Natural Beekeeping

Top Bar ApiRevolution has begun! Lets make some inexpensive Top Bar Hives and let them be pesticide free on their own natural comb! Che Guebee is a rebel bee fighting for the survival of the Biodiversity we all depend on and which is seriously endangered by deforestation and mono-crop agriculture! What kind of teaching have you got if you exclude nature?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I think I should listen better to my Intuition

I get these strange intuitive outbursts every now and then ... Not sure how to explain them better than a "call" to do or not to do certain things. I'm not sure if this makes any sense...
This morning I got this "call" to inspect the nucleus hives, too check if the Virgin Queens have emerged. One can see this by how the Queen Cells look and by seeing the Queen itself.

When I opened the hive and found the Queen Cell I was surprised to see it destroyed on the base of it;
Worker Bees do this when they don't want a new Queen or when the Queen which first emerged is trying to kill the ones still in their cells. This nucleus hive had only one Queen Cell, so I'm not sure why they killed her while still in her cell??? Totally puzzled I am...
This is how a Queen Cell looks when a Virgin Queen emerge from it. It is opened at the tip of it so she can crawl out of it. Worker Bees help her chew the tip off.

I gave them another chance to raise a new Queen by moving one comb with fresh eggs from their mother Queen which is laying eggs as we speak. They have enough honey stores and pollen and I placed a water bowl behind the follower board. I will inspect the nucleus hives in 3-4 weeks not to disturb them too much.

I also inspected the second nucleus hive and the one Queen Cell is still capped !!! I don't get it !!! Why didn't she get out? The 16th day have passed a few days ago! For some reason she didn't emerge. Yet the bees didn't remove her body??? Another puzzle!
But I did found a new Supersedure Cell which was in the middle of the comb. Not a very big cell but a Queen Cell nonetheless. So I will leave them to it and see what happens.

The thing is I made a mistake with this nucleus hive, or maybe I simply didn't listen to my Intuition. I actually planned to make this nuc hive with the Queen Cells from another Queen but that bee hive had only 2 Queen Cells which I didn't want to  move. So I made 2 nucs from another mother colony which had 8 Queen Cells. When I inspected this hive they had very few Worker Bees and I had to give them some more, so I moved a brood comb with house bees on it from the Queen I originally planned to split into this nuc. Well, not the old Queen itself but the Queen Cells with her genes. The thing is this comb had freshly laid eggs in it and for some reason they decided to make a Supersedure Cell from the eggs in it. Since the actual Queen Cell is intact (not destroyed) I'm guessing that Queen died in the cell and the bees sensed this immediately making a fresh Queen Cell from the available eggs. Maybe this would not have happened if I followed my Intuition and had split the 2 Queen Cells from the mother hive I first intended to propagate. Any way, it ended up as I planned. Now I just hope they actually raise this Queen and she mates successfully so this colony has a chance to build up before winter kicks in. It's an early season so still lots of time to fix things. I wish them all the best :)

One thing I'm puzzled with is how come they have already capped the supersedure cell since I moved this comb from a Queenright hive 3 days ago??? I moved it with house bees on it so I possibly didn't spot it. Is it possible that the Queenright hive is trying to supersede their old Queen? I honestly hope that Queen is still in the hive and laying eggs otherwise I just ruined their chance to raise a new Queen :(

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