where a queen cell might appear (and thereby some cause). not all superscedure cells are generated because a queen is failing and not all queen cells hatch. any number of stressor or even placing a frame in an improper location may generate the creation of a queen cell. winston (the bioliogy of the honey bee) states that only about 60 percent of queen cells will make it to hatching.


    bhodi writes:
    and there was a lot of drone brood

    >given the size of the hive this observation/statement would bother me somewhat. why would a new queen in such a small package be generating large numbers of drones (and most especially at this time of year)?
     

  3. Bhodi

    Bhodi New Member

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    I had supplied the nuc and a few frames of brood and honey a few days before the new queen cells were due to emerge. Unfortunately, something went wrong and he lost about 3 dozen cells. My queenless bees had to wait for a couple more weeks till the next round of cells were ready. I was told some workers started laying. After the new queen cell went into my box, hatched, mated and began laying, the number of brood cells has fallen by 90%.
     
  4. Bhodi

    Bhodi New Member

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    I checked it today and see the cell is now capped.

    The little bit of worker brood is scattered all over and they seem slow to be putting up nectar and pollen despite the abundance of goldenrod and aster and the beautiful weather in the past week.

    What are the chances of them raising a new queen this time of year? Is it even worth any more effort at this point?
     
  5. rast

    rast New Member

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    "while she mated in his yard and the breeder made sure all was well "
    How long was this time period?
    The reason I ask is that I don't feel comfortable with a queen until they have been laying at least a month. Few breeders wait that long and truth be told, I probably wouldn't either if that was my living. "Yeah, look, there's some eggs, ship her." It's not a putdown on breeders, the odds are in their favor. It's purely economic.
    Even then they can fail from numerious reasons. From my megar experiance, most queens start out spoty and small patterns, then have the "hang" of it in about a month.
    You said you have worker brood cells. Nice and flat sealing caps on the cells?
    Lots of drones and his comment about laying workers concerns me.
    Have you actually seen the queen lately?
     
  6. Bhodi

    Bhodi New Member

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    She was in his yard for about a week after she was mated and started laying.

    He's not doing this for money, only to help out other people in the club. He's only requesting a $10 donation to the club, nothing for himself.

    The worker brood is nice and flat. Not nearly as much drone brood as there was a week ago, just some sporadic capped worker brood.

    I've seen the queen evry time I've opened the nuc. She's marked and easy to spot on only 4 1/2 drawn frames.
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    bhodi writes:
    What are the chances of them raising a new queen this time of year? Is it even worth any more effort at this point?

    tecumseh:
    you best advice is likely to come from someone like sqkcrk who might know 'local conditions' much better than myself. if you still have a good drone population and acceptable mating weather your chances are much improved and a bit of time after she starts laying to rear some quantity of young bees to hopefully make the winter.

    ps... I don't find it unusual to find queen cells started in units (small nucs or divides) where the queen is not laying at all or much. most time the queen cell generation (never in any large numbers) seem to continue for some time until the queens laying gets up to some adequate level. sometime I think you can encourage the young queen to lay a bit sooner by adding a frame of green (unsealed) brood right into the center of the unit...... after some time of being broodless I think this encourages the brood bees to begin tending brood. here just a dribble of feed gets a new queen to laying up in a more constant (not punctuated by the ups and downs of the nectar flow and weather) manner.
     
  8. Bhodi

    Bhodi New Member

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    Good news! More worker brood, some capped, some larvae, and the queen cell has been destroyed. There may be hope yet!