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Author Topic: queenless?  (Read 1339 times)

Offline wtiger

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queenless?
« on: July 06, 2007, 04:25:34 PM »
I think one of my hives is queenless.  They're not reallly aggressive, but I've noticed they're much more aggressive than they used to be.  I can't go near the hive without a bee taking exception to my presence within a few minutes, head butting me and trying to tangle itself in my hair.  Then chasing me for about 30 or 40 yards even if I just calmly walk away.  That and I haven't seen eggs or larve for at least a few weeks.

Offline tillie

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Re: queenless?
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2007, 05:03:05 PM »
As I've learned from Michael Bush, one way to tell if it is in fact queenless is to put a frame of eggs and very young brood into it from another hive (do you have another hive?).  If they are queenless, they will use the eggs to make a queen cell or two or three and fix their situation.

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Offline wtiger

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Re: queenless?
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2007, 06:13:27 PM »
I'll give it a try.  I have 2 hives and the strong one is the one that appears to be queen less.

Offline fishawk

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Re: queenless?
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2007, 06:34:29 PM »
The queen might be there but not laying and making the whole hive upset.

Offline BMAC

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Re: queenless?
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2007, 06:39:18 PM »
It sounds like if she is there, you need to seek and destroy.  If they start to build their own, I wouldn't let them finish it.
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Offline Mici

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Re: queenless?
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2007, 07:15:37 PM »
they tend to get agressiver when there's no flow going on or...if the hive has a steady visitor during night or...even day or...well there's about hundreds of reasons.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: queenless?
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2007, 08:07:15 AM »
If you have no eggs, I'd do a frame of open brood and eggs.  They may have lost the old queen, replaced her with a virgin, and she hasn't started to lay yet.  Or they may be queenless.  You need to know because trying to introduce a queen if there is a virgin is a waste of money and a good queen.

If they start a queen it will be from the frame you gave them, and, assuming you got it from a hive you like the genetics of, that should do as well as anything.
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Offline wtiger

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Re: queenless?
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2007, 05:00:27 PM »
Well I was going to try a frame of open brood today.  I opened up the hive, pulled out the first frame of solid pollen with a bit of nectar, Then I pulled out the second frame and what do I see, but my marked queen  and eggs/larve all over.  I went through the whole box and it's like the queen had taken a break or something, because there were eggs and small larve on every frame where ever there wasn't pollen and nectar. On my last inspection there was nothing but some capped brood, nectar or pollen on every frame.  Not an egg or larve in sight.

Offline Potlicker1

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Re: queenless?
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2007, 06:05:04 PM »
I've concluded that we'll never completly figure these gals out. :-X

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: queenless?
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2007, 06:53:54 PM »
No eggs or brood in the hive are the result of 4 things:
1. Swarmed and the new queen isn't on line yet.
2. Dearth, not enough harvest to allow the bees to grow the hive--they are sustaining the life of the live bees and consuming any eggs laid or preventing the queen from laying.
3. Drought--see #2.
4. Queenless, by accident of design--may go laying worker.

 In all 4 cases the Use of a frame of brood will indicate the attidtue of the hive towards a queen.  In the case of #4 the bees may act as if queen right but only have drone larvae (this is also true of a drone laying [old or infertile] queen). 
If the hive acts queen right but continues to just have drone brood locate the queen, kill her, and replace.  If you can't find the queen (possible laying worker) shake out the hive a good distance from it usual location and wait 2 days and them introduce a new queen. 
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