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Thread: dwindling?

  1. #1

    Question

    Hi went into the hive couple days ago...no brood, although, two bees were emerging. almost emopty brood box...little pollen only. lots of queen cells even more drone cells....what happened? package arrived, installed...everything looked good....I was feeding and leaving alone as much as possible....what do I do now? NB

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    mn, wi, tx
    Posts
    174

    Post

    1. Get a new queen asap. The queen cells may or may not be viable.

    2. Get a frame or two of sealed brood from another hive to put in your hive.

    3. Shake your bees out 30----100 yards away from your hive. You probably have a laying worker with all those drone cells. If you don't know what I mean, the shake out has been discussed here before many times.

    4. After the shake-out, return hive to original spot with the two+- frames of sealed brood, and add queen in cage with hole poked through the candy in cage.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    medesto,indiana,usa
    Posts
    257

    Post

    Im not sure what part of the country your from but it maybe too late to save the hive.In any case Id continue feeding and let the bees raise their own queen.It sounds like you have capped queen cells so they should hatch and mate.In either case it will be Aug. by the time you'll have any kind of a build up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Lynnville, Ia, USA
    Posts
    165

    Post

    You have queen failure for sure. The bees are trying to draw queens from unfertilized eggs. It is seldom posssible to requeen these colonies by introducing a new queen. The bees kill them straight away. Installing a laying queen with a couple of frames of brood usually works.

  5. #5

    Post

    Hi sorry for lack of details. The queen cells are empty, many of the drone cells are also empty. I am in Virginia on coast. Package of Starlines. one super of honey, almost empty brood box, no fresh brood at all. NB

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Bedford,KY,USA
    Posts
    29

    Post

    Sounds like your hive has swarmed. Drone brood takes the longest to mature that is why you still have some emerging. When the hive gets in the swarming mode egg laying dwindles and stops. The good news is that since you have only empty queen cells you are likely to have a queen present. Raising a new queen takes some time as she will likely not take her nuptial flight for 5 to 14 days depending upon the weather and flight conditions. And upon returning to her hive she will not likely start laying eggs for 2 to 3 days. You will need to be very observant and careful that you do not damage her just because you don't see her. In the coming days watch outside activity like pollen gathering which could indicate brood rearing has resumed. And of course you will have to examine closely your drawn comb for the presence of eggs.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Post

    I removed the queen from my observation hive 25 days ago. There is no capped brood left to speak of in the hive. I've been watching the virgin queen. She just got mated yesterday and I've only seen her lay one egg and that was today, 25 days later. If yours raised an emergency queen it would take that long. You may have a queen in the hive, or you may not. You need to find out. A frame of eggs from another hive would be good. That way they will start queen cells if there is no queen and they won't if there is a queen. If not, you need to search diligently for the queen to find her. Mine is really hard to see. For the first week she ran around so much and was so afraid of the light you could hardly find her. Then when she mated she walked around with her abdomen curled up so she didn't stand out as long.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Wyoming MN
    Posts
    406

    Smile

    First Question: Do you have access to a couple frames of brood? If you put a frame with eggs and brood on it in there, they will start to draw out a queen cell if they think they are queenless. If they start drawing out queen cells, then you can either add a queen, or let them try to make another one. If they don't try to make a queen cell, you can wait a few days, check for eggs, and then if you don't see any, add another frame, and try again. They need eggs to make queen cells, and capped brood to better care for the queen.
    If you see eggs, give them a little while, sometimes a new queen will lay multiple eggs in cells for a few days, looking a lot like a laying worker. Knowing that you had queen cells hatch, I would give them a few more days.
    If you don't have access to any frames of eggs and brood, you could just try to introduce a new queen, worst case-they wouldn't accept her and would kill her. It's a $20.00 gamble. Get a queen, and put her in her cage in the hive box. I think feeding will help with the acceptance of a new queen.
    Don't give up on the hive. It may take a little extra help, but all is not lost.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Arnold, Peoples Republik of Maryland
    Posts
    31

    Question

    It appears I have had a similar experience to NB. Unfortunately I am on the road most of the time, and with the added complication of the crummy weather this past spring, I got beind on my inspections.

    Returned home a few weeks ago to find my only hive apparently being robbed. I successfully stopped the robbing, but on inspection found no queen or brood. I did not see any signs of laying workers and ordred a new queen. Tried to install the new queen about 2 weeks ago. After one week the queen cage was empty but I couldn't find her or any sign of eggs.

    My question is this, if the worse case scenario occurs and my hive is still queenless, should I just give up on this summer? If so, what should I do to preserve/protect the hive until next spring? I have two deeps with wax completely drawn out in the lower and about 8 of 10 frames in the upper. As of last week there was still capped honey on several frames in both deeps.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    BillKP71

    I do not do this often but I have a hair up my butt this morning and decided to do something good. If you want, I have hives up Hwy 83, between York and Harrisburg. If you want to bring a box I'll set you up with a couple of frames of brood and a queen cell, if we can find one. If you feed, there may be time to pump the numbers up to get through winter.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Post

    If you still don't have any eggs or larvae, then I'd order another queen. Try a push in cage http://www.honeyflowfarm.com/beeproj...ncagelarge.jpg
    big enough that she can lay. Bees seldom reject a laying queen. YOU can make one from #8 hardware cloth or buy one from http://www.betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=644

    Without a queen they will not survive the winter. Lack of morale will kill them if the drones from laying workers don't eat them out of house and home.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Post

    Well, you can't beat Bjorn's offer. That's the best thing you can do.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Arnold, Peoples Republik of Maryland
    Posts
    31

    Big Grin

    Bjorn,

    I can't tell you how much I appreciate the very generous offer, but it looks like I may be OK. I did another inpsection last night and found 3 or 4 frames of eggs, larvae and capped brood in a nice tight pattern. I finally found the new queen working hard on the next to last frame I pulled.

    Do you think I should do some feeding to help the colony build up strength? Both the upper and lower deeps still have some capped honey on the majority of the frames.

    Thanks again!

    Bill

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