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Author Topic: Queenless hives that are not mean  (Read 623 times)
ziffabeek
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« on: June 12, 2013, 09:28:50 AM »

Hello all,

After a busy spring with splits and swarms we are facing a couple of issues with our hives.  2 of the swarms ended up queenless and one of our established hives is also queenless.  We are adding frames to the nucs with the swarms in hopes they'll make their own, and will probably order a queen for the other hive, but my question is this:

All of the hives with no queen were very docile and sweet when we went in.  Even the established hive.  The nucs I can understand, because they aren't established yet and are small, but the old hive is two years old.  I'm pretty sure this is the hive that we caught some swarms off of.  The population is down now,  but I still expected them to be pissier or at least roaring.  They were calm and quiet.  There is no brood and no eggs anywhere -they have a clean and empty deep on the bottom and then a super with honey and pollen, but no brood.

Is this strange?  Just a fluke?  I am 99.9999% sure there is no queen laying in that hive.  But their demeanor is making me second guess myself.

Thanks for any advice,

ziffa
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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2013, 09:34:31 AM »

I'm guessing there will be a queen laying within a week. I would add a frame containing eggs to each and wait a week before ordering an expensive queen.
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"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"

*Shel Silverstein*
ziffabeek
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2013, 10:05:44 AM »

Thanks Iddee!  We will try that.  I thought it was strange, but wasn't sure how 100% that indicator was.

 This hive has been declining in population (from outside observation) over the past several weeks. Michael is upset that it seems we've 'lost' so many queens - be we do have a mocking bird that likes to sit in front of the hives Sad.  I will pass your advice onto him and we will wait to order queens. (although the new genetics might not hurt our little apiary Smiley ).

Love,
ziffa
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iddee
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2013, 10:19:54 AM »

You have new genetics with every supercedure or swarm. The drones that met with the new queen are from different hives scattered throughout the area. You don't have to pay to get new genetics in the Atlanta area.
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"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"

*Shel Silverstein*
10framer
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2013, 10:57:19 AM »

if you add the frames of eggs and wait a couple of days the newly mated or virgin queen will usually be on that frame within a day or so.  a lot of times when i feel like i should have had a laying queen but don't that's usually how i find them (or don't).  the main thing is not to get into a laying worker situation.  that's very hard to fix once it's started.  i don't bother anymore it's just easier to shake them out.
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Wolfer
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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2013, 11:02:20 PM »

I've had several queen less hives that were very docile. Some were very not!! I pretty much raise all my own queens and I've learned to always suit up before checking a known queen less hive. Some you could probaly work buck neckked but I'll never know.
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bud1
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2013, 09:58:54 PM »

never saw one that wasn't a little pissy; I am with idee think you got a virgin and will be laying shortly, but a frame with eggs just good insurance
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Joe D
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« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2013, 12:26:16 AM »

Hi Ziffa, when I started I got 3 established hives, all were very pissie.  That next spring they swarmed after that they were all nice.  This year I had a hive that had lots of bees,  next inspection not so many, and no brood.  I checked for a queen couldn't find one, bought a new queen, installed her and checked in a week.  No brood and couldn't find that queen.  Called all over area hunting another queen, found one but was a ways off.  By then numbers were getting low, caught a swarm and was going to combine with the paper method.  When started to tape some paper on top of the queenless hive, I checked one more time, there was brood.  They are doing fine now, don't think this is usual, had given up on the hive.  Good luck to you and your bees.
I did buy a queen last year, caught swarm lost theirs, got a Cordovan that hive is always gentle.

Joe

Joe
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JP
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« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2013, 09:41:06 PM »

Ziffa, did you do the waggle dance for them? That's probably why they are staying so nice. Smiley


...JP
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ziffabeek
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« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2013, 09:04:33 AM »

Ha! Jp. Smiley  That must be it.

Thanks for the replies all!  We had to go out of town this weekend and there is rain predicted all week.  Mikel is going to try to slip in a frame if the weather permits as soon as possible, and then we'll check again this weekend.  I hope you all are right and it's a virgin queen!  I will keep you posted. 

Getting hot and muggy here and the MQs are starting to beard.  Dang Bud - those bees are so strong and healthy! Thank you again and again! Smiley

love,
ziffa
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sterling
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« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2013, 06:44:14 PM »

A BB gun will take care of the mocking bird. And he won't be missed they will make more.
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iddee
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« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2013, 07:37:32 PM »

WOW, Sterling. Why, don't you like the mocking birds stealing your SHB and wax moths? I thought you would build them a bird house.
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"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"

*Shel Silverstein*
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