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Post by cristy on Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:03 am

There seems to be a bit of a honey flow on at the moment. The original colony are hard at it, not so the swarm. So having a check to see whats what with these lads I was disappointed to find no eggs being laid. They are still drawing comb well enough but the feel of the colony is lethargic, unlike the parent colony. So I deduce they are Queenless. Checking the parent colony I found one frame with a sealed Queencell, a bit of a surprise this!. I also found two hatched Queen Cells. The colony is working well I am glad to say and after going through the frames I found a few eggs. She has just started laying thank the Gods!. So after clearing the bees from the frame I popped the Queen call into the swarm hive. I have only transferred brood in the past to Queenless colonies so fingers crossed everything goes well. While talking about honey flow, there is a field of beans coming into flower nearby. There is alot of different opinions about weather or not honey bees can get anything from field beans. We shall see.

While I was cutting the grass I became aware of a loud buzzing noise. Looking back from where I just had been there was a swarm of bees circling around a Leylandii hedge. It cant be mine I thought so checking my hives all was well. This swarm were in fact taking off and Italian`s. They headed off over a local wood and were gone. I wished them well. Its a funny thing that for years we never sore a honey bee and now a passing swarm. I say passing, I dont know how long these lads were in the hedge. I had just passed them with a noisy mower. Its a pity I was not able to take them. Ho Hum.

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Post by Sean Ph'lib on Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:16 pm

Cristy, things don't seem quite right to me. Are you sure that swarm wasn't from your own hive? It's very unlikely a swarm would come from elsewhere, perch in your hedge and then decamp again. They normally settle near their parent hive and then, once having decided where they're going, take off. Also, those two hatched queen cells suggest they did swarm. Check again for eggs in four or five days - I'm guessing that the eggs you found are the last ones the old queen laid before swarming. If there are no new eggs in a few days, you might be in the position of a queenless hive. They might have been holding onto that sealed queen cell to head the colony. If that's the case, you'll find they will have started new queen cells on those eggs you saw. If no new eggs and no new queen cells, you can be pretty sure you have a virgin queen in the hive. I might be wrong and you might have a laying queen and, if so, all the better - but I'm a bit suspicious.

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Post by cristy on Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:57 pm

Hi Sean. Thanks for your insites. The swarm that came out of the hedge had yellow bands at the top of their abdomen. As with Italians. My bees are blacks without this yellow band. I have known of swarms relocating, after all they hold up in trees etc before moving on to a nest site or new location . Going back over what I actually observed!!!. I didn't actually see a swarm hold up. It is more likely that it was in fact a swarm that appeared to come out of a hedge but was not held up there. As to my parent colony. After it swarmed which was about a month ago , I went through the brood chamber and broke down queen cells. Two of which had hatched!!. So with two hatched queens they would fight and the victor would head the colony. Well this is what I was thinking. Yesterday I went through the brood chamber and found a sealed  queen cell!!. All the brood cells had hatched as expected. There was no developing grubs,  just a few new eggs being laid. I take this as being evidence of my new queen starting to lay. The only mystery to me is the sealed queen cell. I could have missed it but I would have thought it would have hatched by now. Perhaps there is no living queen in it.

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Post by Sean Ph'lib on Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:07 pm

Well that solves the swarm problem, but the queen cells are another story. It would be very unusual to have a young queen starting to lay and a sealed queen cell present. If the workers were preventing her from killing the queen in the cell, she would almost certainly leave at the head of a small swarm. Anyway, one way or the other you'll be all right - if there are eggs there in four days time, they're queenright; no eggs and they should have started new queen cells.

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Post by cristy on Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:41 am

Its a funny old world. The swarm mystery is now solved. I dont see my neighbors from one month to the next so I was surprised to see that they have a colony of Bees. It was their swarm, they probably dont even know that they lost a swarm.

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