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Author Topic: Queenless nuc problem and possible solution  (Read 1007 times)
tillie
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« on: March 20, 2009, 08:37:41 PM »

I have a queenless nuc in a hive that was installed on Feb 25.  Inspected on March 7 - no brood, no eggs, no cells with anything in them except uncapped syrup.  This hive is to serve as a learning hive for the Metro Beekeepers Assoc. 

I called and left a message for the supplier who didn't call me back for three days.  Meanwhile I took two frames of brood and eggs from home and put them in this hive.  I saw a good queen cell in the hive on Thursday, but only one.

The supplier saw an email I sent about this and called to offer me another nuc that will have a queen.  The club wants me to take the nuc because the queen will go right to work, unlike all the risks still in store for the queen cell queen.  They want me to put the nuc frames in this hive as a way of establishing a queen for the hive.  The recommendation is that I do this by spraying both the existing hive and the frame from the nuc with sugar syrup and vanilla.

Will this work?  Is there anything else I should/should not do?  What will happen to the queen in the queen cell (who should emerge on Sunday or Monday).

Linda T in Atlanta
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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2009, 09:25:46 PM »

If it were me, I think I would keep it as a second hive.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2009, 10:11:09 AM »

Odds are with two nucs that they would accept each other.  I'm with Idee. Give the queenless one a chance to raise a queen (four weeks or so) and if they fail then do a newspaper combine.
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tillie
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2009, 10:23:31 AM »

The problem for me is that the bees belong to the club while the hive belongs to me.  The club wants to be made whole in that they were supposed to have a queen in the nuc they purchased.  I think my queenless solution is going to be fine - the bees seem calm and I believe they are progressing in their quest to create their queen.

However, the club is probably going to press that I combine the new nuc and the queenless (at least before I them the resources) hive now at Blue Heron.

I would keep them separate to give the created queen a chance but if I have to combine given the ownership of the bees, it sounds like you, Michael, think it might succeed.

We'll see  -  I've put out an email to the powers that be in hopes that I can keep the two hives separate until the new queen has a chance.

Linda T
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JP
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2009, 11:53:15 AM »

That one queen cell just might be enough Linda. I made a small split in a medium nuc not long ago which raised two queen cells and two queens hatched out. One is in the nuc now, the other I'm pretty sure swarmed out with half the bees into a 3 medium set up.


...JP
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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2009, 02:39:47 PM »

Odds are with two nucs that they would accept each other.  I'm with Idee. Give the queenless one a chance to raise a queen (four weeks or so) and if they fail then do a newspaper combine.


Ditto.

Could not have said it any better.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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tillie
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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2009, 03:09:22 PM »

OK, so here's the new plan if the Blue Heron people OK it.  I'm going to pick up the nuc so the supplier can feel good about it.  I'm taking it to Blue Heron and putting it on/in a separate hive box there - installing it as a second hive.

Then if in a few weeks, Her Majesty, created in the original queenless hive, is laying and thriving, I'll have two hives and if not, then I'll do a combination then. 

The only possible problem is that Blue Heron may say that five hives (the number down there now with three private hives and the two Metro hives) is all that they want.  Even then I suppose I could move hive number 2 somewhere else in the middle of the night rolleyes

Thanks for the constant support - this group is fabulous!

Linda T in Atlanta
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tillie
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2009, 09:40:55 AM »

OK, so here's what has happened.  I went back to the supplier who had my nuc waiting in his carport - he clearly wants to make it right and had gone through this one to make SURE it had a queen. 

The Blue Heron people OK'd my having the box there "temporarily"  I told them no less than a month and they seemed fine with it.  So a new hive box is sitting at Blue Heron with this perfect nuc on top of it.  It's 3 feet from the "queenless" hive.  We're going to give the new queen a chance to make it and install the new nuc in the box as if to be a new hive.

Then if the "made queen" doesn't succeed in the original hive, I'll do a newspaper combine in 3 weeks to a month.  If she succeeds and the new hive is doing well, I'll either move the new hive up to my mountain house to get sourwood honey or to my deck at home or maybe to another community garden in Atlanta.

The supplier feels good, the new queen has a chance, the educational value of what's going on is priceless, and I possibly have a new hive - Everybody wins!

Linda T in Atlanta
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Irwin
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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2009, 10:05:18 AM »

Sounds like a win win to me good for you Smiley
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