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Re: A Strange New Queen

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  • moersch51
    Hi Larry- ... package was installed. The candy plug was gone and queen had been released. The bees were drawing comb in the top hive box. A released queen does
    Message 1 of 9 , Aug 31, 2009
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      Hi Larry-

      > I opened the hive to remove the empty queen cage six days after the
      package was installed. The candy plug was gone and queen had been
      released. The bees were drawing comb in the top hive box.

      A released queen does not mean an accepted queen, and even a queenless
      colony will build some comb. A better indicator of queenright-ness is
      pollen foraging.

      The new photos you posted show the spotty drone pattern of a
      drone-laying queen. The blond queen is probably the daughter of the
      original Russian queen, and was either poorly mated or unmated, either
      because of a lack of drones, or because of protracted bad weather when
      the young queen was at her most fertile age.

      If it were me, I would probably kill the blond queen, shake the
      remaining bees into the grass, and remove the hive. The workers will
      seek to join the good hive, and most will eventually be accepted.

      Take care-
      John M.
      --- In warrebeekeeping@..., "lgttlgtt" <larry@...> wrote:
      >
      > "moersch51" wrote:
      >
      > Your description invites a few questions.
      >
      > Did you ever actually see worker brood in this hive? The photo with
      the strange queen shows a few capped cells that appear to be from laying
      workers, though they could be just drones cells from a queen failing
      queen. So I am wondering if the original queen was never accepted to
      begin with. But because of the presence of the blond queen, I am
      thinking that a new queen was raised from eggs from the original, who
      was superseded. This is not uncommon, especially since mating weather
      when your queens were produced was so bad. The lack of stored honey and
      pollen point to an extended period of queenlessness.
      >
      > So, has this new queen produced any brood? Unless she has put it in
      high gear and established a good solid pattern, (and it seems quite
      evident she has not) this hive has no chance of survival. Sorry.
      >
      > -----
      >
      > I opened the hive to remove the empty queen cage six days after the
      package was installed. The candy plug was gone and queen had been
      released. The bees were drawing comb in the top hive box.
      >
      > Based on the initial activity at the entrance I suspect the original
      Russian queen was laying for a brief period before her untimely demise.
      >
      > I did not enter the hive again until my return this past weekend I
      noticed a marked decline in activity.
      >
      > I have uploaded a couple of photos the the larger comb found within
      the hive which may provide your more experienced eye some additional
      clues.
      >
      >
      http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/warrebeekeeping/photos/album/1840769774\
      /pic/1253617941/view?picmode=&mode=tn&order=ordinal&start=1&count=20&dir\
      =asc
      >
      >
      http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/warrebeekeeping/photos/album/1840769774\
      /pic/458781679/view?picmode=medium&mode=tn&order=ordinal&start=1&dir=asc
      >
      > I agree that this hive has no chance of survival, however it has been
      an interesting learning experience. I plan to expand from two to five
      hives next spring.
      >
      > Larry
      > www.warrebeek.com
      >
    • David Heaf
      John M wrote: The new photos you posted show the spotty drone pattern of a drone-laying queen. I thought this at first but then downloaded the original of
      Message 2 of 9 , Sep 1, 2009
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        John M wrote: "The new photos you posted show the spotty drone pattern of a
        drone-laying queen."

        I thought this at first but then downloaded the original of
        IMG_0065Permalink at

        <http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/warrebeekeeping/photos/album/1840769774/pi
        c/1253617941/view?picmode=original&mode=tn&order=ordinal&start=1&dir=asc>

        and examined it closely. I was not convinced that the cappings were domed
        enough for scattered drones. Looking in the bottom right quadrant of the
        picture there are at least six emerging young bees. Is this just the
        remnants of a previous laying cycle in the process of hatching? There are
        more in the bottom left quadrant. As these are all round the periphery of
        the brood area could they be just from the last eggs to have been laid in a
        previous cycle?
        ____________________________________________________

        David Heaf North-West Wales, UK
        Warré & 'National' hives at 30 m over mean sea level
        Warré beekeeping English web portal:
        http://warre.biobees.com/index.html
        ***OR***
        http://www.heaf.freeuk.com/warre/
        ____________________________________________________
      • lgttlgtt
        David Heaf wrote: Looking in the bottom right quadrant of the picture there are at least six emerging young bees. Is this just the remnants of a previous
        Message 3 of 9 , Sep 1, 2009
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          David Heaf wrote:

          Looking in the bottom right quadrant of the picture there are at least six emerging young bees. Is this just the remnants of a previous laying cycle in the process of hatching? There are more in the bottom left quadrant. As these are all round the periphery of the brood area could they be just from the last eggs to have been laid in a previous cycle?

          -----

          I have zoomed in on a video of the comb showing movement of the six emerging young bees referenced by David.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-AhwCVmV5w

          Larry
          www.warrebeek.com
        • moersch51
          Hi David- ... in a ... That is possible, as I cannot tell from Larry s video if what is immerging is drone or worker. So I would say that if it is in fact
          Message 4 of 9 , Sep 1, 2009
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            Hi David-

            >As these are all round the periphery of
            > the brood area could they be just from the last eggs to have been laid
            in a
            > previous cycle?

            That is possible, as I cannot tell from Larry's video if what is
            immerging is drone or worker. So I would say that if it is in fact
            worker brood, then one would expect that the center of the comb would be
            filled with eggs and larvae. This is not obvious from the pictures.
            Maybe Larry can inspect again. The expectation should be that when a
            queen resulting from supersedure takes over, the bees then forage with a
            sense of urgency and quickly fill the vacated areas with pollen and
            honey. This is not evident in the photos. But they are only photos, and
            maybe they present an incomplete picture.

            One would also expect that if a new queen had been in place long enough
            to produce brood that is now hatching at the periphery, then the colony
            would have had ample time to right itself and store much more pollen and
            honey than is evident.

            Take care-
            John M.


            --- In warrebeekeeping@..., "David Heaf" <david@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > John M wrote: "The new photos you posted show the spotty drone pattern
            of a
            > drone-laying queen."
            >
            > I thought this at first but then downloaded the original of
            > IMG_0065Permalink at
            >
            >
            <http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/warrebeekeeping/photos/album/184076977\
            4/pi
            >
            c/1253617941/view?picmode=original&mode=tn&order=ordinal&start=1&dir=asc\
            >
            >
            > and examined it closely. I was not convinced that the cappings were
            domed
            > enough for scattered drones. Looking in the bottom right quadrant of
            the
            > picture there are at least six emerging young bees. Is this just the
            > remnants of a previous laying cycle in the process of hatching? There
            are
            > more in the bottom left quadrant. As these are all round the periphery
            of
            > the brood area could they be just from the last eggs to have been laid
            in a
            > previous cycle?
            > ____________________________________________________
            >
            > David Heaf North-West Wales, UK
            > Warré & 'National' hives at 30 m over mean sea level
            > Warré beekeeping English web portal:
            > http://warre.biobees.com/index.html
            > ***OR***
            > http://www.heaf.freeuk.com/warre/
            > ____________________________________________________
            >
          • lgttlgtt
            moersch51 wrote: If it were me, I would probably kill the blond queen, shake the remaining bees into the grass, and remove the hive. The workers will seek to
            Message 5 of 9 , Sep 3, 2009
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              "moersch51" wrote:

              If it were me, I would probably kill the blond queen, shake the remaining bees into the grass, and remove the hive. The workers will seek to join the good hive, and most will eventually be accepted.

              -----

              John,

              I took your advice and a day later the remaining good hive appears much stronger than before.

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFnGXjSO1rc

              This unfortunate event for the weaker hive just might prove to be a windfall for the stronger ensuring their winter survival.

              Larry
              www.warrebeek.com
            • lgttlgtt
              A week after accepting refugees from my hive with the struggling emergency reared queen my remaining hive is busy going about its routine activities. Forgers
              Message 6 of 9 , Sep 9, 2009
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                A week after accepting refugees from my hive with the struggling emergency reared queen my remaining hive is busy going about its routine activities. Forgers are a-foraging, fanners are a-fanning, guards are a-guarding, washboarders are a-washboarding and a speckled wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria) makes an appearance near the end of the video.

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyg-fzjQSE0
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