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Author Topic: Pretty sure I have a queenless hive and I have some questions.  (Read 2046 times)

Offline Mamichi

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Pretty sure I have a queenless hive and I have some questions.
« on: September 14, 2010, 11:04:11 PM »
Hi all, I've only been beekeeping since May so I'm definitely new at this.

Anyway, this past weekend we opened both of our hives. One looks like it's doing pretty good, but I couldn't find one egg in the other. Not a lot of capped brood either. And then I think I found one of those cells for making a new queen, except it was more roundish, not peanut shape. Plus it was low on the frame, which I read is for swarming? (But that doesn't make sense to me since no queen is present, but what do I know?)

So, I'm suppose to buy a new queen to put in there right? Not let them make their own? How much time do I have?

Thanks, everyone for your help.

M

Offline hardwood

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Re: Pretty sure I have a queenless hive and I have some questions.
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2010, 12:00:30 AM »
It's hard to tell without actually seeing, but what it sounds like to me is you saw capped drone brood. Kinda bullet shaped and not hanging down? This could be normal, it could be the sign of a drone layer (young or poorly mated queen) or laying worker(s). Are there any local beekeepers that you can have look at it for you?

If you can, get a pic and post it (or have a mod post it for you). We'll be able to understand the situation better that way.

Above all...don't panic! It's all good :-D

Scott
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907

Offline AllenF

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Re: Pretty sure I have a queenless hive and I have some questions.
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2010, 04:36:42 PM »
Is this what you have?


Queen cell pic from www.vtbeekeeper.com 's site

Offline Mamichi

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Re: Pretty sure I have a queenless hive and I have some questions.
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2010, 06:11:52 PM »
I Googled "capped drone brood" and that's definitely not what I have going on. It looks really a lot like the pic above, only not so long. Maybe I'm seeing it in an early stage? It was more marble-ish in shape than cone-ish.

At any rate- isn't the fact I didn't see any eggs say it's time for a new queen? Should I order a new one regardless if they are making their own?

thanks, all :)

Offline AllenF

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Re: Pretty sure I have a queenless hive and I have some questions.
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2010, 07:12:43 PM »
Let them do it on their own, unless you are in a big hurry and you think the hive is hurting big time without one. 

Offline hardwood

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Re: Pretty sure I have a queenless hive and I have some questions.
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2010, 09:46:23 PM »
Eggs are really hard to spot and it usually takes new beeks a while before they can recognize them. I'm not saying that you're not correct...just putting it out there. What you saw (we're narrowing it down now :-D) was most likely a queen "cup" which is just something that the bees regularly build around the hive. If they find that they need a new queen they will make it into a "queen cell". Tilt the frame so that you can see into the opening to see if it is empty or if there's a whitish blob at the base. Nothing there...queen cup. Whitish blob...queen cell...they are making a new queen.

Scott 
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907

Offline fish_stix

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Re: Pretty sure I have a queenless hive and I have some questions.
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2010, 09:58:55 PM »
Sounds like you're seeing a "cup." The bees make these often and often tear them down and build new ones elsewhere. If there's no larva in it there's nothing to get excited about. As for the queen, she may have just shut down egg laying for a time. Wait another week or so and then check for eggs or find the queen. You still have time to let them raise a queen, but since it's been awhile I'd go ahead and buy one. Try Miksa Apiaries in Groveland; good folks to deal with.

Offline hardwood

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Re: Pretty sure I have a queenless hive and I have some questions.
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2010, 10:07:39 PM »
Miksa :-D

Or you can try Jesse at S&S Apiaries across the state in Edgewater.

Scott
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907

Offline Mason

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Re: Pretty sure I have a queenless hive and I have some questions.
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2010, 01:00:28 PM »
I got some bad queens this season with 2 new packages. One queen failed immediately and the other continued to re-queen themselves using bad genetics and without sufficient neighboring hives to properly fertilize them. Ultimately I had to go buy 2 new queens from a reputable supplier and now everything seems to be cranking  at full tilt. 

Had I been more experienced and able to recognize this problem earlier and fixed it I would have possibly saved my honey season.  Because of the delay I had to scrap honey production and focus on surviving the winter.  As a NewBee I would be prepared to get a new queen from a reputable supplier or combine the failing hive with the stronger one if the homemade queen does not perform well.

Some on here will tell you differently but I got burned this season because of Homemade queens.
Former beekeeper until March....maybe next year...RIP

Offline Mamichi

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Re: Pretty sure I have a queenless hive and I have some questions.
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2010, 02:05:18 PM »
Thanks everyone for your replies. After googling "queen cup", I'm pretty sure that's not what I have. It's probably a queen cell that doesn't look "textbook". At any rate, a local experienced bee guy is suppose to come and take a look tomorrow for me. I will let you all know what he says :)

Offline Mamichi

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Re: Pretty sure I have a queenless hive and I have some questions.
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2010, 09:41:45 PM »
So, I guess I was right in thinking I had a queen cell in there b/c we saw a new queen roaming around plus lots of eggs. Yay! Overall the hive looked much better so I think we should be good to go. Hopefully she doesn't make meanies. Thanks, everyone for your help!

M