The queen didn't follow my plan

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by srvfantexasflood, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood Member

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    Instead of pulling the honey in my two hives, I decided to let the bees take the honey down and store it for winter. As we have been in such a terrible drought, I was surprised they brought in as much nectar as they did. Of the two hives, one practically filled a 10 frame super, the other hive filled a 10 frame super about 3/4s full. Both hives are taking the honey down, but the queen in the hive with the partially filled super made plans of her own. She's filled it with eggs. I noticed the workers bringing in pollen like crazy. They are packing the pollen in the super. I'm concerned that she appears to have kicked into egg laying mode at a time when she should be tapering off. I think the colony runs the risk of starvation in the early spring. For lack of a better plan, I think I should watch for those larvae to emerge and then pull the super. Does anyone have any better ideas? Will those frames in the super be more susceptible to SHB larvae because of the pollen packed in there?
    Thanks in advance for any help you give me.
     
  2. heinleinfan

    heinleinfan New Member

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    Heh, those ladies will do that to us sometimes, won't they? Just completely ignore our plans for them. Population will start to taper off, but the colony needs *young* bees going into winter, so they do rear new workers into fall.

    When I put my supers on this spring, two of my hives never had a single egg in the supers, but the third had half a super full of drone brood before I noticed. Silly bees.

    I just placed my queen excluder on that hive, between the super and the deeps and, poof, problem solved. (Though, drones can't fit through the excluder either, so I had to rig up a top entrance over the excluder until the drones all hatched out.) I took it off about a month after, once that drone comb started filling with honey and the queen never went back up there to lay.

    I have never (*knock on wood*) had to deal with SHB yet, but my hives always have 4-5 frames of pollen down in their deeps going into winter. They need that pollen in early, early spring when they start building population again but can't yet forage.
     

  3. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    srvfantexasflood,
    queens and bees never follow our plan, if you are reading a book that tells you this, throw it out :lol:
    i can't answer your question about the shb, riverrat is in kansas and can perhaps answer that part of your question.

    queens by biological nature will know when to slow the brood rearing down for winter, some lines of queens will extend brood rearing past others, what line of queen do you have?

    about the super, some or all of the pollen is being used to feed the brood, do you have a semi circle of it over the brood? i wouldn't pull it, i would either find the queen and place her below, or place an excluder under the super she has laid in (make sure she's not trapped in that super). the bees will take care of the brood and they will hatch out, as they hatch out, the bees will revert the super back to honey storage.
     
  4. Noronajo

    Noronajo New Member

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    I have trouble with wax moth on stored frames with pollen, not shb. There's a moth repellent used on stored frames but I'm hesitant to put anything chemical in with frames that will have honey and be used for human consumption. I have an extra fridge in my garage I store them in but when I run out of room, I'm not sure what I'll do.
     
  5. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Check with Sundance on the bt he sells, pretty sure it is non chemical and food safe.
     
  6. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    bt works too!
     
  7. Noronajo

    Noronajo New Member

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    That's what I need, then. Thanks.
     
  8. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Missed opportunity! You certainly didn't need all that drone brood in the hive. varroa prefers drone brood because of the longer development time. You could of pulled the drone brood froze it and gave the frames back the next day the bees would have cleaned the brood with any dead mites in a few days. Drone frame pulling and rotating is an effective management treatment against the mite.
     
  9. heinleinfan

    heinleinfan New Member

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    Oh, I did cull most of it out, and I've seen a huge difference in varroa numbers this year. At that time there was no drone brood in the main deeps at all so I didn't want to get rid of all of them. Heh, and then the hive swarmed *right* before I was going to sell a third split from it to a friend, and then I had too many drones! I should have just culled them all.

    I had a few still capped when I stopped propping the lid up, and I went to do an inspection about a week after and when I opened the inner lid, there were about half dozen drones that came FLYING up outta the super like "Get me OUT OF HERE!" It was rather hilarious.
     
  10. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood Member

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    She's Italian. My understanding the package I bought was Konen (sp?) from California. They have been terrific and the 3# package weighed a lot more than 3#.

    I was thinking along the same lines regarding reinstalling the queen excluder. I'm going to smoke them down and reinstall the excluder. When the bees all hatch, then I will pull the super for winter. I never have been able to find the queen, so I will smoke them down.
     
  11. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    srvfantexasflood,
    italian queens are prolific egg layers, and italian bees are good honey producers, and also gentle bees. make sure they have enough honey for your winter, italians tend to go through winter stores quicker than others.

    "I never have been able to find the queen, so I will smoke them down"

    look for any sign of the queen in the super, eggs, if there are eggs, she was there 3 days ago. if you install the excluder, check your super within a few days, if you are seeing eggs in that super, you have trapped her up there.

    well wishes to you :grin: