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Author Topic: Queens Dying  (Read 2030 times)
homer
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« on: June 15, 2008, 12:19:48 AM »

Okay, so I'm new at beekeeping.  I've had my colony for 2 months now and I haven't been able to locate the queen for the past week or so and there is getting to be less and less capped brood and no new eggs and larvae, so I'm sure that the queen is gone.  My question is why would the workers kill the queen without working to replace her first?

My friend had 3 hives this spring that went queenless so he bought new queens for all of them and 2 of the colonies killed the new queens before they even emerged from their cages.  Any thoughts on why these things are happening, and is there something that we can do when we get new queens, to ensure that the bees don't kill them as well?

Or is it my best be to just do away with my remaining bees and try again next year?  This is more frustrating than it should be, I believe.
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asprince
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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2008, 07:50:07 AM »

Your friend just thought his hives were queenless. They will not kill her if they are indeed queenless.....unless he has laying workers.

Steve
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Camp9
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2008, 10:52:14 AM »

I've had new packages kill their queen, it happens when the queen dosen't start laying, or starts to lay and stops. 

Camp
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homer
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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2008, 11:48:07 AM »

Your friend just thought his hives were queenless. They will not kill her if they are indeed queenless.....unless he has laying workers.

Steve

No, they were indeed queenless.  I witnessed it myself.  They looked similar to how my hive does now.  Lots of drone cells and very little brood left.  The queens were definitely gone.  Why would the other bees not work to replace her before they either killed her, or she died?
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JoelinGA
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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2008, 05:00:15 PM »

Your friend just thought his hives were queenless. They will not kill her if they are indeed queenless.....unless he has laying workers.

Steve

Lots of drone cells and very little brood left. 

That sounds like a laying worker.
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2008, 09:30:40 AM »

There is also the chance of a virgin queen being in the hive.  With a virgin the brood will be all hatched out before she starts laying.  A virgin queen is a death knell for an introduced queen.

But a laying worker hive is too.
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Rick
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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2008, 09:37:48 AM »

If you have laying workers(they think they have a queen already) or a virgin queen, they will not accept a new queen.  If they are queenless and you introduce a new queen, you can try the push-in cage method.  It worked well for me.  All 3 queens I introduced last week were accepted using this method...and queens are laying well.

Best of Luck,
Derrick
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2008, 08:43:13 PM »

A frame of brood from another hive will give you a lot of answers.  If the hive has a laying worker, they will usually create a queen cell at some point of installing a 3rd frame of brood.  Put in one, let it hatch, etc.  If a laying worker, the bees should start a queen cell on frame 2 or 3.  If you have an idle queen, she should start up after frame 1 or 2, and a drone laying queen should be superceded within that time frame.  If, after putting in 3 frames of brood over 3-4 weeks you still have a problem then we can get serious about percise courses of action.
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homer
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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2008, 09:17:44 PM »

Thank you all so much for your help.  I found a local beekeeper with a plethera of hives.  He generously gave me a frame full of eggs and brood and when I went to put it in my hive I discovered that I had had a virgin queen because she had already visibly gotten hard at work!  So I didn't need the frame after all, but now I know!
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