Thursday, 22 June 2017
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I have 2 hives (both new to me with nucs installed June 5th). The hive in question has frames from last year's hive that we believe swarmed/absconded. Today upon inspection, said hive, I believe, is preparing to swarm. I am a new beekeeper and am concerned about losing the hive do to my lack of knowledge/ability to recognize what's going on. Said hive has what appear to be 2 swarm cells (at bottom of frame). They appear to be in the early stages of development (open with white liquid in them). There is evidence of brood, honey, and pollen. Although, the larvae look older ... I don't see the tiny eggs making me think the queen is gone. I was NOT able to find the queen (although I have never successfully found a queen ... ugh! ... just circumstantial evidence!) There does NOT appear to be noticeably fewer bees (as if they swarmed already). I did notice a cluster (not a beard) of bees at the entry last night (at dusk) but not this morning. It was not particularly warm although there was heavy rain here in the Champlain Islands.
I think I may have a few days before they swarm ... but the internet is a bit overwhelming and conflicting on what to do ... Thoughts? Advice? Any mentors in Grand Isle County?
I appreciate any help/advice and take care!
5 years ago
You need to find the queen or see new eggs before taking out those queen cups. With royal jelly in them and perhaps a larvae your queen may have already left or been squished during an inspection earlier. Be very sure before you discard those queen cells. If you inspect your hives a lot an accidental squish of queen is common for us new beekeepers.

Killed one of my queens earlier this year. It happens. They made queens and happy to say one made it back from mating flight and already has several frames of eggs. Must say it's scary when you see all those empty cells if there is an outline of honey and pollen around an empty nest (very few capped brood yet to emerge) you know you have a virgin queen in there that needs to mate or hasn't started laying yet. Mention this because you'll see something like that shortly if the old queen is dead. Don't panic and try to stay out of the hive until you know the virgin has come back from mating. Count days/weeks.
5 years ago
Hi Renee,
I don't claim to be an expert, (4th yr) but I might be able to help you put things in perspective.
It's been 19 days since you installed the nucs,.I will assume the 5 frame nuclear had 2 frames of honey an/or pollen an 3 frames of brood in various stages.including lava,capped brood an emerging?With a laying Queen.Freshly capped happens about 7 days after egg is laid an should emerge as bee in 21 days. So new lava that you saw when you got the nuc. Could be hatching now- eggs laid that day could be emerging in the next few days.
The Queen needs to have room to lay eggs. I assume you added drawn 5 frames with cells suitable for laying. If she laid one side of a framework each day she has had enough time to fill 5 frames.if so she may be feeling crowded unless you added another 10 Fram box on top.
If you havent, you probably should now.
If you have queen cups with eggs, or a closed cell (like a peanut) they will probably swarm.
You might be able to delay swarm by #1 finding the queen.If you. have one you can kill / squish. All queen cups an cells. It's my understanding that will give you 10 days before you may have to do it again.Danger,if you don't have a queen an you kill the cells etc.- you will have killed the hive.
you can also pull frames with cells on them an start a new nuc.That's a little more advanced.

IF YOU HAVE FACEBOOK,I recently shared a segment about reading your frames which members seem to like.
Also, on youtube, Mike PALMER EXPLAINS ABOUT understanding swarms. Also,The Fat Beeman has one that is pretty good -same subject. Ie. preventing swarms.
Both of these gents provide insight to various situations an can be good resources.
Under Members only tab there is a list of mentors. Find one near you an call.St albans?.
hope this helps.
If More experienced beeks, can add or correct, I always appreciate comments.
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