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Something very strange

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Horizontal top bar hives
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Invision
Guard Bee


Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 71
Location: Poulsbo, Washington USA zone 8b

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:13 pm    Post subject: Something very strange Reply with quote

So I wanted to get an early split going so I remove the old queen from my 4’ hive and 3 frames of brood. I tried the method of OTS (On The Spot) queen rearing. I figured that for me wanting to just raise a replacement queen of the old this method suited me best. So I notched the brood comb with eggs then I notched brood come with day or larva 4 days later nothing had happened and I thought that I may have killed that hive… Keep in mind that I did the notching Tuesday last week and also removed the queen at the same time…

Here comes the strange part:

Yesterday I went and peeked through the window and low and behold 4 queen cells on the edge of the combs… I thought to myself at first WTF (sorry for the term) being only a second season to beekeeper and never seen this before on YouTube videos (I’ve watched COUNTLESS hours, it’s sad…) and forums. So I decided to do an inspection of the entire hive and check for others. After looking over all my notched combs and every other comb these 4 now 3 (I broke one pulling the bar up… girls cleaned up that mess and were not happy about it) were the only 3 in the hive, so I checked them and sure enough they were packed with Royal Jelly and there was a big fat larva in each. For the life I don’t understand how they managed to get an egg/larva in those cups. I destroyed all the swarm cups leading up to the time I wanted to notch. My only theory is that they girls moved and egg or larva to those cells from a different location, I did not leave any cups after notching. These bars were also all capped brood with no larva or eggs on any of them, they were also on the outside of drone cells. I’m so confused.
Has any of you long time top bar beeks see this happen?
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't say I have ever seen it happen, but there have been rumours of it happening back into the old books. I don't see why they wouldn't move an egg if they needed to - most likely not a difficult procedure for a bee used to working with flakes of wax and capable of carrying a dead bee out of the hive.
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Invision
Guard Bee


Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 71
Location: Poulsbo, Washington USA zone 8b

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see how they could, but it's just odd, I'm tempted to test them just to see if it can happen twice. Smile Strange little buggers.
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My thought is that perhaps the cells that you notched were not in a good location to raise a queen for some reason. Perhaps too near the centre of the broodnest or perhaps the removal of the other combs for the split changed the environment and caused them to move eggs/larvae to a better location.
In my opinion, it's a classic case of us thinking we are helping them, when they really don't need it. They have a much better knowledge than us about the conditions inside the hive required to raise a good queen.
The only time I have had queen failures, is when I have meddled. I would therefore advise against "testing them again" as it is not in their or your interests. Just accept that they know best and marvel at what they can achieve!

Regards

Barbara
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Invision
Guard Bee


Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 71
Location: Poulsbo, Washington USA zone 8b

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well my reason for testing it again is because so many have been saying that "it does not happen". at least from the forums I've been reading. Also there were two cups where I notched, They are now gone... like you said, they may have moved those or they consumed them... I don't know why it wouldn't be worth wild to test this. If I have excess bees I should be ok to spare a few for this. Worse that could come of this is I end up with excess queens... I'll just give or sell them to local beeks in my area. If they truly do move eggs/larva it would be cool to prove it.
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