Queenless!

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Terri, Sep 1, 2004.

  1. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Rats.

    No queen, no uncapped brood, and almost no honey. I had noticed before that queenless bee were bone-lazy, and this clinches it in my mind. That hive WAS pretty full of the good stuff, and now they have eaten their winter stores instead of foraging. I checked them almost 2 weeks ago, and I must have somehow squished the queen.

    I have ordered 2 marked queens from Rossman Apiaries. I ordered 2 in case they both did not arrive in good shape. Still, if I receive 2 strong queens I will use them both.

    You are not SUPPOSED to split hives this late, but the bees wouldn't fit in just 2 boxes because there was still a good bit of capped brood. It WAS a big hive. I don't know why they didn't raise a queen from an egg, but they didn't

    The classic response would be to winter them in 3 boxes, but I am not going to. Instead I am going to consider 2 options.

    The first option is to place a single box hive over the 2 box hive, with a queen excluder that has a fine screen on both sides between the 2 hives. If the hives do not build up quickly enough, I can always do a newspaper combine in 6 weeks. We should still have some warm Fall days in October.

    It means, of course, that I will have trouble checking the lower hive in the early spring. I will therefor have to take the top hive off pretty early. Still, if I can keep them together during January, both hives may make it. I will put an inner cover over the screened queen excluder so that I can lift off the nuc (inner cover and all) without losing ALL of the warmth.

    *OR*, I might build 2 nuc boxes that hold 5 frames each. I could then put one nuc box on the other for the winter. That is rare out here, but the gent who taught me does it every year and rarely looses a nuc. He places the nucs against a wall for a windbreak, of course. Kansas get VERY windy during the winter and early spring.

    What *IS* certain is that I am going to have to feed both the hive and the nuc like the dickens, as they have eaten their winter stores. I will let you know next spring how it worked out.
     
  2. MullersLaneFarm

    MullersLaneFarm Well-Known Member

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    Please do Terri.

    I've found a queenless hive last week and have ordered a replacement. When I checked this weekend, the population was quickly dwindling and very little honey stores.

    I exchanged 3 frames of capped brood from a stronger hive. Not sure if this was wise but it is done. I've started feeding the week hive.
     

  3. beaglady

    beaglady Well-Known Member

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    If you add uncapped brood, the younger the better, they can make themselves a new queen. To make new queen, the larvae has to be no older than 3 days, as I recall. I've done this a few times with good results.
     
  4. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I guess the hive did not like the queen that I ordered: They have
    made an emergency supercedure cell. I sure hope that she finds enough drones out there. :(

    Well, what will be will be. The goldenrod is just peaking now, so they MIGHT be OK. Nothing like a honey flow to help bees straigten things out.
     
  5. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I've got 1 hive that did pretty much the same thing. I will not buy queens, I transferred frames like you did and I'll let them figure it out. Most times the purchased queen will be supersceded any way.
     
  6. MullersLaneFarm

    MullersLaneFarm Well-Known Member

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    Queen came in yesterday - dead .... The attendants in the cage were not happy at all.

    I had open house at the elementary school last night, marching band and varsity football tonight. We're going out of town early tomorrow A.M. I'll have to check for uncapped brood in another hive and hope for the best on Monday.