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Author Topic: Dead queen on doorstep! What next?  (Read 797 times)
tjc1
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« on: May 01, 2013, 07:19:00 PM »

I happened to stop by the hive after work to look at the bees. I noticed a cluster of bees just under the entrance. When they stayed clustered I looked closer and noticed that they were circling something that they were clambering over - no fighting but decidedly intense activity. When I pushed them forward with the hive tool, I realized that it was the (deceased) queen! If I hadn't stopped by at that moment, I never would have known! The bees have been going great guns so far this spring.

It was early enough and warm enough to go in for a look - the bees were very calm. Lots of bees in the super and upper deep, and into the lower deep it seemed. Here is what I saw under the super:










Seems that the girls have things under control - do I need to do anything? Does this look like a planned event?
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Georgia Boy
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2013, 08:41:51 PM »

Sorry I can't answer your question. Too New  Sad

Just wanted to say WOW!  That was too cool.

You just got re-queened.

Good luck for you.

David
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cdray
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2013, 08:44:48 PM »

Is there an egg or larva in the queen cell? I couldn't tell.  David
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10framer
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2013, 08:47:40 PM »

i see a capped queen cell.  do you have drones flying up north yet? 
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kathyp
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2013, 09:24:43 PM »

you are going to have to watch that you get a mated queen back in there.  other than that, you can let them do their thing.  how many queen cells did you find?
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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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tjc1
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2013, 09:39:57 PM »

I think that there were 4 cells - one looked capped, the others appeared to have larvae (with workers going in and out to tend to them). There may have been more, as there was a block of what looked like burr comb with larvae of some kind in it between the super and deep that got torn apart when I lifted off the super.

This was my original package queen from last year - she was a good'un and set the hive up well for the spring. I have indeed seen drones from this hive buzzing around in the last few days, but I thought that they didn't mate with queens from their own hive? This last aspect - mating of a new queen - has me a bit concerned as a potentially dicey moment in the process. On the other hand, I like the idea of a hive-raised queen from a successful hive, mated with a local drone and so hopefully better adapted to our northern clime.

I was also wondering - if the queen just died (or was done in) today, and yet there are capped and uncapped queen cells, is it possible that a queen already hatched and killed the old queen? I don't imagine that she suddenly just dropped dead conveniently while the bees were planning to replace her...
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10framer
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2013, 10:03:34 PM »

drones wander from hive to hive.  drones in your hive may not be from your hive.  if you have drones chances are other hives are producing them too.

those queen cells are at the bottom of combs so they're most likely swarm cells. 

was the queen from last year marked?  was the dead queen marked?  there could be several reasons for the dead queen.
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tjc1
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2013, 10:30:19 PM »

Hmmm... my queen was not marked, nor is the dead queen.
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kathyp
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2013, 10:47:47 PM »

Quote
Hmmm... my queen was not marked, nor is the dead queen.

markings can be cleaned off.  you could have had a queen fight and one killed.  did the dead one look like it was mated?  virgins tend to be smallish and slim.

you could have had the new queen hatch, kill the old one, and then take off to mate. 
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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.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
sawdstmakr
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2013, 10:55:05 PM »

You may still have a new queen in this hive. You may have found a queen that was killed by your new queen. Your old queen probably swarmed.
Jim
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tjc1
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2013, 10:57:43 PM »

She does look smaller than I remember, and from photos of the old queen. Also, I looked at her with a magnifier and while I don't see any injury, her abdomen end looks open, if that means anything (can't see any sign of a stinger - tho I know that Queens don't lose theirs when they sting...).

So, should I be worried about swarming with those cells? Should I do a split preventatively? There seem to be loads of bees in the hive, and the super, which had brood earlier, is now getting filled with honey (also probably some syrup that I fed earlier). They also have a second (lower) deep that was empty a week ago, and which I put some foundationless frames in to keep them busy.
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10framer
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2013, 11:19:16 PM »

there's a possibility that they have already swarmed.  you may have walked up at the tail end of emerging virgins fighting.  don't make any decisions about splitting before you go through and see if you have eggs and small larvae or possibly a queen.  you may find all those cells torn down tomorrow.  go further in and show us pictures looking down into the open hive so we can estimate your bee population.  none of these scenarios sounds like the end of the world just yet.
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Finski
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2013, 02:30:55 AM »

There seem to be loads of bees in the hive, and the super, which had brood earlier, is now getting filled with honey (also probably some syrup that I fed earlier). They also have a second (lower) deep that was empty a week ago, and which I put some foundationless frames in to keep them busy.

it seem that hive was growded and it has swarmed. Box was filled with brood and now filled with honey.
brood frames produce 3 times more bees. One box produces over 3 boxes bees.




Only way is to look inside, what is happening there.
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tjc1
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« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2013, 04:13:50 PM »

Did a complete hive inspection today and here is what I found:

Upper deep and super full of bees, lower deep no activity.

Honey being capped and lots of uncapped honey in the super and some in the upper deep.

Some capped larvae, a very few uncapped larvae in late stages, and no eggs that I could see.

Four or five capped queen cells hanging from the bottom of the super frames.

The bees were very calm and easy going for a queenless hive. I did here an occasional funny, beepy buzz come from the hive that I have not noticed before.

I would love your expert suggestions for how to proceed! Thanks!

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hardwood
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« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2013, 07:53:34 PM »

Beepy buzz sounds like it could be a virgin "piping" trying to find the other virgins. JP just posted a video with queen piping somewhere on here. Maybe someone can provide the link?

Scott
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"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
tjc1
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« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2013, 08:30:07 PM »

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,41038.0.html

Wow! That absolutely is the coolest video! What I heard was not at all that continuous or 'melodic', though. More intermittent and buzzier.
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hardwood
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« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2013, 08:53:15 AM »

Still could be piping...they all have their own "voice".

Scott
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"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
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