Thursday, August 13, 2015

Queenless

On a routine inspection of one of my packages from this year, I found a few queen cells like these.   26 cells to be exact.  That is a lot.  These guys were serious about requeening.   Chances are the old queen died suddenly and they panicked, putting queen cells wherever there were eggs the right age, which turned out to be everywhere.   She was a good layer.  Too bad they lost her.  Also she was a Russian queen I had spent extra money on when I bought the package.   So, bummer. 

I posted this pic to Beemaster and was advised that the abundance of queen cells was a good opportunity to try making laying nucs - tiny hives to raise queens and brood for sale or for backup. 

So, I split the hive into 6, with a frame of honey and a frame or so of brood with a queen cell or more in each nuc.  One of the 6 was left in the original hive, but reduced down to 1/2 a deep.  

Long story short, 4 of the nucs absconded back home.   The last one stayed put, but failed to raise the new queen, so I combined it back on the mother hive, who had managed to raise a fabulous new queen and as of last week had brood from stem to stern. 

All the hives were contracting and even though the blasted bees haven't touched the bucket feeder I put out a few weeks ago, it's obvious that the flow is over.   I put 2:1 sugar/water on every hive.

3 comments:

  1. Holy smokes! That is a lot of queen cells! Hopefully that means they had a bunch of resources to create that many queens and therefore she will be of high quality (assuming she mated well). Too bad about all those absconds. At least they successfully requeened one of the hives.

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    Replies
    1. I was nervous about doing all that splitting, but I figured that if only one of them took, then at least I wouldn't have lost anything. I'm glad the one took.

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