Swarm Queens

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Buzzen, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. Buzzen

    Buzzen Member

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    Got a couple smaller swarms this year, both are in double med. nucs. Had one for 2 weeks the other for 1 week, went in Sunday and found queens in both. neither were laying yet and seemed pretty small. Is this normal for swarm queens to be small? Maybe They are virgins? I figured the 2 week old one would be laying. Both had several frames of drawn comb to start on.
     
  2. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    If they were smaller swarms, they may have been afterswarms. It's not unheard of for an afterswarm to have a virgin queen.
     

  3. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Small swarms are mainly after swarms and will have virgins in them. Giver her another week and see what is happening. Hopefully they got mated and will start laying soon. If they are very small you could always combine the two swarms, of course one of the queens would have to be snuffed out.
     
  4. Buzzen

    Buzzen Member

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    I am thinking about doing just that G3. Combine them, would rather have one stronger hive than 2 weak ones. Which queen to pinch.......hmmmm. One is dark, the other light.
     
  5. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    one is laying and one is not...........HHHMMMMM!:lol:
     
  6. pturley

    pturley New Member

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    I wouldn't pinch either at this time of year. IMO: Two colonies are better than one right now.

    Before making a choice, I'd give them a bit of time to really be able to judge the queens' performances.
     
  7. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    Good idea! Some of the feral swarms in my area make all bees and no honey. Some do just right. I want to introduce the good ones and weed out the bad ones after they have a while to demonstrate expression of their genes. :)
     
  8. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    "I am thinking about doing just that G3. Combine them, would rather have one stronger hive than 2 weak ones. Which queen to pinch.......hmmmm. One is dark, the other light."

    as gunsmith and g3 said after swarms usually have virgin queens. queen metamorphosis in general; queens emerge 16 days after the egg is laid, mating flights about 20 days and egg laying begins 20-30 days...... so about 14-16 days after emergence (in general).
    so this generalized queen 'calendar' might help you decide what to do as to whether to combine/ pinch a queen. it is always better to have one strong hive, rather than trying to 'baby' two weak hives along.

    as paul said~"Before making a choice, I'd give them a bit of time to really be able to judge the queens' performances."

    this might help you to make a decision also:

    judging the quality of a queen

     
  9. Buzzen

    Buzzen Member

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    Thanks for the read Riverbee. Interesting.
     
  10. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    hey buzzen, your welcome, post back with an update about the progress and what you decide to do, helps others learn from what you decided to do and why.....:grin:
     
  11. pturley

    pturley New Member

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    We aren't talking about "weak" hives. We are talking about first year queens with a ton of potential for growth!

    While the statement favoring "one strong hive" may be true in the fall, at this time of year, I'd afford these two swarms every opportunity to expand on their own. They just might surprise you.

    Besides, you can always pinch one and combine later in the season.
     
  12. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    Can I drop a rock in this pond ??

    If you keep one or both these Q's, and you are not happy with them then it may be a re-queening job further on in your season.

    If things go well with the swarm Q (s), you could set them up for winter and find that they do not winter well for you.

    I would prefer to cull the Q's now and then give the colony (s) a frame of eggs from another of my hives that has performed well and come through winter well. That way they would have a Q from a strain I am happy with.

    If someone bred pedigree dogs or cats, they would not introduce a stray into the breeding stock.
     
  13. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Some of the best hunting dogs i ever had were mix breed. I would never off a swarm queen before I could judge her performance.
     
  14. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    I would keep the 2 hives With the summer Dearth comming up on us I would feed feed and feed some more. Get them built up and judge what you have in early fall. There is plenty of time to combine later.
     
  15. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    Buzzen, your weather will have a huge impact on how the bees and blooms turn out. Are you in desert, chaparral or mountains? I would guess that most of your annual moisture is behind you, be ready to feed until they have enough to make it through the winter. :)
     
  16. Buzzen

    Buzzen Member

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    Well, I have decided to hold off on pinching a queen for now. It has been another week and I am planning on checking both again on Sunday. One will have been hived for 3 weeks at that point, the other for 2. I should have eggs/brood by then in at least the 3 week hive, right? Wish I was better at bee math. I will try and get some pics and give an update on Sunday.
     
  17. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    You should have brood in both by then.
     
  18. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    "I should have eggs/brood by then in at least the 3 week hive, right? Wish I was better at bee math."

    buzzen, some bee math for you: :grin:

    stages of growth of honey bees days after eggs are laid:
    egg hatching>worker 3, queen 3, drone 3
    larva>worker 5, queen 5, drone 7
    cell capped> worker 8, queen 8, drone 10
    pupa>worker 13, queen 8, drone 14
    adult emergence>worker 21, queen 16, drone 24