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Author Topic: queenless hive?  (Read 1239 times)

Offline susanb

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queenless hive?
« on: June 06, 2011, 12:50:41 AM »
We had a tornado go through about 10 days ago.  Missed our house and buildings but wiped out our two one-year-old beehives.  They were scattered.  We are pretty sure one hive was dead (but hadn't opened it this spring to see) so in the dark that night we put everything back into the boxes that were still usable, pulling one set of frames out of standing water which probably drowned whatever was in it.  We went back today to check on the hive.  We couldn't find a queen, but there are numerous queen cells.  Does that pretty much mean there will be an acceptable queen come out of this?  Should we do anything except wait?  We are rank beginners, but we have more bees in the hive than we would have imagined and want to save our hive!

Online kathyp

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Re: queenless hive?
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2011, 01:40:31 AM »
sounds like you got some eggs/young larvae into it.  any chance you can get a picture of those queen cells and have a moderator post them for you?  i'd guess that they'll try to make queens out of what was available, but that doesn't mean they had good material.  we might have a better clue if we could see what you see.

also, put your location in your profile.  there may be someone close to you who can give you a hand.
One could not learn history from architecture any more than one could learn it from books. Statues, inscriptions, memorial stones, the names of streets ? anything that might throw light upon the past had been systematically altered. (1.8.85)

George Orwell  "1984"

Offline caticind

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Re: queenless hive?
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2011, 02:23:43 PM »
I'm glad to hear your house wasn't damaged!

You did the right thing.  The bees will make the best queen they can from the larvae available to them.  Wait and see for a little while.  It might take your new queen up to a month to start laying.  In case she doesn't after that, or if she only lays drones, you should make preparations for requeening.  I wouldn't order a new queen yet, but do some research and figure out where you might be able to buy from if you had to.

The best thing to keep a hive going in this situation is regular donations of worker brood, but obviously that's impossible if you don't have another hive.  If you put your location in your profile, someone close by might be able to help you out like kathyp said.
The bees would be no help; they would tumble over each other like golden babies and thrum wordlessly on the subjects of queens and sex and pollen-gluey feet. -Palimpsest