Sunday, April 6, 2008

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

My aspiration is to one day run three functioning hives (2 langs, the TBH, and a NUC maybe two). Three weeks ago I split my hive in the hopes that I could begin my goal. As I moved forward; I may inadvertently slightly slowed progress.

Last week I found an uncapped supercedure queen cell. A supercedure cell is the way a hive replaces a failing, sick, old, or injured queen. That means the old queen is still around. How do I know the old queen is around?? There are 4 to 5 day old larvae. Not much but there are some.

Since I wasn’t sure of what to do, I spend the week reading and informing myself. I used the beekeeping forums and a Florida beekeeper got in touch with me to offer his advice. All in all, a great bunch of helpful people. There are definitely many ways to skin this cat. Meaning there are many paths to being a successful beekeeper, and to mess things up. Was the queen injured during the split???? By removing so many eggs and brood, and breaking up the brood nest did the bees think that the current queen was failing???????

Who knows for sure! Right now the cause is rather useless. The facts are the hive has four queen cells and I find myself referencing the bee math once again (last year for the 1st time). The pictures below show both sides of the same frame and a queen cells on each side. The location of the queen cells makes them supercedure cells. Swarm cells would be located at the bottom of the frame.
(Above Queen cell to the right) (Above Queen cell to the left)
In about 16 days one queen will hatch, kill the un-hatched queens, fly out to mate, and eventually take over the hive. I will leave the hive alone for 20 days, and hopefully an inspection by then will reveal new eggs from the new queen.

PS. when it rains, it poures. I don't know what I was thinking when I placed my hot smoker on the Beemax top. Some fiberglass resin should fill the hole nicely


Anonymous said...

so if I don't laugh at you....

opened my hive last week, no brood, a few bees, lots of honey left from fall

ordered new queen from GA, it arrived today, and when i opened the hive i found about 10 supercedure cells, one of them OPENED. Ha! What to do with my very expensive queen? not a chance i could find the critter that came out of that opened cell, so i punctured the rest of them, installed the new queen, and am now hoping for the best

you promised (?) not to laught

Bee Anonymous: said...

I tell you what !!! we can laugh and cry together ..... sound good ? :-)


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