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Possible Late Swarm or New Queen

 
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Drafty
House Bee


Joined: 01 Jun 2015
Posts: 16
Location: Rhondda Valley, South Wales

PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:52 pm    Post subject: Possible Late Swarm or New Queen Reply with quote

Hi,

This is my first year beekeeping, I was lucky enough to be given a swarm with we think a new queen from my brother's national hives. we weren't sure if the new queen had made her mating flight before moving them. I installed the swarm into the new hive with about 10 bars and some syrup to get them going. after about 5 weeks they have built 6 90% filled bars.

I have done a couple of inspections and seen some uncapped honey arched over what I expect to be the brood comb, but no brood as yet. My main query is that I have also seen what appears to be a swarm cell on the edge of one of the combs and a possible emergency queen cell in the middle of one of the other combs.

Is it possible that the swarm queen has not mated and they are now looking to replace her, are they possibly looking to swarm and move on or do I need to try and re-queen the hive from an outside source.

as this is my first hive and its only about 6 weeks old, any advise will be good.

Thanks, Andy
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Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


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

PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Possible Late Swarm or New Queen Reply with quote

Drafty wrote:
Hi,

, but no brood as yet.

My main query is that I have also seen what appears to be a swarm cell on the edge of one of the combs and a possible emergency queen cell in the middle of one of the other combs.

Is it possible that the swarm queen has not mated and they are now looking to replace her, are they possibly looking to swarm and move on or do I need to try and re-queen the hive from an outside source.

as this is my first hive and its only about 6 weeks old, any advise will be good.

Thanks, Andy


think about it....... how can they make a new queen without eggs????

if you have swarm cells/supersedure cells then there must have been eggs, maybe you never saw them, but you should have brood, check where you saw that arch again, bees don't normally leave areas empty where something should go


maybe they are going to swarm, swarms will swarm again in the same year
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Drafty
House Bee


Joined: 01 Jun 2015
Posts: 16
Location: Rhondda Valley, South Wales

PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dexter,

I did think that they couldn't make a new queen without eggs but wasn't sure. It could be that I didn't see any eggs but definitely no brood. I am intending on having another look this weekend if the weather is good.

another possibly daft question and i think i know the answer, but would they build the swarm/supersedure cells even if there were no eggs. I'm guessing not but had to ask.

Andy
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Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


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

PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

they will build play cups, but wouldn't think they would build swarm or super unless having eggs, maybe the queen was a virgin and bad weather has slowed her down on her mating flight, how much time between hiving and your last check?
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Drafty
House Bee


Joined: 01 Jun 2015
Posts: 16
Location: Rhondda Valley, South Wales

PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Virgin Queen and bad weather may be the cause. Swarm was on 1st may. they were put into nuc box on the same day and then transferred to new hive on the 4th may. Last check was on the 30th May when i noticed the cells. We have had several days of low temp and wet.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you take and post photos when you check again so that we can see what you are seeing. Did you move the swarm to it's new location at night when all the bees were in..... just wondering if you may have lost the queen due to moving them. It is surprising that they would build so much comb without a queen but after this length of time there really should be brood.
If they really don't have any brood then I would see if you can get another swarm and unite them. Giving them brood to create an emergency queen will take too long as these bees only have a finite life span. The comb they have built will give a new swarm a great start though.

Edited to add a link to this post which shows similar broodless behaviour in a swarm for 4 weeks before eggs were laid
http://www.biobees.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17883&highlight=


Last edited by Barbara on Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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ingo50
Scout Bee


Joined: 30 May 2014
Posts: 311
Location: Newport, Gwent, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you seeing any pollen going in? If yes then probably a laying queen.
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Drafty
House Bee


Joined: 01 Jun 2015
Posts: 16
Location: Rhondda Valley, South Wales

PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara,

we plugged the hole on the nuc box about 6:30pm. there didn't seem to be any activity at the entrance and the temperature had fallen. The nuc was then moved from Hampshire to south wales. I will take some pics this weekend as the weather looks to be good and post them. Hopefully I am just missing something with these new bee looking eyes.

Ingo,

yes there is pollen going in. on the sunnier days I have sat and watched a lot of activity and seen the pollen being carried.
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Drafty
House Bee


Joined: 01 Jun 2015
Posts: 16
Location: Rhondda Valley, South Wales

PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the link barbara, I did see this a couple of days ago which is what started to get me a bit worried in the first place.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Extremely unlikely the queen would be out on her mating flight that late in the evening, so I don't think that will have caused the problem (of course it is only a perceived problem to the beekeeper.... the bees probably aren't worried at all!). It certainly sounds like they are displaying queenright behaviour, so I would take heart from Barsham bees experience of delayed brood rearing and assume her royal highness is just resting on her laurels until the time is right!
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Drafty
House Bee


Joined: 01 Jun 2015
Posts: 16
Location: Rhondda Valley, South Wales

PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Barbara, Hopefully if the welsh weather decides to behave tomorrow. I can have a good look and find some brood. Will post some pics of what i find. thanks for all the help.
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luk_lak
Guard Bee


Joined: 06 Dec 2013
Posts: 85
Location: Isle of Dogs, London, UK

PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If this is a swarm from 1st of May wouldn't it be a prime swarm with laying queen?

If something happened to the queen during the move there would be no bees in the hive now as they would die off. Or absconded.

My feeling is that everything is all right, maybe a bit slower. If they are bringing nectar and pollen and building more comb it means the population is not decreasing and they have a reason to build - space for brood and stores. So queen is laying.

*******************************
Permaradise - Friendliest gardener E14
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Drafty
House Bee


Joined: 01 Jun 2015
Posts: 16
Location: Rhondda Valley, South Wales

PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Managed to get into the hive today and took a couple of pics. Still not sure if there is any brood but I think I managed to get a pic of the queen. so everything may well be ok just a little slow. Also managed to get a shot of the possible swarm cell.

I can't see anywhere to be able to upload the photos to the forum though.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you need to upload them to a host site like flicker and then post a link
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Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


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

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

have also noticed with a lot of newbie posts, that they feel the need to get the collected bees out of a nuc and into a hive asap, in this case 1 day ???

nucs can be placed on top off the intended hive and left alone for at least 3 weeks apart from adding sugar syrup feed to aid them in building comb, that's it, walk away and no peeking, give the queen time to go on her mating flight and start laying, looking in too early will only make you presume things, as you may not see things your expecting to see on a full established hive, plus keeping them in the nuc means less of an area to keep warm,

here's what you want in a poly nuc, before even thinking about a hive

https://youtu.be/GlVgYs4AZco
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Drafty
House Bee


Joined: 01 Jun 2015
Posts: 16
Location: Rhondda Valley, South Wales

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Below is a link to a dropbox where I have saved the pictures. I think I have managed t spot the queen but not to sure.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/l5syi0ozfoxjasb/AACzhGKosRm3IHs-ya8d0OYva?dl=0
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Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


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

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yup, 3rd picture, nice looking queen,
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Drafty
House Bee


Joined: 01 Jun 2015
Posts: 16
Location: Rhondda Valley, South Wales

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was hoping that would be the queen, but what about the cell. Is this likely yo be a swarm cell or something else.
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Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


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

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

where was it in relation to the comb, cant see in the picture, middle/bottom/edge etc

as you have no eggs, then it's irrelevant whatever it is, it could be a play cup,
it maybe a swarm cell, but again, without eggs why worry, I'd be inclined to leave them alone, let the queen get mated and start laying eggs, you could rip that one down, and look again in 10 days, see if more have been built, once she comes into lay and more room is given it may just carry on a norm
if they build more and prime them with larvae and royal jelly, that's the time to worry
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Drafty
House Bee


Joined: 01 Jun 2015
Posts: 16
Location: Rhondda Valley, South Wales

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it was on the edge about the middle of the comb. I will be leaving alone but monitoring briefly through an inspection window every couple of days to see what progresses.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks like a play cup to me. I wouldn't worry too much about it.
You clearly have a queen and by the size of her, she is already mated.... virgin queens are much smaller .
Young brood and eggs are notoriously difficult to see on new comb, especially when the proportion of comb to bees is low, as it is in a new colony. At this stage the bees are covering it and it's too fragile to shake them off, so that you can get a good look. Hopefully, in a week's time, you will see capped worker brood and have your mind put at rest.
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Drafty
House Bee


Joined: 01 Jun 2015
Posts: 16
Location: Rhondda Valley, South Wales

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Barbara & Dexter, i feel a lot happier having had your input. I will leave well alone except for the brief window checks to see what develops. However, I must say that I am happy to have been able to spot the queen with my inexperienced eyes.
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