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Author Topic: Invisible Queen?  (Read 2473 times)

Offline Wes Sapp

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Invisible Queen?
« on: June 01, 2009, 05:42:29 PM »
I was inspecting one of my hives around May 15. I noticed queen cells that were almost capped. I looked for the queen, couldn’t find her or any eggs. A couple of days later I went back and pulled 2 of the frames with capped queen cells and put them in separate nuc’s along with a frame of capped brood from another hive hoping that I might get 2 extra queens if all went well. Last Friday I checked the parent hive and found a queen but no eggs (3 med’s) and in the first nuc I found a queen but no eggs. The second nuc had eggs galore but I couldn’t find the queen. I found eggs in cells were one would be in the bottom and one on the side of the cell wall or multiple eggs in the bottom of a cell and some were just like you’d expect to see, one egg placed neatly in the bottom of the cell. In the middle of the picture I posted you can see 3 eggs all in the bottom of the cell but the cell off to the left you can see a egg that’s on the cell wall like a laying worker would do. I’ve been looking for 3 days now and still can’t find a queen. Yesterday I put a drawn frame in and waited about 20 minutes and went back and pulled the frame, no queen. This morning I pulled the same frame out and it’s full of eggs. I got a 5 gallon bucket and sat there and looked repeatedly at all 3 frames, the sides of the nuc, and the bottom board but  I still can’t find her. What do you make of this? Any ideas about how to find the mystery queen or advice about what to do would be greatly appreciated.
Wes Sapp

Offline kathyp

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Re: Invisible Queen?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2009, 07:25:47 PM »
i vote for waiting.  most of the time she's there and you just missed her.  new queens can lay badly at first, so you can't go by the eggs this early. 
.....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.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline iddee

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Re: Invisible Queen?
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2009, 10:00:47 PM »
I found a queen last week in a new hive solely by her color. She was a golden color and all the workers were brown. I don't think she is any larger than a worker, but on close examination, she had a tapered abdomen like a queen, and her wings were too short to be a worker. Also, her thorax was shiny instead of hairy. I would never have found her by size alone.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Invisible Queen?
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2009, 10:12:58 PM »
Virgins are very small, very runny and secretive and very hard to see let alone find.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline Natalie

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Re: Invisible Queen?
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2009, 12:06:19 AM »
I have some that I see by pure luck when I pull out a frame then there are some that I can search endlessly for and never see.
I have black russian queens that I haven't seen since installation but I see the eggs and larvae though so I know they are there.
I have seen all my queens at least once and then after that I rely on seeing eggs and larvae at each inspection.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Invisible Queen?
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2009, 10:53:20 AM »
I look for them in mating nucs and I do find them from time to time, but sometimes you can't find them for anything.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline monkey

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Re: Invisible Queen?
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2009, 05:03:58 AM »
one of my hives is queenless but has larvae and no queen cells.
Does anybody know what has happened to this hive?

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Invisible Queen?
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2009, 09:50:47 PM »
>Does anybody know what has happened to this hive?

It could have swarmed, the queen could have been killed, the queen could have failed and they may have replaced her but the virgin queen isn't laying yet...

The solution is always the same.  Give them a frame of brood every week for three weeks and your problem is solved one way or the other.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline TwT

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Re: Invisible Queen?
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2009, 10:05:47 PM »
The solution is always the same.  Give them a frame of brood every week for three weeks and your problem is solved one way or the other.


young brood (eggs and 1-2 day old larva) . just adding to what MB was saying. this way they can raise a new queen cells if needed. 
THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

Never be afraid to try something new.
Amateurs built the ark,
Professionals built the Titanic

Offline Wes Sapp

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Re: Invisible Queen?
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2009, 09:24:29 PM »
Update:
I still have never seen a queen in this hive, the parent hive and the other nuc that had queens I could find are now both laying well. Yesterday I looked at the weird nuc and some of the larva looked like it wasn't being tended to. The larva had dried up and was turning black and they were making queen cells. This nuc was only 3 medium frames and I didn't think they would be capable of producing a quality queen. The 2 nucs were sitting side by side so I put 3 drawn frames in the nuc with the queen and took the weird nuc off in the front yard and dumped the bees out and brushed the frames off to see if the bees would be accepted in the remaining nuc. Today I checked that nuc and the population is up and the queen had already laid in one of the frames. So all ended well I guess.
Wes Sapp

Offline doak

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Re: Invisible Queen?
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2009, 03:14:35 PM »
During my 10 years of beekeeping I have yet to find an invisible queen. :roll: ;) :)doak

Offline kathyp

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Re: Invisible Queen?
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2009, 03:30:27 PM »
never found an invisible one, but found all of them the other day. if was the strangest thing.  i was going through all the hives to find frames for a nuc.  every single queen was was easy to find without even really looking for them.  never had that happen before! 
.....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.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline doak

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Re: Invisible Queen?
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2009, 05:35:36 PM »
You will see more when "not" looking for them than when looking for them. :-D :)doak

Offline kathyp

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Re: Invisible Queen?
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2009, 06:57:17 PM »
this time i really did need to know where they were.  didn't want to transfer them.  it was just one of those days  :-)
.....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.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline bugleman

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Re: Invisible Queen?
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2009, 01:54:22 AM »
Is finding an invisible queen like finding a spider pig?

DooH!!

I like to throw in one or two queen excluders into the hive for 3 days and use the divide and concour technique.

Offline Wes Sapp

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Re: Invisible Queen?
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2009, 08:56:31 AM »
I like to throw in one or two queen excluders into the hive for 3 days and use the divide and concour technique.
Intresting, how would you use this excluder/divide and concour(?) technique in a 3 frame finishing nuc?
Put a exculder on top one on bottom then proudly concur with yourself that you have put excluders on???
Wes Sapp

 

anything