Which hive lost the queen?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Gypsi, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I went through hives very lightly today, swapping migratory covers with feed jars for telescoping covers with inner covers.

    My neighbor's hive was first, then he came over to help me. I had a stack of frame feeders, but only used one. My hives reek of dirty socks but are filling up without most of the feed jars even being touched.

    Hive 1 looked good, only 9 frames in the deep, 9 more in the medium super, not full but no empty frames. Bees quiet. (this is the former hot hive)

    Hive 2 looked good, 9 frames in the deep, 10 on top, much capped syrup/honey, didn't need fed. (this would be the blue morning glory hive that requeened itself September 10th)

    Hive 3 was hotter than normal. Not African hot, but even with smoke before removing the cover, there were bees coming out to greet us.
    and on a cinderblock below the entrance, there was a healthy young queen with a circle of attendants. Now, I was not sure this queen belonged to hive 3, so I wanted to put her in a queen cage with a candy cork. But she wouldn't go in the cage. I didn't squish her. She did fly off (probably to observe my insanity from the bushes behind me, but I couldn't find her.)

    this was about 4 pm, and we had a cold front coming in. Since I have robber screens on all hives, including Hive 3, she might have gone for a wing-stretch and couldn't figure out how to get in. I was heartbroken that I let her get away, but in the end I had to finish the other hives.

    Hive 4 was calm, 9 frame deep, 10 frame super, a little empty space but not enough I felt like I needed to feed. (I was also collecting still partly full feed jars, so my assessment is based on that.)

    Hive 5 was started with a queen and a couple of frames in July, and I had doubtfully left a medium super on last month. They have filled out the center 4 frames of their super. So I swiped a couple from the end and gave them the frame feeder, with climb out netting, and the contents of all the half empty feed jars. I will be able to refill without removing the super. Going down to 9 frames in the bottom box helped with that.

    The double nuc converted to a heavy robberguarded 10 frame had a few dead bees in the robber screen, but a pile of them on the floor, and more dumped in the frame feeder, including some larva. There were some living bees, virtually no brood except a queen cell. 2 full frames of syrup, their other 6 frames of comb pretty much empty. They were right next to the morning glory hive, and I think it was not even safe for them to forage, they were having difficulty gettiing home, and they were having difficulty getting dead larva out a couple of weeks ago when I adjusted the screen to make it easier.

    I put a pair of windowscreen spacers on top of Hive 5, put an old front drilled deep on top, and moved the frames over. There are wax moth or shb larva on the solid board. They hens will eat the worms for forage tomorrow, I aimed the front entrance at the rear of hive 5. Put a telescoping top on, and since the opening aims north, I put some masking tape over the screen slider so I can change my mind about blocking wind, and I blocked the bees in for the night. I did not see an actual queen in this, but very few bees too. I put a clump of bees from a trap nuc in, they seemed to smell the queen on me, and went. For now. may get to be part of a main hive if they don't grow.

    Question: Which hive lost the queen (I'm guessing the hot one - #3)

    If hive 3 is queenless will they survive the winter?

    I did find a small clump of bees under hive2's exposed screen. Could be a queen. 6 attendants and one queen do not make a hive, I'll need to do a combine. When? I was thinking of adding her to a giant hair clip with a hollow part, and more bees. then adding her to what I believe is her hive . Or I can build a hive from scratch starting with her. Not enthusiastic on this.

    soo sleepy. Please excuse typos.
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    Hive 3 was hotter than normal. Not African hot, but even with smoke before removing the cover, there were bees coming out to greet us.
    and on a cinderblock below the entrance, there was a healthy young queen with a circle of attendants. Now, I was not sure this queen belonged to hive 3, so I wanted to put her in a queen cage with a candy cork. But she wouldn't go in the cage. I didn't squish her. She did fly off (probably to observe my insanity from the bushes behind me, but I couldn't find her.)

    tecumseh..
    sounds like given the location you spotted her this hive is in the process of requeening itself. almost all naturally reared queen (ie the queen has not be introduced via an introduction cage) will find their way back home.
     

  3. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It sure got cold last night. She had about 2 hours above 55 degrees before dark. How will I know if she made it?

    Going to see if the clump of bees is still under the hive (2) with the open screened bottom. If there is a queen in the clump, (and maybe if there isn't) going to add them to the failed swarm start hive above hive 5. over a double screen but really needs bees. Good idea? bad idea? It's cold outside.
     
  4. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Will a couple of nights above another hive with double screens in the middle be enough to let me merge the tiny swarm bee hive with my next weakest but well queened hive?
     
  5. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Don't think I have a choice. All these bills will be killed and robbing will commence again, or I can merge them with my other hive today. Hoping the cold weather and close proximity will help.
     
  6. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    well I opened the top box (my former double nuc), only lost 8 or 9 bees due to fighting so far (biggest hive hasn't found them) Pulled double screen and inserted newspaper with a dime sized hole started in it over my youngest strong hive, they can use the numbers. And the intact stores. Lots died last week but these are some tough little bees..