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Author Topic: A hive puzzle, for me  (Read 916 times)
Field Bee
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Posts: 560

Location: Williamstown, NJ

« on: September 04, 2005, 05:46:27 PM »

I did an inspection on my hive today, and was generally happy.  The two splits I made two weeks ago both had eggs in cells, so the virgin queens mated and started their job.  The two new hive (this year) had plenty of capped brood, so I moved two frames from each into the walkaway split, which was still rather small.  But my hive #1 -- the one I let requeen itself this spring --  is a puzzle.  While the bees have been busy bringing in pollen and filling the supers, there was no brood, capped or uncapped, in the upper brood box.  And whan I checked the lower brrod box there was nothing.  Just empty, clean cells on black comb.  I didn't find the queen anywhere either.  It's like the queen just disappeared, without leaving eggs or brood, and the hive continued on without her.  I reversed the boxes and placed a frame of very young larvae in the active box with pollen and honey, to see if they begin making queen cells.  

But what would cause a queen to stop laying and the hive not to replace her while fresh eggs are still in the hive?  I searched closely for cells with any eggs and found none, so there isn't a laying worker in there yet.  If the hive does start making queen cells, I suppose I should requeen with a bought queen in order to get the hive back on track before cold weather sets in.  There are still at least two boxes of bees in there.  

If the hive doesn't start making queen cells, what does it mean?  What should I do?

-- Kris
Michael Bush
Universal Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 13967

Location: Nehawka, NE

« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2005, 08:25:03 PM »

>what would cause a queen to stop laying

A dearth.  The time of year (but that would probably still be a month or two away).

> and the hive not to replace her while fresh eggs are still in the hive?

Are you sure she's not there?  Sometimes they are hard to find.  She may not be laying because of a variety of things, but if they didn't try to replace her while they had eggs then I'm guessing she's still there.

Michael Bush
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
nonna italiana
New Bee
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Posts: 4

Location: SF Bay Area

« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2005, 01:18:47 AM »

I made a split in early July, and a similar thing happened.  It looked like there were several queen cells early on, but nothing ever came of them.  I finally ordered a queen at the end of July, but she arrived dead.  Replaced her -- she was put in the hive about the 3rd week of August.  Too much time had gone by with no queen, I think.  Meanwhile, the wax moths got in.  I've scraped the nasty stuff off the foundation and cleaned off the bottom board.  There is no new comb drawn.  The new queen is still in there -- I saw her today, but no brood yet.  I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that that this second hive survives.
Hive #1 is really going strong, though.  I'm in the SF bay area, so we've still got a couple of months of pretty good weather before it rains and virtually no winter freeze.
Any suggestions for getting my hives in good/better shape?  Thanks!
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