I posted a few weeks back about cold weather and that I lost one of my hives. Well the hive pulled through and so did the queen (starlines). Many of the bees did die and the brood was chilled. They are still cleaning out the dead brood and not flying very much. I am feeding them. I plan on buying some more bees to strengthen the hive and hope they will be OK.
My real problem is in the other hive (carniolans). I can't find the queen. She is not marked and I'm a newbie so I'm having a hard time with this. There are many drones and many drone cells (more than worker cells as best as I can tell). There are some worker cells but not very many. The brood pattern is very scattered. It's actually more like clusters here and there. The brood is uneven due to so many drone cells and very yellow in color. Should I get another queen for this hive? What if the queen is in there? Can the cold temps that we had cause the sperm cells in the queen to die even though the queen survived? I am wondering about this because the the starline hive also has very little activity with new brood. There are some uncapped larva though.
Any advice is appreciated.
"Can the cold temps that we had cause the sperm cells in the queen to die even though the queen survived?" No, it has been proven time and time again that a cold comma queen will continue to lay perfectly normal worker eggs. I had the same question about 10 years ago. I made an observation hive and that night the temp dropped to 20 degrees F. Every bee appeared to look dead. I took the bees inside and cupped the queen with my hand and blew warm air on her. She came around. So did the other bees when it warmed up later that day.
Then I intensely watched that observation hive for the next 3 weeks. I swear I sat there watching it for over 200 hours. I kept
detailed records of what was going on and in the end she was fine. I got worker brood.
"The brood pattern is very scattered."
"The brood is uneven due to so many drone cells and very yellow in color. Should I get another queen for this hive? "
Is there another beekeeper near you that
might be able to lend you a hand looking for the queen.
Are you seeing eggs in the cells?
Are there more than one egg per cell and are the eggs on the sides rather than the bottom?
Thanks for the reply. I did not see any eggs. I was looking very close but could not see any little tiny white specs at the bottom of the open cells. This doesn't necessarily mean there aren't any, I may not be recognizing them. I am bringing another beekeeper out there on Monday to take a look and hopefully he can help me decide what is going on.
Both queens were laying well before that cold spell hit. Is there an approximate ratio between drone cells and worker cells that is standard? What do swarm cells look like and how would I recognize a supercedure going on? Do you think I may be seeing a supercedure in progress?
I forgot to answer one of your questions. The capped cells are mostly along the sides. I didn't see any cells hanging on the bottoms. The middle cells a basically empty except for one or two really tall capped cells in the middle that look like drone cells to me. This is all occuring on about 6 fully drawn frames. The other four frames a either not touched yet or are drawn and being used for storage.