View Full Version : Queenless?
07-15-2001, 08:27 PM
I am a first year beekeeper with one hive I started from a package. Things were going great. I recently added a second hive body to my hive as the bees had pretty well filled the first. I opened the hive yesterday and found the bees to be very aggressive. Upon inspection I found no eggs. I then looked for the marked queen and didn't find her. I did find several queen cells on the bottom of the frames of the upper hive body. As I was closing the hive up I noticed a queen in the upturned outer cover which was on the ground. Not my marked queen. I picked her up to place her in the hive but she got away from me and flew. What should I do?
07-17-2001, 05:57 PM
Sounds like they swarmed or the queen was superceded. What race of bee?
As I was closing the hive up I noticed a queen in the upturned outer cover which was on the ground. Not my marked queen. I picked her up to place her in the hive but she got away from me and flew. What should I do?
Sounds like this queen had just mated thus no eggs yet(or virgin). Wait to see if she returns as they usually do. If not, do you have another colony to give a frame of eggs? Were there any queen cells left that had not hatched? I will advise more based on response.
Clay-don't buy a queen yet!
07-17-2001, 08:21 PM
Hello and thanks for the reply. First off, I do not have another hive. This is my first year and my hive was started from a package. They had built up very strong though, so I guess they could have swarmed. There was a couple more queen cells that hadn't hatched.
07-17-2001, 08:34 PM
My advise is to check for the queen tomorrow to see if she has returned. Also check for virgins if you are able to spot them. If you have queen cells that are capped then don't worry as the bees will produce a new queen. Let me know how you make out.
07-17-2001, 08:56 PM
Thanks for the advice. By the way they are Italians. Also, how will this affect a packages chances of surviving the winter. Our second major flow will be winding up soon, that being Sourwood. I have been told that we have a minor flow of goldenrod and asters later. I'll let you know what I find with the queen situation.
07-18-2001, 06:32 AM
From my few years of expereance, I would suggest keep close attantion for swarming behavior. Then even if you lost your marked queen they can rear a new one just as good as you had as long as you have cuped broad. You will know that as soon as you see eggs. Check you colony weeklly and if you see eggs your are ok but if you don't for a more then a three weeks order a queen and introduce her into the colony. Make sure you do not have any other queen or queen cells in there already.
07-18-2001, 02:39 PM
This may be something to do with the UK climate, or even our type of bee, but I'd leave it longer than three weeks without eggs before I despaired. This year I raised three queens in May, in a very late season, earlier than almost anyone else locally (this was deliberate, to discourage outcrossing with very Italian type bees). The results reduced me almost to panic at time; my single laying queen failed on me, my projected two hives temporarily became three when a split swarmed, and the new queens took forever to mate and start laying, doubtless due to the bad weather. The end result was two queens out of three mated and laying well, after about five weeks without eggs in any of the hives. The third queen disappeared, and that hive was combined. All's well that ends well, but don't despair if you don't see eggs for a while, as you seem to have a virgin in there.
07-18-2001, 04:37 PM
Yes you are right but as long as you wait the less bee population in you hive. Specially if it happens in the spring time. Which will result in less honey collected during the honey flow. Just think about it: Good queen during good wather can lay around 1000 eggs. Which means more honey.
07-18-2001, 08:14 PM
Thanks all for the advice. It is comforting to know that I can wait a few weeks. I checked again today and still nothing. The bees do have good stores of pollen and honey. The population seems very good now, I guess I panicked when I first found them queenless. Hopefully I'll have a laying queen in a week or two. If not, I'll just bite the bullet and order one. At least I had no aspirations of taking surplus honey from my hive in the first year. Next year I plan to start a couple more hives and that will give me more flexibility. I think just from this experience I would encourage anyone interested in starting out to try and go with two hives instead of one. Live and learn.
08-15-2001, 08:04 PM
Just to follow up, I got a new queen from a breeder, installed her, and all is going well. She is laying great.
08-19-2001, 08:56 AM
After reading all this including the follow up .
Glad to hear that it all worked out. you might just want to consider feeding these bee's if you went along time with no flow & no brood being raised, the only thing that happened in this hive was that they ate alot.
After all $10.00 dollars for syrup is alot cheaper then loosing your 1st hive to starvation.
Just somthing to consider.Good Luck