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Author Topic: HELP! Queenless Colony  (Read 1209 times)
bassman1977
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« on: April 25, 2006, 05:21:39 PM »

During my last inspection on a hive two weeks ago, I noticed that there were still a low number of bees (maybe two frames full if you were to combine them all).  I didn't see any eggs but there were some emerging brood.  Also, I didn't see a the queen in there and stupidly let them go until today hoping that I might have missed her and if I did, that she either was new and needed to mate or the cool nights were keeping her from laying.

Today I went in, same thing, no eggs, definately no queen, some capped drone cells.

Question is, what do I need to do in order to get this hive going again?  I already have a queen on order but I'm sure that there's more to it than just putting a new queen (and cage) into the hive and viola, it's done.

I would rather not combine this hive, but would like get this one back on its feet if possible.

By the way, there are workers in the hive and they are bringing in pollen and nectar, so food isn't going to be any kind of issue.

Thanks in advance.
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Finsky
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2006, 06:23:22 PM »

Quote from: bassman1977
a low number of bees (maybe two frames full if you were to combine them all).

 I already have a queen on order but I'm sure that there's more to it than just putting a new queen (and cage) into the hive and viola, it's done.

I would rather not combine this hive, but would like get this one back on its feet if possible.


The amount of bees are useless. They are overwintered bees and die soon.  But if you like to play with it....

* Resrict the room to 2 frame with middle wall.
* Take from another hive emerging broodframe, shake all bees away  and put it in the middle on 2 frames. Do that soon.
* if bees start to make emergency queen cell, it is good.
* When queen cell is capped it is eas to give new queen.
* give later  more emerging frames from another hives so you get one box full of bees.

* This nuc is usefull when you do preventive swarming control to strongest hives.
.
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tom
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2006, 07:11:55 PM »

I know the feeling i did my second inspection today to see why my second hive was not performing like the first. And they are doing the same thing as yours except the population has not dropped but the combs are full of pollen and honey thats when i saw the three queen cells and the young queens being raised so i got on the phone and called the company i got my bees from and they have informed me that she was being sent out today and i should have her by friday and it cost me nothing she will be a replacement. But what i am going to do since i still have enough bees to cover all four frames is and if i am doing this wrong please tell me once she gets here i am going thru the hive again to make sure no quen cells are present and then the half drawn foundation i am going to put in the center so when she is free she has room to start laying.

Tom
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MagicRay
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2006, 07:22:49 PM »

I am in a similar situation, except I have no more brood or larvae and I only have one hive.  I am in Maryland.  Where can I order a queen asap?  Thanks!
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2006, 08:15:49 PM »

There are many reasons you might find a hive with no brood even though there is a queen. First, in my climate at least, from October to April there may or may not be brood because they stop in October and then raise little batches of brood with broodless periods in between. Second, some frugal bees will shut down brood rearing in a dearth. Third, a hive that has lost a queen and raised an emergency queen often is broodless because by the time the new queen has emerged, hardened, mated and started to lay 25 or more days have passed and ALL the brood has emerged. Many a beginner (or even a veteran) has found a hive in this state, ordered a queen, introduced her and had her killed, ordered another queen, introduced her and had her killed and finally noticed there were eggs. Unmarked virgin queens are very hard to find. A frame of eggs and brood would have been a better solution. That way IF the hive is queenless they can raise one, and if they aren’t it won’t hurt anything and you’ll know the answer to the question.

From when a queen dies to when they new virgin queen emerges is only 11 days or so.  From when the queen emerges to when she's laying is another two weeks.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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tom
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2006, 01:06:27 AM »

I am getting my queen from C F Koehnen & sons they can send you a queen by the next day if they still have any left so i would contact them asap to find out.

Tom
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bassman1977
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2006, 05:30:45 PM »

Well this is just great.  I went into my biggest hive to get some emerging brood and there is none.  All eggs.  All brood must have emerged at the same time.  GRRRRR!  My other hive which I capture a few weeks ago is too small to take brood from.  So now what?  I have a queen on the way.

What I remember about last year is that it took about 7 days for the queen to be released from her cage.

Here's my thought...

When I did my first inspection of the season, there was a queen, she laid eggs, and I'm sure they emerged just fine.  That being said, there are bees in there that weren't over-wintered.  I'm thinking they aren't building queen cells because there are no eggs.  Even a laying worker (which I don't have) couldn't raise a queen, correct?  So, if there are good bees in there, they will most likely survive long enough for the queen to be raised and brood mature.

Is it worth a shot?
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