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Queenless, move a queen cell over from TBH?

 
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Kit_McConnico
Foraging Bee


Joined: 03 Feb 2012
Posts: 124
Location: Houston, Texas, USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:52 am    Post subject: Queenless, move a queen cell over from TBH? Reply with quote

My goal here is to keep this package that I installed into a new standard hive alive.

I installed a package into a brand new standard hive with foundation two weeks ago. A week ago I went back and the queen wasn't out of her cage yet so I direct released her. She walked in and onto a piece of foundation, everything looked peachy. Today I went back through twice and there's no sign of her, There is the beginning of a queen cell, and the bees are irritated. I'm 99% sure I'm queenless. The girls are packing the place with pollen and building out the comb. Everything looks like I'm set up for a thriving colony except no queen.

On the other hand my old trusty top bar hive is booming. It's bar after bar of capped brood. The queen is in there and easy to spot. I've been letting them requeen themselves for 3 years. And there are two supersede cells in there that are almost capped.

My local apiary doesn't have queens available until June, and honestly I'd rather requeen from the line in my TBH anyway. They have a good temperament, are survivors, and produce.

I'm weighing these options:

1. Cut one of the queen cells out of the TBH and crop it into the standard. This is my preferred plan.


if I'm wrong and there is a queen in there she'll likely kill the new queen, and I've done no harm to the new hive and the old queen stays in the old hive. However it means hoping she hatches, takes a mating flight, and makes it back.

2. Move the old queen from the TBH over to the standard and let the supercedure cells do their work to keep the TBH alive. I would think I would need to put her in a cage so they don't ball her up though. I don't like this idea as it involves handling her a lot. But it does mean a producing queen goes in right away.

Any suggestions, pros/cons, or other ideas I haven't thought of? I'm open to all ideas.
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1487
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would carefully cut out a sealed QC and wrap it in silver foi, leaving the end the queen will emerge from open use a strip of the foil to suspend it between two top bars, in such a way, it will not get squashed when you put the bars back in.

She should be accepted. My mentor here told me that this way tends to be more reliable than introducing an emerged queen.
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rmcpb
Scout Bee


Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 447
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moving the cells would be my preference.

Cheers
Rob.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1569
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't understand why you think the queen is not in the hive..... I'm assuming you didn't see any brood? You say there is the beginning of a queen cell, so surely there must be brood.... they won't build a queen cell without it. It is only a week since she was released, so the brood will be mostly very young and difficult to see, especially on pristine new comb. If they are packing in pollen then this is usually another indication that they are queen right. I would look again in another few days rather than risk messing them up by putting a queen cell in there that is not part of their plan.... especially if you protect it with foil so that it cannot be torn down by them if they don't want it.

Can you clarify what makes you think it's queenless or post photos?
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Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 307
Location: Grays, Essex, UK

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

so the hive you think is queenless is a normal hive?
have you seen brood or larvae? eggs even,
as barbara says I would give it more time before swapping things around, do another check and see if you have BIAS, if so, then your queen is just hiding
if in the end your 100% sure it's Q- then just try adding a queen cell, forget the silver foil idea though

https://youtu.be/dRDccG2dyk4
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Kit_McConnico
Foraging Bee


Joined: 03 Feb 2012
Posts: 124
Location: Houston, Texas, USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks all for the replies.
I think it's queenless because I didn't see any brood or eggs. I also didn't see the queen. She's marked so pretty easy to spot. Also they seem agitated where my other hives just went about their business when I opened them yesterday.

I'll check again in a week and see what's going on and report back.

If I don't see signs of the queen in a week I'll probably still just wait another week.
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