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Author Topic: Queened or Queenless  (Read 1158 times)

Offline Pix

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Queened or Queenless
« on: March 20, 2009, 06:03:01 PM »
I just went into my hive for the first time since November, examining the frames. I haven't cracked 'er open yet this year though I've fed them by just lifing the outer cover.

The bees have been bringing in pollen like mad, and I've been feeding them pollen patties and sugar syrup with medication. There is no brood whatsoever.

Would the bees be bringing in pollen if there wasn't a queen? I just moved to the west coast of BC, on a gulf island off Vancouver Island, and I don't know when the queen gets laying but I really thought she'd be laying by now. There are no eggs in the hive that I can see at all.

Any ideas?

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Queened or Queenless
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2009, 06:38:11 PM »
>Would the bees be bringing in pollen if there wasn't a queen?

Yes.  Contrary to the books and popular belief, I've seen queenless hives haul pollen like there is no tomorrow.  If you have another hive, give them a frame of eggs and open brood and see what happens.

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Offline mgmoore7

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Re: Queened or Queenless
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2009, 06:40:20 PM »
I agree with Michael.  I have seen alot of filling the brood nest with pollen when queenless.

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: Queened or Queenless
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2009, 10:46:34 PM »
A queenless hive will often continue to forage until the amount of remaining bees is just too small to function.  As long as they are exhibiting an active forage attitude and haven't gone LW they should make use of a frame of eggs and larvae to requeen themselves.
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Offline Pix

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Re: Queened or Queenless
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2009, 01:42:01 AM »
So I discovered that I do indeed have a Queen. There were a couple capped cells that had bees emerging. When I say "a couple" I mean like 4 cells, on the whole frame. Then there's just nothing! No eggs, no larvae, no capped brood. But the Queen is definitely there.

The Queen is 1 year old. Any idea what would make her stop laying? Any thoughts on how to get her laying again, and fast?

Cheers!

Offline rast

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Re: Queened or Queenless
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2009, 08:23:08 AM »
"I just went into my hive"
 Does this mean you only have 1 hive? If so, it poses a problem of adding a frame of brood/eggs from another which sometimes can start a non laying queen to start laying again and gives the bees a chance to requeen themselves.
 A queen will quit laying for many reasons. If there are enough stores for them (if you have been feeding syrup consistently there should be), I would suspect a poor or missing queen. I  would requeen after redoubling my efforts to actually find and remove her if she exists.
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Offline BjornBee

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Re: Queened or Queenless
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2009, 08:43:53 AM »
So I discovered that I do indeed have a Queen. There were a couple capped cells that had bees emerging. When I say "a couple" I mean like 4 cells, on the whole frame. Then there's just nothing! No eggs, no larvae, no capped brood. But the Queen is definitely there.

The Queen is 1 year old. Any idea what would make her stop laying? Any thoughts on how to get her laying again, and fast?

Cheers!

Are you saying there is a queen, but for the 4 cells? Yes, there was a queen three weeks ago, based on the emerging bees. But did you see the queen now?

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Offline JP

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Re: Queened or Queenless
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2009, 09:42:32 AM »
Could it be you are just coming out of winter and they just haven't really got going good yet? You may just need the temps to pick up some. What are your day and night temps last two weeks? Average.


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Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: Queened or Queenless
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2009, 07:47:03 PM »
On the bright side, look what the brood dearth is doing for the mite control.   :-D
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Offline Pix

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Re: Queened or Queenless
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2009, 08:17:49 PM »
Yes I only have one hive. That will make requeening a problem.

I saw the queen yesterday. She is still there, she's just stopped laying. During the week, the temperatures have ranged on average from 4C-9C but then the last two weekends it has snowed here, with temperatures dipping to -2C.

I've been feeding pollen patties for a week now, and dry sugar for 3 weeks. There is still honey in the hive but not a lot. I'm hoping that the feeding and the temperature increases will get her laying again. She's only a year old, which surprises me why she stopped laying. Hopefully with food coming in, she'll get her "butt" in gear again.

Any other ideas to stimulate laying?

Offline JP

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Re: Queened or Queenless
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2009, 08:31:31 PM »
Yes I only have one hive. That will make requeening a problem.

I saw the queen yesterday. She is still there, she's just stopped laying. During the week, the temperatures have ranged on average from 4C-9C but then the last two weekends it has snowed here, with temperatures dipping to -2C.

I've been feeding pollen patties for a week now, and dry sugar for 3 weeks. There is still honey in the hive but not a lot. I'm hoping that the feeding and the temperature increases will get her laying again. She's only a year old, which surprises me why she stopped laying. Hopefully with food coming in, she'll get her "butt" in gear again.

Any other ideas to stimulate laying?

Your temps are still very cold, the bees are still having to cluster to stay warm. You cannot expect any queen to lay under those conditions. Allow your temps to warm and if she is virile as she is young, you should fall in love with her again.


...JP
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My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
and
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My Youtube user name is JPthebeeman
 My website JPthebeeman.com http://www.jpthebeeman.com/jpthebeeman/