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Author Topic: 1 month & I can't find the queen  (Read 1647 times)
Flygirl
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« on: May 18, 2009, 07:06:56 PM »

I can't find the queen.  No eggs but a few spotty areas on only one or two frames with uncapped larva.  It looks like drone cells. 

I went through the hive carefully & couldn't find the queen so I'm assuming she isn't there?  The hive seems calm though?  There aren't any queen cells or swarm cells.  When I originally hived them up I gave them a few frames of capped honey & it likes they've eaten that but haven't taken any addition syrup.

I talked with the beekeeper I purchased them from & he is willing to give me a new queen.  So ~  how do I introduce her?  Can I put in this hive or should I put her in a new brood box with a few frames of honey & workers?

Help ~  thank you for any advice! FG
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jason58104
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2009, 07:18:57 PM »

Sounds like you have a laying worker colony.  Chances are when you intoduce a new queen (in a cage) they will not accept her.  It is a very chalenging situation to deal with!
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Flygirl
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2009, 07:52:31 PM »

Rats!!!  What am I to do?  I'm picking up the new queen tonight & am going to try & get her in the hive tomorrow.  I think I read something about shaking out the hive & letting the workers find their way back to the hive? 

I think it was in Beekeeping for Dummies....?  Anyone with a suggestion?
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kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2009, 08:12:58 PM »

you shake the bees out and let them find their way back to your other hives.  if they go back to the same hive, they just start doing the same thing. 

you can put your queen in a nuc and start another hive.
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2009, 08:28:40 PM »

Hi,
If you don't mind me jumping in here.

What causes this laying worker situation. Why wouldn't they just make a new queen?
also curious why they reject a new one.

Thanks,
Paul
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Hethen57
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2009, 08:56:43 PM »

The laying worker situation is caused where the colony goes queenless without any eggs that are the right age to start making a queen, so one worker trys to assume the role...but only lays unfertilized eggs which make drones.  Since her abdomen isn't as long as a queen, the eggs are usually not dead center in the bottom of the cells.  The hive rejects a new queen because they think they already have one.  There is a special frame that holds the queen cage that can be used to successfully introduce a queen into a laying worker hive, but I don't totally understand how that works better than a queen cage, but I'm sure someone will chime in with the details.
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asprince
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2009, 08:58:21 PM »

This will explain alot..

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm



Steve
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MustbeeNuts
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2009, 09:27:10 PM »

well don't jump to conclusions, I had one that was suspected of a laying worker,  a month after I put them up couldn't find a queen or eggs, just what looked like drone cells, so I dumped them out. guess what there was a queen in there ,, so its easy to find her if you dump them on a sheet or tarp. not that I recomend that, point is don't jump to conclusions, sometimes the queen just takes a while. and she can  hide very well. If you give them a frame of brood and eggs, if there is no queen it takes 48hrs to ssee a queen cell. if not you likely have a queen.
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hollybees
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2009, 09:29:50 PM »


Ok, that makes sense I understand..learned alot tonite!

Thanks..good stuff!
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kathyp
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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2009, 09:36:08 PM »

Quote
If you give them a frame of brood and eggs, if there is no queen it takes 48hrs to ssee a queen cell. if not you likely have a queen.


except that if they have laying workers, they probably won't make a queen cell.  it may take many frames of brood over a period of time and even then, it may not work. 
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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iddee
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« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2009, 10:07:03 PM »

Of every 100 hives diagnosed with laying workers, 3 or 4 may actually be. Look for multiple eggs in cells. 3 to 6 per cell, half way up the sides of the cells. Otherwise, figure it isn't laying workers.

BTW, a hive doesn't have A laying worker, it has MANY laying workers.

Now for your problem. Install your queen in her cage and leave for 4 days. Do an inspection then. If she is dead, you most likely have a queen already. If she is still alive, release her. If you have a frame of mostly capped brood to give them, put it right next to the queen cage. As they emerge over the next 4 days, they will tend her.
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Flygirl
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« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2009, 01:08:30 AM »

Thanks everyone ~  I'm not sure what I should do??  I guess I'll do another inspection tomorrow & take pictures.  I just didn't see any capped brood & I think I should bye now. 

I'll probably either do the shake out or put her in there as someone suggested & see what happens after 4 days.

Anyone in Anchorage, Alaska who cares to take a peek & offer an opinion?  I'm willing to trade for chocolate chip cookies or a cold drink of your choice Smiley 

Thanks again for the help ~ it's reassuring to post & get comments on this board!  Flygirl
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SlickMick
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« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2009, 02:00:01 AM »

I wish I lived in Anchorage, Alaska 'cause I sure like chocolate chip cookies and a cold drink grin. But then again the cold would get to me so I'll give it a miss.

Mick
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« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2009, 06:56:13 AM »

Do they normally raise brood right now in Alaska? What are the temps like?
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« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2009, 07:00:36 AM »

Disregard last post. Looks like your weatehr is as nice as mine!! shocked
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Bee Happy
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« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2009, 10:39:02 AM »

I just saw a post on here someplace a day or 2 ago, someone has a requeening frame for a laying worker hive. - found it
check here:
http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,17867.0/all.html

edit: you might be able to screen up an empty frame for the new queen and her attendants...
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« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2009, 10:57:25 PM »

Many hives that people assume or think are queenless fall into one of the following catagories:
1. Brood dearth after a flow, large or small.  Russians do this a lot, Carnies will too but not as much as Russians.
2. New queen in a recently swarmed hive.  Due to the timing of brood hatching along with that of the new queen the fact that a swarm has taken place is only evident by the lack of eggs and/or larvae.  Queen may be in the process of mating.
3. Honey bound hive.  Add a super and pull a couple of frames from the middle of what was the brood chamber up into the super and let the bees draw new brood combs in the brood chamber.
4. Supercedure see #1 & #2.
5. Queen killed during inspection through beekeeping error. 
6. Layer Workers developing in hive.  It is possible to have hundreds of laying workers within a hive--the reason for so many eggs in each cell and many laying workers will only occuply one frame.  Capped drone cells look like 38 Cal. slugs and in a laying worker hive that is all that will be seen.  Laying workers are less common than thought, about 10%, in broodless hives.

In every one of those situations the placement of a frame of brood (eggs & larvae) into the hive in question will answer a lot of questions.  What the bees do with that frame will tell a lot of what's going on. 
If the bees do nothing it is #'s 1-4 & 6, if they make a queen cell it is #'s 4 & 5.  If a second frame of eggs and larvae is introduced and the bees do nothing but drone cells begin appearing then it has become a Laying worker hive--shake it out and requeen.
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