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Author Topic: Queenless hive  (Read 597 times)
Bush_84
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« on: July 25, 2013, 02:42:28 PM »

So I have a hive that went queenless.  They have no queen and no young brood giving them the chance to make a queen.  They are currently in two eight frame deeps.  They don't fill both boxes and not all of the comb is drawn either.  I am looking at the date and things will be winding down in the next month or so.  I have another hive that went queenless, but they have a new queen. 

Funny side story about the hive.  I just opened it the other day to check for a queen.  I was looking closely for eggs when my eyes focused and saw the queen scamper right past my field of vision.  As soon as I saw her, she jumped onto my suit.  Instant panic.  Never saw a queen do that one before.  She eventually made it back in with some encouragement. 

Anyways...so the hive with the new queen is behind the eight ball as well but not nearly as weak as the currently queenless hive.  I put a frame of eggs/larvae in the queenless hive and closed it up.  This was a few days ago.  What should I do?  I see a few potential options.

1. Leave them alone and see how they do.

2. Combine them with the other hive that just made a queen to boost their numbers before fall.

For some reason I hate to combine because it almost feels as though you are giving up, but I wonder if that's not the best option.  I do have some season left, but I just worry if its enough season to get them built up.  I could put them in double deep 5 frame equipment and put them in my garage.  What does everybody here think?
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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2013, 03:19:56 PM »

I would check for queen cells between 5 and 10 days after adding the eggs. Then make my decision.

Feel like it's giving up??  If you had 2 vehicles with 50 miles worth of gas in each, and were 75 miles from a station, what would you do?
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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"

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BabcockFarms
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« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2013, 03:21:51 PM »

Depending on when you placed the frame of eggs in the hive, in 3 to 4 days they should have capped the cell or at least very close. I would CAREFULLY look and see if you have emergency queen cells. If it is beyond that I would wait a month to see if you have a mated queen. Then make your decision based on what you discover. I also hate to give up on a colony and combine them. It's  pride thing, but you also don't want a laying worker either. You can keep the colony happy for this month by placing a frame of brood in the hive every two weeks if you have them to spare. Worse case you will be giving them back the brood you stole if they need combined. This is what I have done in the past and has served me well.


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Ron Babcock

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Palouse
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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2013, 03:24:20 PM »

1. Leave them alone and see how they do.

2. Combine them with the other hive that just made a queen to boost their numbers before fall.

-OR-

3. Take a couple of frames of eggs/brood from the strong hive and put them in the weak hive and feed.

The caveat to that is I don't know your weather other than what I once saw on a t-shirt at the MSP airport that showed statewide average temps, all of which were in the 30s.

I'm new at this myself, but I certainly wouldn't just do nothing.
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Bush_84
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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2013, 10:10:25 PM »

1. Leave them alone and see how they do.

2. Combine them with the other hive that just made a queen to boost their numbers before fall.

-OR-

3. Take a couple of frames of eggs/brood from the strong hive and put them in the weak hive and feed.

The caveat to that is I don't know your weather other than what I once saw on a t-shirt at the MSP airport that showed statewide average temps, all of which were in the 30s.

I'm new at this myself, but I certainly wouldn't just do nothing.

Well I have already done the comb with eggs thing.  When I said do nothing I meant let them make their own queen.  I am way to cheap to buy a queen and again I feel like combining would be giving up on them.  So I think that I will check this weekend to see what is going on.  I put the comb of eggs in this past Tuesday.  If it doesn't work out I will combine, but if they make a laying queen I will nurse them through the winter in my garage if I have to. 
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Palouse
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« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2013, 11:00:31 PM »

Ah. I see. Well, I'm out of ideas, but I get your concern about buying a queen only to have her croak over the winter.
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RHBee
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« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2013, 12:34:48 AM »

I would check for queen cells between 5 and 10 days after adding the eggs. Then make my decision.

Feel like it's giving up??  If you had 2 vehicles with 50 miles worth of gas in each, and were 75 miles from a station, what would you do?

Good way to look at it. Good advice. I'd try to let them make a queen. There should be plenty of time to combine. I'm going to evaluate my colonies in the next couple of days. More than likely there will be a few combines in prep for winter.

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Ray
sc-bee
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« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2013, 03:06:52 AM »

There should be plenty of time to combine. I'm going to evaluate my colonies in the next couple of days. More than likely there will be a few combines in prep for winter.

Your winter and his are miles apart ---- many miles apart. Do they even have winter in Monks Corner  grin
« Last Edit: July 26, 2013, 03:17:44 AM by sc-bee » Logged

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sc-bee
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« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2013, 03:13:06 AM »

 I am way to cheap to buy a queen and again I feel like combining would be giving up on them.  So I think that I will check this weekend to see what is going on.  I put the comb of eggs in this past Tuesday.  If it doesn't work out I will combine, but if they make a laying queen I will nurse them through the winter in my garage if I have to.  

Maybe you are just against buying a queen for other reasons than being cheap --- surely this route is way more costly and labor intensive than buying a queen?
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John 3:16
RHBee
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« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2013, 07:33:15 AM »

Your winter and his are miles apart ---- many miles apart. Do they even have winter in Monks Corner  grin


sc-bee-Thanks for the location check. No, I don't have a winter when I compare it to Brainerd MN or just about anywhere up north.

Well I have already done the comb with eggs thing.  When I said do nothing I meant let them make their own queen.  I am way to cheap to buy a queen and again I feel like combining would be giving up on them.  So I think that I will check this weekend to see what is going on.  I put the comb of eggs in this past Tuesday.  If it doesn't work out I will combine, but if they make a laying queen I will nurse them through the winter in my garage if I have to. 



Bush_84- I went back and reread your March 4th thread, http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,40340.0.html. I also checked the weather channel looking at average and record temperatures for your location. Friend, I have no experience that would prepare me for an environment such as yours. That being said, as I see it winter survival is your most challenging task. The information other experienced northern beekeepers gave you in March should be setting your goals now. A good supply of winter bees, enough food stores, a healthy population free of disease and parasites, evaluating hive insulating and proper ventilation- those things would be my goals.
Looking hard at what you have to do to get your bees ready for your brutal winter, That is where I see your at. I know you said that you don't want to purchase a queen but, a proven local queen would go a long way to help you out right now. Just my humble opinion.
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Ray
10framer
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« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2013, 07:50:37 AM »

if i wasn't going to buy a queen i'd be doing a combine and ordering a queen in advance for an early split next year.
i wouldn't let pride set me back.  wait til you seal one up and douse it with gas because of afb or watch one dwindle away because of mites.
this isn't an easy hobby and you WILL have setbacks all the time.  if you just had to sit back and watch everybody would do it.
honestly if i had brutal winters i don't know that i wouldn't do a lot of combines going into them.  strong hives with my best queens that i could split in the spring is probably how i would want to start instead of 1/2 or more of my hives dying out in the winter.
but, i really know nothing about the challenges of a long cold winter.     
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