Three Queens!

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Eddy Honey, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    Well, maybe...

    My strongest hive has 2 deeps and 3 mediums packed with bees and honey/nectar.
    During todays inspection I saw a capped queen cell on the bottom of one frame, eggs and larvae of all ages, and capped brood. What I also saw was a beautiful rust colored virgin queen running around by herself.
    So I assumed I have the laying queen based on the eggs and larvae, a virgin, and a capped cell that looks close to emerging. I think they are preparing to swarm and possibly cast an after-swarm on top of that.

    I took the virgin queen, 3 frames of brood, 2 frames of food, and stuck them in a nuc until she is mated then I'll stick them in a 10 frame deep. The big hive has the laying queen and a capped queen cell just in case they can't contol the urge to swarm.

    What I am wondering is this, 11 days ago I installed a queen excluder on this hive below the 3 mediums as an experiment. This queen had brood in all 5 boxes towards the center so I wanted to keep her in the 2 deeps and let all the brood hatch out up there and then get back filled with nectar. The capped queen cell was above the excluder so I am wondering if they thought they were queenless up there and reared one. The virgin queen must have been reared in the bottom boxes because there were no queen cells in the upper boxes 11 days ago and I didn't check the bottoms.

    Anyway, I got excited when I saw a full 8 frame medium of honey but all the frames were only capped half way down starting at the top :clapping:

    I'll look in on them maybe next weekend and see if the honey is ready! First honey!!!
     
  2. dr.buzz

    dr.buzz New Member

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    Yes, absolutely. Open brood on both sides of a QE is actually a good queen-right queen rearing method. Or rather, I should say that putting a QE in between boxes of open brood is the easy way, if you want to raise queens in a queen-right colony. You can also find the queen and just put her on one side of the QE and put open eggs/larvae on the other side of the QE if you have the time to locate the queen. Since the queen's "footprint pheromone" isn't on the queenless side of a QE, they raise a new one. Looks like in your case they might have been fixing to swarm, and then you put that QE in there, so you had a swarm cell, a laying queen and then the emergency cell above the QE....But now you know an easy way to raise queens...You kind of discovered the Harden Method of queen-right queen rearing by accident.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip...
    What I also saw was a beautiful rust colored virgin queen running around by herself.

    tecumseh:
    this suggest there was something going on prior to you placing on the excluder. I would suspect if the old queen is still in the box this would suggest a superscedure situation. I sometime think that with very elongated brood nest and some variation in temperature the existing queen may be just fine but which ever end of the elongated brood area is without the queens begins rearing queen cells. you can have the same thing happen horizontally if you place some wall (a frame of foundation or a solid frame of capped honey or all pollen apply here) in the box that seperates two clusters of bees with the essential resources to create a queen cell.
     
  4. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    Yes, I agree Tec,

    That virgin queen was reared in the bottom boxes. She is in a nuc now and I moved the frame with the capped queencell below the excluder.

    As another experiment I am going to take another hive that has at least 8 frames of nectar, make sure the queen is in the bottom 2 deeps, then put a full box of nectar in the box directly over her. I want see if I can curb this "chimney" hive effect, without the use of an excluder.
     
  5. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    If the hive was crowded and i thought they were going to swarm? i would have taken the old queen and put her in the nuc and left the virgin queen, ahd put the capped queen cell in a nuc with a couple frames of brood (either from the mother hive or another hive). The problem here is you can end up with too many hives, and the up side is you still have one or two queens you can reintroduce back to the mother hive if things don't go right. Now i'll go to the back of the bus with Murrell.:lol: Jack
     
  6. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    That was my plan Brooks. But there was a gazillion bees and I was tired and hungry. I searched each frame twice over and couldn't locate her. For all I know she died and was carried off 2 minutes before I started my inspection. That's why I always tell people these inspections are merely a snapshot of the hive at 2:03pm on 4/29/2012. Who knows what went on at 2:02 or 2:04.
     
  7. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Ed, i know what you mean, trying to find the queen with that many bees is almost impossible (well for me). If they are close to leaving (swarm) i will find her in the lower brood box 90% of the time. Like G3 says, Bees are Bees and will do as they please.:roll: Jack
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    of course you can always resort to driving (with a lot of smoke) all the bees thru an excluder until her highness shows up.

    a snip...
    I want see if I can curb this "chimney" hive effect, without the use of an excluder.

    tecumseh:
    I have found the chimney effect is fairly easy to discourage if you set up the bottom box early and remove any impediments there to the early season horizontal expansion of the brood nest. I would guess about 90% of queens that go upward are encouraged to do so by some brood nest limitation in the bottom box. Here the most common impediment is solid combs of pollen... often time two with one on each side of the brood nest that may reduce the brood nest to 2 or 3 frames wide. other items that may apply are frames with foundation and solid frames of capped honey. enough bees in the box will typically council out foundation as a problem and capped honey can always be scratched (for me typically scratched with a fork just a bit on the one side facing the brood nest).
     
  9. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    you are most definitely welcome.... at this time of year I carry a metal rimmed queen excluder nailed (4 roofing nails) to a medium depth box in my truck at all times. sometimes when you just have to locate the queen this is a good last resort when checking and rechecking frames doesn't reveal her highness.
     
  11. dr.buzz

    dr.buzz New Member

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    Do you shake the bees off the frames into the empty box first? I've tried smoking bees through an excluder to find the queen but often found that no amount of smoke would make them leave open brood. Was I just not using enough smoke?
     
  12. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    12 days after seeing a capped queen cell at the frame bottom this hive swarmed....and are happy in their new 10 frame deep. I had them in a nuc but it was way too crowded.

    5 11 12 swarm.jpg