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queen on hold

 
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exmoorlover
House Bee


Joined: 06 Jun 2012
Posts: 19
Location: exmoor, north devon, uk

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:06 am    Post subject: queen on hold Reply with quote

I try not to enter hive if I can help. However there seemed very little activity, and I looked in both ends, plenty of bees and they seem settled enough, but little stores and no brood on the first 4-5 frames in each end, Short of time, and in a panic, I ordered a queen, which has now arrived, In the cold light of day reading the introduction of queen instructions, I realise that I may be facing a colony having swarmed - though I have a large observation window and can and have seen no sign of swarm cells - and a virgin or newly mated queen in there. Not sure what to do now. I don't have access to other colony to take frames of brood/stores. Advice please, including the welfare of this currently caged queen.
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druidsgarden
Nurse Bee


Joined: 09 Jul 2014
Posts: 32
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you split the colony and put the new queen in the queenless side? That will give you a few weeks to sort out a second TBH. It's still only the middle of June, plenty of time to get them upto full strength.

That way if the new Virgin Queen fails you've got a backup
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exmoorlover
House Bee


Joined: 06 Jun 2012
Posts: 19
Location: exmoor, north devon, uk

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you. My instinct if there is a possibility of a virgin or newly mated queen in there is not to disturb the brood nest, which I would probably have to do to find the queen to make sure the new queen went in the opposite end. I really need some advice as to what someone experienced thinks is going on, and how I can look after this caged queen meanwhile. She was posted on Thursday and I feel a responsibility to try to ensure her survival somehow.
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druidsgarden
Nurse Bee


Joined: 09 Jul 2014
Posts: 32
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I'm not experienced in TBH's but I've almost 10 years of beekeeping experience and splitting the colony is what I'd do in a traditional hive.

It's fairly easy to split a colony and spot a Queen. I know she's young but she should be big enough to see.

Split the colony down the middle and work through them until you see the Queen. Then check the other side and move any eggs to the Queen side.

Look for sealed brood and drawn out comb. I'd avoid eggs if you spot any because the Queen is likely to be on them.

I think under the circumstances you've got no choice, that Queen needs to be in a colony ASAP.
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exmoorlover
House Bee


Joined: 06 Jun 2012
Posts: 19
Location: exmoor, north devon, uk

PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you both, and I've done as you suggested. I wasn't able to find the queen, or at least I thought I caught sight of her, but then couldn't find her again, but I'm fairly sure I identified where all the activity was, and used the other end for the split. There is very little brood, some open larvae but not much and very little stores one comb I would think newly capped and working on another. Pollen. Several empty combs, many hatched swarm cells, and one hatched supercedure cell. Plenty of bees. And some cross combing which I left alone. I have put in 1:1 feed at both ends.
Now I hope for some fine weather for them to build themselves up. I'll check back in a couple of days to make sure she is out of her cage.
Thanks again.
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