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Guy

NZBF My first swarm. Very exciting but have I done everything right?

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The ugly queen cell may be good from a stray egg - is it capped or open ? If open, has it got a larva in it ? If capped it should open within 4-5 days as the manipulation took place on 20 September and that's 13 days ago. And then you could have a wee, little peek to check whether a queen has emerged, which is not very safe, or give them another frame with some eggs and see whether they draw queen cells - if not, they probably have a queen. But you have to open the box to do that, and you already have, so the peek would probably be OK. And if you find an exited queen cell with a frilly rim, just leave them alone for 4 weeks. And if lots pollen starts going in, that's a good sign.

Or when you have the little look you could find lots of eggs as the queen could be on laying strike ...

I admire your self control ... Good luck.

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It was capped. I'll have a peek in a week.

 

Incidentally, just noticed that the doorways seem to have been opened up a bit - presume by mice or rats. Can I assume that the bees will ward off any mice/rats? All three hives are pretty strong at the moment. Rather not leave any poison around with children, cats and chooks in the garden. I'll have a word with the cat :)

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I sometimes lay rat poison under the base board where chooks and cats can't reach.

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Looks like lots of pollen is going in to the new hive. Does that possibly mean I have a virgin queen or will she have mated?

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Hi Guy, We like to believe that lots of pollen going in means the bees are feeding larvae - and it may be the case. But how is the arithmetic for a queen laying by now ? Let's see, 19 September with cells which should close in maybe 3 days, and then hatch 8 days later, hmmm that's 30th September. A couple of days to strengthen, a few nice days for mating, and then she can start to lay very soon (or 3 weeks later !). Quite possible, and the bees respond to a mated queen.

When are you planning on having that little peek ?

Sometimes the bees bring in pollen because they are aware of a shortage, so if there are no eggs its not time to worry.

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Had that little peak. Queen cells look to have hatched in both hives now but no sign of any egg laying. Have a quick peak in another week or so? I'm really conscious of having hives with laying workers as it took out one of my hives last year.

 

Had a lot of queen cells emerging throughout my 1st hive. I usually find the queen in this one but couldn't see her today. Plenty of eggs have been laid though so I'll assume she is ok and check again in a week or so.

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From the queen emerging from the cells to start laying can be from right now to the end of October.

 

Don't worry about laying workers because its looking good, but if there are no eggs in a week and you are concerned, you can give each hive a frame of open brood which produces pheromones which suppress workers laying impulses.

 

Waiting for the news in a week ...

 

PS I did not understand "Had a lot of queen cells emerging throughout my 1st hive" ? Please interpret for me, thanks.

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Sorry - just an observation of my other hive, where I'm getting open brood. Just found a lot of open, uncapped queen cells - they weren't there, or obvious, last week and I have a lot of eggs in the hive so I'm assuming all is well. I removed the cells and will check again next week (with the others). Thanks for the ongoing advice :)

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Do the cells have a puddle of royal jelly and a larva in them ? If so, they may mean business, but taking brood off them may give them the feeling that they have enough space ...

Or they can be "cups" which don't come to anything.

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OK - no new eggs in the footprint hive but plenty of pollen going in so I'm hoping this means QR. Add some capped brood and eggs to help them along just in case?

 

Split hive is very strong but no queen and not much sign of pollen going in. I've added a frame of eggs and capped brood to keep them going and repress any potential laying workers.

 

My strong QR hive looks good - saw queenie the other day. Lots of eggs and brood. Plenty of stores. Quite a few cups but no sign of any royal jelly being fed. There were a couple of eggs in these cups so I destroyed them just in case. I'll keep an eye.

 

I'll check again at the weekend as it's time to remove my varroa strips and add the honey supers.

 

Any advice at this point?

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If your adding brood and eggs and they are not desperately making Queen cells from them you can be fairly confident there is a queen coming along in there.

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OK - no new eggs in the footprint hive but plenty of pollen going in so I'm hoping this means QR. Add some capped brood and eggs to help them along just in case?

 

Split hive is very strong but no queen and not much sign of pollen going in. I've added a frame of eggs and capped brood to keep them going and repress any potential laying workers.

 

My strong QR hive looks good - saw queenie the other day. Lots of eggs and brood. Plenty of stores. Quite a few cups but no sign of any royal jelly being fed. There were a couple of eggs in these cups so I destroyed them just in case. I'll keep an eye.

 

I'll check again at the weekend as it's time to remove my varroa strips and add the honey supers.

 

Any advice at this point?

You are doing just right giving brood and eggs, their lack of making queen cells suggests that queens are present. It won't hurt to give more brood and eggs to footprint hive. From queen emerging from her (swarm) cell to starting to lay can be up to 4 weeks, so you have a bit more time up your sleeve. Love this arithmetic.

You may soon have three QR hives ... or not (!). And that's another topic.

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Thanks for your help - the footprint hive has a queen. Many fresh eggs spotted. The hew hive has no eggs but there are no queen/swarm cells from the brood put in there last weekend so I'm assuming there is a queen in there somewhere (waiting to lay or waiting to mate?). Original hive going strong - a number of cups again, a couple with eggs, but no royal jelly and I destroyed them again. A lot of brood available if new hive needs another kick start.

 

On another note (another topic?) - I've got a load of plastic frames which haven't been given a base layer of wax, and I've run out of wax. Any suggestions?

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I've got a load of plastic frames which haven't been given a base layer of wax, and I've run out of wax. Any suggestions?

buy some wax.

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Thanks for your help - the footprint hive has a queen. Many fresh eggs spotted. The hew hive has no eggs but there are no queen/swarm cells from the brood put in there last weekend so I'm assuming there is a queen in there somewhere (waiting to lay or waiting to mate?). Original hive going strong - a number of cups again, a couple with eggs, but no royal jelly and I destroyed them again. A lot of brood available if new hive needs another kick start.

 

On another note (another topic?) - I've got a load of plastic frames which haven't been given a base layer of wax, and I've run out of wax. Any suggestions?

Great 2/3 ! And one to come.

 

I don't do plastic, sorry, I like the wood and wax.

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On another note (another topic?) - I've got a load of plastic frames which haven't been given a base layer of wax, and I've run out of wax. Any suggestions?

Once the hive is strong, and the flow is on, just put full super of unwaxed frames on straight above the top brood box with no excluder. If the flow is strong they'll draw them out fine. Don't mix unwaxed with waxed or drawn frames as they can end up messy.

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Really didn't occur to me that you could just buy wax. Thanks @Pinnacle, I'll try it out with one of the hives and see how they go.

 

@tudor - if I don't have any queen action within the next couple of weeks is it worth combining the two hives again?

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Really didn't occur to me that you could just buy wax.

Have a look on TradeMe

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Really didn't occur to me that you could just buy wax. Thanks @Pinnacle, I'll try it out with one of the hives and see how they go.

 

@tudor - if I don't have any queen action within the next couple of weeks is it worth combining the two hives again?

@Guy The queen may start action, and then you score 3/3.

Or you may end up with a good result by uniting before you get laying workers, a good hive ready to pull in a good crop, but now many bees old.

 

Either way, good experience and good learning that the bees do things by their clock and we have to work within their parameters. But you have spun it out by strategic use of frames of brood.

 

And then they do something we have not thought about ...

:)

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Fantastic - look like 3 QR hives. Honey boxes on and good for a long summer :) Thanks again for your help all.

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What good news - well done.

 

And then your hive which did not swarm might just tickle you up with a swarm !?

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