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Author Topic: how do i tell i have a queenless hive  (Read 1091 times)

Offline catfishbill

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how do i tell i have a queenless hive
« on: January 23, 2009, 09:30:02 AM »
hey everybody,temps were good yesterday here and i checked my hives.hive #1 had small qty of bees and no brood.hive #2 has lots of bees and no brood.both still have honey in them.both of these hive were wild swarms caught last spring and i did not re-queen.hives #3 and #4 have good bee population and brood in them,they were bought packages with new queens.
would you think  hives #1 and #2  are queenless because of the lack of brood or did i just catch the queen between laying cycles?i got scared and put a frame of brood in hive #1 from hive #3 because of the small population of bees.did i do the right thing?thanks bill.

Offline KONASDAD

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Re: how do i tell i have a queenless hive
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2009, 11:55:44 AM »
Feral hives tend to be frugal. They store less food, lay less brood and generally have smaller populations throughout much of the year. regardless of genetics of a hive, you need to look for eggs. If you see eggs, the queen was alive within the last 72hrs. If you have uncapped brood 72hrs to 10 days or so she was alive and well. Capped brood, 12 plus day and so on.  If they are flying on a regualr basis and carrying in pollen, they are raisng brood and she was alive within past week or so. Look for eggs is the key.
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Online Michael Bush

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Re: how do i tell i have a queenless hive
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2009, 08:46:33 PM »
I have no idea when to expect brood in your location, but I would not expect any right now in mine.
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Offline JP

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Re: how do i tell i have a queenless hive
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2009, 09:11:15 PM »
Catfish, conditions will vary this time of year, genetics will also have a play as well as age of the queen, etc...

I wouldn't jump the gun just yet. When does swarming season start in your area? Use this as a guage for progress.


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Offline catfishbill

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Re: how do i tell i have a queenless hive
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2009, 05:18:44 PM »
thanks for the help,they were all flying yesterday,all 4 hives had bees that were bringing in a pale colored pollen.that made me feel a little better.and jp the first swarms started the last week of march up here last year.thanks     bill

Offline mgmoore7

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Re: how do i tell i have a queenless hive
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2009, 11:40:18 AM »
I had a hive that I thought was queenless about 3 weeks ago.  I am in S. Fl.  I decided feed some 1:1 sugar water and  wait a week and check.  The queen was there and had layed some eggs over the next week.

Offline IABeeMan

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Re: how do i tell i have a queenless hive
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2009, 09:54:33 PM »
 Different genetics will make each hive act or react diffrently as well. I have several hives side by side and the diference between the first one building numbers and raising brood can and has varied by as much as 4-6 weeks before. Some bees will not build thier numbers until just before a flow. Being feral it is near impossible to tell what type they decended from. As everyone else said finding eggs is the way to go if you don't actually see the queen. Depending on how strong the hive with brood is you can place a frame of eggs (MAKE SURE THE QUEEN IS NOT ON THE FRAME) in the unknown hive and see if they raise brood or draw queen cells.