Author Topic: Lost a colony yesterday-bummer!  (Read 226 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online neillsayers

  • Forum Supporter
  • Gold Member
  • ********
  • Posts: 1636
  • Thanked: 149 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Arkansas, U.S.A.
Lost a colony yesterday-bummer!
« on: August 13, 2017, 03:01:03 PM »
This spring I split aggressively and replaced all my queens with capped queen cells reared with OTS method. My biggest problem has been getting laying queens this way. Seems they emerge, never to be seen again. I'm starting to think I have a bee-eating bird out there waiting for them. Well, one hive has been queenless for too long. I kept adding eggs and capped brood with eggs and they kept starting queen cells but nothing came of it. Did an inspection yesterday and the hive had gotten so weak it was totally overtaken by small hive beetles. Shook the remaining bees out and gave the whole mess to my chickens.

Lesson learned: this winter I'm going to build twice as many breeding nucs as I think I'll need. I need to learn to graft and rear my queens in a conventional starter/finisher setup. Once I have a laying queen in a nuc, then I will start a hive from that.

Besides all this it's been a good season. Came out of winter with the same three colonies I started with and I have 6 strong colonies now, putting up a fair honey harvest. :)
Neill Sayers
Herbhome Bees
USDA Zone 7a

Offline Perry

  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 7198
  • Thanked: 354 times
  • Gender: Male
    • Brandt's Bees
  • Location: Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia
Re: Lost a colony yesterday-bummer!
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2017, 03:32:01 PM »
 :eusa_clap:
From 3 to 6 despite a few setbacks is pretty darn good in my books!
I tried the cell thing this year as well, re-queening my 5 over 5 nucs with cells after I had pulled the first nuc, and had rotten success. I ended up buying some local queens to make up the lost ground and let the remaining ones re-queen themselves. Still ended up with a few that didn't succeed and went the laying worker route. Not sure what went wrong, I may try one more time next year, and if success is poor I'll just buy local queens from then on.
"It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor."      
Forum Supporter

Online neillsayers

  • Forum Supporter
  • Gold Member
  • ********
  • Posts: 1636
  • Thanked: 149 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Arkansas, U.S.A.
Re: Lost a colony yesterday-bummer!
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2017, 04:16:51 PM »
Thanks Perry,

I have heard that rainy weather can mess up mating flights for virgins and we have had an unusually wet spring and summer, so maybe that is the issue but I really want to try my hand at grafting/queen rearing so that's my plan for next season.
Neill Sayers
Herbhome Bees
USDA Zone 7a

Online Wandering Man

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1192
  • Thanked: 90 times
  • Gender: Male
    • Life Lessons from dogs, bees and others
  • Location: Victoria, Texas
Re: Lost a colony yesterday-bummer!
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2017, 11:47:26 PM »
Sorry to hear that Neill.

I've started four nucs from swarms this year, and only one has been successful, sort of.  If you count that all of the original bees are gone, including the queen and that I added brood from two different hives, the second frame coming after losing the half of the nuc to small hive beetles.

The bees teach me something new each time.  Maybe I'll finally get the hang of it after 10 or 12 years.

Have you got the smell of the SHB out of your nose, yet?
What you say about someone says a lot more about what kind of person you are, than about the other person.
How you treat someone you like reflects your taste.
How you treat someone you don’t like reflects your character.


Visit my Blog:
https://30yrsdog.blogspot.com/ (Life Lessons from Dogs, Bees, and Others)
https://pmhso.blogspot.com/ (Sex Offender Myths and Stories)

Offline Les

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1074
  • Thanked: 71 times
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Kingston, NY
Re: Lost a colony yesterday-bummer!
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2017, 05:37:16 PM »
Sounds like a few of us were having raising queen issues.  We got this one cut out without the queen.  I pulled frames from my other hives with new eggs, they'd make a few queen cells and then the cells were gone.  Finally gave up and combined the leftover bees with another hive.  I have found the bees teach me something new each year. Maybe it will help with keeping those aging brain cells stimulated LOL

Online neillsayers

  • Forum Supporter
  • Gold Member
  • ********
  • Posts: 1636
  • Thanked: 149 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Arkansas, U.S.A.
Re: Lost a colony yesterday-bummer!
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2017, 06:00:52 PM »
Maybe it will help with keeping those aging brain cells stimulated LOL

I sure hope so! :laugh:
Neill Sayers
Herbhome Bees
USDA Zone 7a

Offline vvand111

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 273
  • Thanked: 17 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: atlanta GA
Re: Lost a colony yesterday-bummer!
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2017, 09:13:02 PM »
I had great success this year using a queen castle. I used my queen cells from my #1 and # 2 in queen castle and raised 3 queens. I then split #1 and # 2  added the new queens and weeks later made more splits for a total of 10 hives. I then combined the weakest down to 8 hives.  I harvested 20 gallons of honey in mid July and left a lot on the hives. Plan on harvesting more the end of September and leaving enough to overwinter in my location.

Online neillsayers

  • Forum Supporter
  • Gold Member
  • ********
  • Posts: 1636
  • Thanked: 149 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Arkansas, U.S.A.
Re: Lost a colony yesterday-bummer!
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2017, 11:44:51 PM »
vvand,

Sounds like you had a good year. I need to look into the queen castle operation some more.
Neill Sayers
Herbhome Bees
USDA Zone 7a