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Josh

NZBF Revelations and faulty bee math

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So nitrile gloves are a revelation, but the bare skin on the back of my wrist got stung (thumb loops are going to be added, to stop sleeve creep). But I can absolutely attest to the fact you are far less clumsy and faster with no "keepers gloves" on. And it was nice to be able to pick up the queen and move her aside to allow more convenient frame transplants (she was on the best frame of eggs)

 

I split my full 3 deep ¾ hive 9 days ago. And clearly they didn't get straight into making queen cells as I had 4 cells (in the swarm location off the bottom of the hive) but all were open and not closed as they should have been at day 9. So that means there must be a washout period after you move the queen away, correct?

 

I inspected the 4 open cells, 2 had larva, the others didn't.

 

So I've moved a notched frame across, just in case, also. Life is conspiring against further inspections for a few weeks, so fingers crossed.

 

Be interested to see when people check for cells after a split normally, I had read previously 9-16 days. Clearly 9 was a little early, so when do others?

 

Cheers

 

 

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20 minutes ago, Josh said:

nitrile gloves are a revelation, but the bare skin on the back of my wrist got stung (thumb loops are going to be added, to stop sleeve creep)

 You can stretch them over your cuffs. Then no bee stings

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I tried normal gloves once and was so clumsy that I went to nitrile gloves. They are good for keeping hands clean but I soon figured that the added sting protection was so minimal that I have gone gloveless. Psychologically it’s way easier with gloves on, practically it’s way harder.

I think Trevor Gillbanks wears nitrile gloves, which probably indicates it’s a good compromise.

Edited by cBank
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Hobbyists with only a few hives don't need gloves. If you take care to not squash bees between fingers or fingers & frame you won't get stung unless your bees are grumpy or you're being rough with them. TG likes to wear nitrile to keep his pinkies free of stickiness but that's not an issue with two or three hives. Going gloveless teaches you respect & care. And is a stepping stone to not wearing a veil unless you detect agro.

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3 minutes ago, yesbut said:

TG likes to wear nitrile to keep his pinkies free of stickiness

Per xackery. I hate getting propolis on things that are not dedicated to beekeeping.  I hate propolis on my phone or steering wheel of the Ute.

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56 minutes ago, Josh said:

split my full 3 deep ¾ hive 9 days ago.

Would you be able to detail the way you did this? I’m close to doing the same with 3/4 boxes and am interested in the makeup of the box you made.

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1 hour ago, Josh said:

 

Be interested to see when people check for cells after a split normally, I had read previously 9-16 days.

So. What are you looking for when you check, and, why 9 days (or whatever)? 

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10 minutes ago, Dave Black said:

So. What are you looking for when you check, and, why 9 days (or whatever)? 

I in my book smarts kinda way, I read you check at 9-16 days for cells and if present you can relax and wait for your new queen. And if you see none, bring a frame of eggs across from a stronger queen right hive. 

 

In my keen bean hobbiest kinda way, I was too keen an I should have waited till the weekend. 

Edited by Josh

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Is the harm in looking related to the possibility you might damage a queen cell?

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if doing the pauper way don't even look. risk of damaging cells.

some will cut out most of the cells and leave one or two. but its probably better just the leave the bees do it.

 

 

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btw some of the pauper split i did 34 days ago, just started laying in the last day or so.

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1 hour ago, Josh said:

I in my book smarts kinda way, I read you check at 9-16 days for cells and if present you can relax and wait for your new queen. And if you see none, bring a frame of eggs across from a stronger queen right hive. 

 

In my keen bean hobbiest kinda way, I was too keen an I should have waited till the weekend. 

Okay, that's not a 'why' answer.

I'll suggest you are looking because you want to see IF cells have been started AND how many there are AND how old they are. You are expecting the queenless portion to start cells on two day old larvae, which will only happen if the split contains some. It may not, in which case you could choose to add some. There may be many cells made, and if you have lots of bees in the split you have just made it's possible for the bees to produce another swarm. If you have lot of sealed cells they may already have. In an ideal world you'd remove the sealed cells and leave, at most , two of the largest open ones. Why open ones? Because you can look and see they are healthy. When are cells sealed? on the eighth day after laying, but if they use a two day old larvae (and they will), 3 to 4 days later (8 - (egg (3)+ larva (2)) = 3). By paying attention to the timing you will know the situation and when you might expect to see eggs from a new queen. Less inspections, guessing, and less chance of spooking a new queen or wrecking cells.

So why did you pick 9-16?

Edited by Dave Black
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4 minutes ago, northbushman1 said:

What type of nitrile gloves are the best? Any or specific brands?

I buy Double tough Nitrile from Protector Safety

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1 hour ago, Dave Black said:

Okay, that's not a 'why' answer.

I'll suggest you are looking because you want to see IF cells have been started AND how many there are AND how old they are. You are expecting the queenless portion to start cells on two day old larvae, which will only happen if the split contains some. It may not, in which case you could choose to add some. There may be many cells made, and if you have lots of bees in the split you have just made it's possible for the bees to produce another swarm. If you have lot of sealed cells they may already have. In an ideal world you'd remove the sealed cells and leave, at most , two of the largest open ones. Why open ones? Because you can look and see they are healthy. When are cells sealed? on the eighth day after laying, but if they use a two day old larvae (and they will), 3 to 4 days later (8 - (egg (3)+ larva (2)) = 3). By paying attention to the timing you will know the situation and when you might expect to see eggs from a new queen. Less inspections, guessing, and less chance of spooking a new queen or wrecking cells.

So why did you pick 9-16?

 

Thanks Dave, that makes sense, and 

 

But, I checked today on Day 9. I know I had Day 1-2 eggs present because when I made up the split I left these frames behind, and took the queen away. Meaning that the returning foragers would boost numbers and plenty of eggs for a new queen. So today, I should have found closed queen cells, not open.

 

Now I checked on Day 9, to look for cells and make sure the split was working. And I was just keen to see what was happening, this is my first attempt at a split. Also when I came out of winter with one hive having a unexplained queen loss, i was advised to bring eggs across and check around day 9-10 and if no cells then bring more eggs. This worked, but I now realise it was better to be lucky than good.

 

I read back over the info and I see the sentence "don't open for 4-5 weeks or you'll risk the whole operation". But other information says "check and remove excess or less desirable cells". And now I find out, thanks to your great explanation, that its even possible for a queenless hive to get jazzed up and wanting to swarm.  

 

Check/Don't Check, Cull cells/Don't Cull cells o.O

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4 minutes ago, Josh said:

Check/Don't Check, Cull cells/Don't Cull cells o.O

Yup, I know, confusing. That's why understanding the why matters. You are right to think about the arithmetic. For a queen, the egg stage is 3 days, the larva 5 days, and the pupa 7 days. Eight days to a sealed cell, 15 days to an emerging queen. (You need to learn these, for all the castes). I suspect the reason you came up with 9 -16 (from the book) is that it was thinking of  a two or three day old larva being turned into a queen, so lets say 7 plus 2 equals nine (the earliest point you'd see a queen, and 16 is the latest (if they only had a day old egg.) The conventional advice is not to disturb the colony until there is a mated queen, and she'd take 5 - 15 days after that (typically) to mate and lay. That's the don't open advice. The check and remove advice is talking about a much earlier stage, before you have developing queen pupa. @tristan suggests skipping that, and fair enough. I suggest checking. It doesn't matter. The point is to try and understand what is going on (the 'why') so that you can evaluate what applies to your situation when you ask for advice from all and sundry. The basic beekeeping maths is important, as you recognise.

 

26 minutes ago, Josh said:

...today, I should have found closed queen cells, not open.

Bees don't read the same books :) and sometimes make decisions slowly, like another democracy I know!

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Thanks @Dave Black, its starting to sink in. I'll come back and read all this again in 2 weeks and see if it still makes sense.

 

 

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2 hours ago, northbushman1 said:

What type of nitrile gloves are the best? Any or specific brands?

Blackwood Saftey have a nitrile Double Tough Long Cuff

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3 minutes ago, Dave Black said:

That's why understanding the why matters.

i could not agree more.

regardless of how you do beekeeping, its all about understanding and decision making.

 

the trick is knowing when leaving the bees to do it is a better option than you doing it. 

 

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1 minute ago, tristan said:

...the trick is knowing when leaving the bees to do it is a better option than you doing it. 

 

And the odds are mostly with the former !

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27 minutes ago, Dave Black said:

And the odds are mostly with the former !

The bees know best

we’re just the keepers (or not)

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