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joanne

Bee diary - 05/07/2016

So I finally managed to get into my bee's this evening to check on them. I've been ill with flu and/or it's been raining heavily when I've been able to go work them.

I'm still on Nationals btw and I've found a situation that I've never had to deal with before in July. I think I know what I'm going to do but I thought I'd get some other opinions first.

I've got 3 colonies, the first is my original queen in it, she's laying well and there is plenty of brood in there. Good brood pattern. Still on single brood

The second is the nuc split I did a month ago, moved it from the nuc into a full brood chamber this evening, beautiful laying pattern from the Queen, typical rugby ball shape, so I'm very happy.

It's my original colony that's the problem, I left it with two Queen cells and was expecting to see a laying Queen in there tonight, however there is just a bit of pollen and alot of honey.

So do I:

a) Put a frame of eggs and a frame of uncapped brood from the other two colonies and hope they raise a new Queen even though it's going to be later in the season when she's ready?

b) Reunite one of the smaller colonies with the main, probably the newest colony

c) Buy in a new queen?

I'm leaning towards option B as this is the quickest and probably safest option as long as they don't kill the new Queen but I'm tempted to go with a) because I'd really like to take 3 colonies into Winter ready for Spring next year.

What do other people think? I've posted this on the Natural beekeeping site as well so I'll be interested to see if there is a difference of opinion
dpack

sorry i cant help with your questions ,my bees are the wild sorts who have done a wonderful job on the blackberry crop in waiting but i often read bee threads as sometime i intend to start hive keeping somewhere and knowing a bit from following you lots adventures in beekeeping does help understand what is involved.
Mistress Rose

You could always try to raise a new queen as in a, and if it doesn't work, resort to b. If you put a sheet of newspaper between the two colonies when you reunite, it takes them time to break through and they get the same colony smell. May protect the queen a bit.
joanne

You could always try to raise a new queen as in a, and if it doesn't work, resort to b. If you put a sheet of newspaper between the two colonies when you reunite, it takes them time to break through and they get the same colony smell. May protect the queen a bit.


I know about the newspaper thing but having spoken to a lady over on the Natural Beekeeping site, it looks like that is the way forward.

Her advice is below:

Quote:
Although I don't do splits but I have found that after swarming, my parent colonies seem to take a break....summer holiday if you like. They have gone as long as 4 weeks from the last cast swarm emerging before they start producing brood again and I have been convinced on more than one occasion that they must have been left queenless, only to find eggs when I thought all hope was lost. I think there is no imperative in the parent hive for them to swing straight into action..... there is no comb to build and usually plenty of stores, so they just sit back and chill for a few weeks. The advantage of this holiday is that there is a long brood break which means varroa population drops right back and the bees are not working hard foraging, so they live longer and are still able to raise the next generation when it eventually arrives.


So I'm going to go in tonight and add a frame of eggs from the original Queen and see what happens.

The other thing was she asked me did they behave as though they were Queenless and no they didn't, they were just sitting on the comb ignoring me. Infact my beesuit ripped along a seam and I still didn't get stung.
Tavascarow

Can't say any more than has been said already.
Smile
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