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Author Topic: Help queen's gone  (Read 3047 times)

Offline B DOG

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Help queen's gone
« on: July 18, 2004, 06:20:36 PM »
Tragedy has stricken my hives. I had recently bought a new hive on the 2nd and when I went to look in on it this weekend I noticed that there was no queen, no eggs, and a bunch of queen cells. Argh… I did the initial inspection when I brought it home and there was a queen. I don’t know what happened but she is gone now and I am left with a troublesome situation. I have two hives and the one was a start up hive in May where I ordered my bees thought the mail, and one that I just bought

I have herd that if you let them raise the queen themselves there is a possibility that she will mate and may not mate enough times since I only have two hives in the area, and this may lead to a crash in the hive population in the fall. The beekeeper I herd this from stated that the optimal situation is to requeen because she will be mated enough times to last a lot longer than one that may mate in the wild. Any thoughts?

No mater what I do requeen or let nature take it’s course. I have a strong hive and a week hive, I thought that I may barrow a frame or two with brood form the strong one and place it in a weaker hive. Any thoughts?

I am going to try to order a new queen on Monday and with any luck I can bring the population back up to store enough honey for the harsh Indiana winter.

I know that this has happened to some of you experienced beekeepers out there so any words of wisdom will help on the frame management and the requeening.

B Dog.


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queen gone
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2004, 06:33:07 PM »
My husband and I are beginners ourselves so certainly not experts but I think you are on the right track with requeening.   So far we have four colonies two purchased, and two swarms.  The first swarm was smooth capture, the second was a matter of getting bees from a wine barrel and off a fence into a super which took several weeks of trial and error and final they started building comb but we assumed the queen wouldn't move so we added a new queen.    After about ten days things a settling down and while the colony is small it seems to be stable and with patience hopefully it will expand.     Queens are cheap so it is a worthwhile investment and I think that patience also helps,  our tendency seems to be to micromanage and they are really capable of handling things themselves.   good luck.


Offline golfpsycho

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Help queen's gone
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2004, 07:24:41 PM »
I think your on the right track.  Since you already have sealed queen cells, I would probably let them finish raising their queen with an eye toward requeening in the fall.  I don't see alot of time savings ordering a new one now, and strong colonies frequently raise strong queens.

You mention the new colony being very strong.  Realize you are going to have a pretty large gap in brood rearing in the strong colony very soon.  Your package bees are probably about to make some huge growth on their own.  In a few weeks, with both colonies queenright and things having settled down, I think you could make a better decision about giving a frame of brood or 2, to the weak colony.  They may not be that weak by then, while the strong colony may be suffering some.

Offline mark

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Help queen's gone
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2004, 09:17:16 PM »
if they were my hives at this point in time i would let them raise their own queen for now and i would do all i could to equalize both hives.  i.e. add the frame or two of brood from the stronger hive AND switch positions of both hives thereby giving the weaker hive added field force to collect enough necter for the added brood when it hatches out. keep a close eye on both.  the stronger hive will get more space for the queen to lay when you switch frames so you'll need to watch their food supply too but it shouldn't be too much a problem as they should bounce back from a weakened field force rather quickly.


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Help queen's gone
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2004, 09:43:48 PM »
    If you just bought your hive on the 2nd there should literally be a hundred or more drones at this time of year. These should be enough to service any virgin queen that would hatch out of the queen cells.

    If you have frames of brood in your strong hive that have a lot of capped brood on them it would help the weak hive by transplanting some of them to it. If however you have brood that is mostly uncapped, only add one uncapped frame for every three frames of brood that the weak hive already has. The weak hive has to have enough nurse bees to care for the uncapped brood that you are adding. Adding capped brood requires little or no care from the nurse bees unless the temperature gets too cold for them to cover them which I don't think will happen at this time of year.