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Bee diary - 10/07/2016

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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7099
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 16 11:09 am    Post subject: Bee diary - 10/07/2016 Reply with quote

Just finished in my bees this morning, had given them a few more days for the Queen in the main hive to start laying if she was there.

However there is no sign of a Queen and they weren't as happy as the other two colonies, lots of fanning going on and I noticed a couple of queen cups.

So I took a frame of eggs and brood from the original Queen and gave them that. Hopefully they'll be Queen-right in a month or so, I'll check them next week to see what they are doing with it.

The other two colonies look fine brood and eggs-wise, the original Queen colony however is very low on stores, infact they have hardly any. I'm going to have to keep a close eye on them to make sure they don't starve. I may put a feed on them tonight, just to give them a bit of a boost.

The nucleus that I transferred into the brood chamber on Tuesday is going great guns, I can see them moving onto the new foundation and they've plenty of stores.

I'm really hoping that the weather settles down because we are reaching the point where the next honey flow is due and I really would like to get some honey, even if it's just one super, this year as well as give them time to build up for winter.


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7099
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 16 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quick update on this, checked through my bees last night and I'm delighted to say I've now got a laying Queen in the Queenless colony, nice laying pattern and plenty of eggs! They've also got so much honey!

However I've now got the colony with the original Queen trying to build Queen cells! It's a crazy season! I found a large almost sealed Queen Cell and two other cells that were charged.

I'm really confused why they would want to build Queen cells at this time of year, the Queen is only 12 months old and has been laying very strongly so shouldn't be failing and they have plenty of space. My only thought is I bought her as a nuc and she's a clipped Queen, maybe they've decided to supercede her?

I don't know what is going on but I'm going to stick a super on them this weekend and just double check them. I thought I had seen eggs but now I'm worried I just thought I had.


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7099
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 16 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having read through this


I'm now convinced it is supersedure, the pattern of Queen cells were exactly as described. So it's even more imperative that I ensure I've not accidentally left them Queenless. Going to check that there are still eggs and then leave them to it but with an added super on there. We using get a really good late summer and early autumn so it's likely they'll have plenty of forage at this time of year.


Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 16 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like all behaviour some strains will be more prone to supersedure in the same way as swarming (Italian strains being particularly prone to swarming).
Personally it never bothers me. A proportion of colonies often supersede after swarming. A brood break helps control varroa & a young vigorous queen will build up faster in the spring.
The problem comes when there aren't enough drones to mate the virgin queen & you find yourself queenless in the Autumn.

My best advice is don't worry but next year take a small split from your best colony & raise a queen for emergency use.


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7099
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 16 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thankfully one of my main goals for this year was to increase my stocks, I've gone from one colony to 3 and if push comes to shove I can always reunite a couple of colonies together for over wintering.

It's just in 10 years of beekeeping I've never had a supersedurebefore or if I have I've missed it. These are very dark quite small bees though and came from a black bee breeding program whereas in the past I've had swarmy Italians. These are quite well behaved and easy to work with the minimum of smoke.

I am almost at the limit of the number of colonies I can manage at home. I've had 6 in the past and feel that is a little too many, 4 is my ideal. I've got a couple of out apiary options already for next year including the community space in Lancaster.

I'd just like a little honey from them now, I'm not greedy just a super or so would be great! I'd rather they had a wealth of stocks for winter.

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