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  1. #1

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    I installed a new queen on the 6th. I checked and found the queen cage empty on the 11th. I did not see the new queen nor did I see any eggs. She was marked but I couldn't see her. I checked today and still did not find the/a queen and there still weren't any eggs. I requeened a hive this spring and when I checked the hive 4 days later there was new comb in the gap with eggs in it! If there is a queen in this hive I would assume she isn't laying for some reason (young/virgin). I removed every frame today and shook the bees off onto a sheet and reassembled the hive. The bees are all now inside with no lingering clumps of bees outside. Since I couldn't find the queen, I'm hoping that if there was one she would now be lost. My question is, if there are no eggs, or brood, will the bees still make queen cells even if there is no way they could make their own? When I requeened on the 6th, they were queenless for about 7 days prior to that (I removed the old queen, but the new queen didn't arrive because of some delay with the post office). There were queen cells, but none were even close to hatching. I've ordered another queen for this Wednesday. I've been trying to get a good queen in this hive since spring. The new queen on Wednesday will be my 6th attempt! Any suggestions on mmaking sure there is no queen? I'm almost certain that a queen cell couldn't have hatched. I didn't see a cell that had hatched and I removed them all anyway. I haven't had eggs for over 3 weeks, but there aren't any queen cells.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    oneonta al.
    Posts
    848

    Post

    You stated that this is your 6th try,are there any drone cell's? could it be a laying worker? You also said you shook the bee's on a sheet, How far from the hive was the sheet? I've had the same problem,but I shook the bee's on the grass about 50 yard's away.I would think you have (1.)a laying worker.(2)or a none productive queen.I'd try to shake them again,But in the grass futher away.>>>>>Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,457

    Post

    Be patient in introducing the new queen. You're in too big of a hurry to rush. You need to leave the queen in the cage with the cork in it for several days (3 is a good number) before checking to see what's happening. If the bees seem very accepting then pull the cork and put a hole in the candy (or if there is none, put a marshmallow in the hole) and let them have a few more days to release her then check to see how things are.

    They are obviously having problems accepting a new queen, which would lead me to believe there is a laying worker.


  4. #4

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    I agree that this hive has a big problem. I'd tend to agree with the laying worker theory, but there aren't any eggs at all.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Wyoming MN
    Posts
    406

    Post

    Do you have another hive that you can borrow from? If so, put a frame with brood and eggs in there. If they are queenless, they will try to make queens on that frame. If not, they will just raise the brood. It may help to have younger bees to care for the queen. Good luck, I have a couple that are real stinkers this year too.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,457

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    The other nice thing about them rasing a queen is they will accept her if they raise her.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Marietta, GA USA
    Posts
    26

    Post

    One method I use in requeening is to start a nuc in the same yard with frames of brood with bees and then shake a couple of frames of bees into the nuc. What happens is that the foragers will leave and return to the donor hive leaving behind nurse bees and emerging brood.

    Young bees more redily accept a new queen than the old knuckleheads. The new queen emerges and begins laying. Then combine with the hive you want requeened by the newspaper method. If you suspect a laying worker, you can try a total shakedown before combining with the newspaper method with the theory that the laying worker is too heavy to fly back.

    I have never had a problem with this method.

    Also, if there is a virgin queen running around inside the hive, any attempt at introducing a new caged queen is doomed.

  8. #8

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    I did a total shake down about 10 ft away from the hive. I don't have a very big yard and by the next day most of the bees were back in the hive. I have screened bottom boards and about a quart of bees were hanging under the hive on the SBB. Wednesday I took a frame of capped/uncapped brood and a frame of eggs from another hive and put them in the bad hive. While doing the tear down again I took the SBB and dumped the hanging bees on the ground about 30 ft from the hive. I reassembled everything and put the new queen in, but left the cage corked. The bees I dumped in the grass were still there so I smoked the good to get them flying. I came back a little later and most of them were swarmed on a dogwood limb. I cut the limb off and shook the bees into 5 smaller piles around the yard. Eventually all but one pile flew back to the hive. This pile was about 2 pints worth. I put an empty deep down and they marched in. They were really relaxed, I suppose in "huddled masses" mode, and I sorted through them looking for anything that resembled a queen. I found nothing. I left them until today. This morning I put the deep containing the wayward bees on top of their home hive. I figured that any foragers would return to the bottom. I checked them before dark and most had gone, but about half were still in there and they were all dead but a few. I assume all the stress of being displaced and not having food probably did them in. I checked carcasses, but still did find a bee that looked queenish. The senario I have developed is this; the last marked queen I installed was released and then there was a fight with a laying worked. I assume the worker lived, because I never did see a marked bee. Having torn the hive apart and shaken the bees off the queen/laying worker was displaced and a few bees went with her. In the meantime the hive (I hope) has been getting used to that new queen smell. The bees that died probably stayed with the old "queen" and they all died. I plan to uncork the new queen Saturday. That will give her 3 days in there plus however long it takes for them to release her. If this doesn't work I'll give them another frame of eggs and leave them alone.

  9. #9

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    I forgot to mention that during this entire ordeal I have yet to see any eggs of their own!?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,457

    Post

    If you have good enough eyesite to see eggs (I have trouble through a veil on nice white comb) you should see several to a cell with a laying worker. You sometimes see a couple to a cell with a new queen for a few days, but this should straighten out shortly.

  11. #11

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    Most of my brood frames are dark wax, so spotting the eggs is easy. For the weeks that I have been working with this colony, I've yet to see any eggs and now the last of the capped brood is emerging. Fortunatly, my other hive has a giant queen that can supply frames of eggs if I need them. She is a "WV Queen" and I would urge everyone to try them. Calvert's Apiaries is the only one that sells them as far as I know.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Question

    Greetings . . .

    Forgive me for interrupting, I have some questions.

    Is it possible the "2-pint pile" contained a queen?
    Is a virgin queen and a laying worker about the same size?
    If other groups flew back to original hive, why did this group 'march' into a super?

    thanx
    Dave W

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,457

    Post

    A virgin queen is very hard to distiguish from a worker. Of course this is a generality. A new hatched virgin queen is actualy larger than one several days old and smaller than a laying queen. A laying worker is larger than an average worker, but not necesarily larger than all the workers. Some workers are just larger because of the cell size they were raised in. Vrigin queens and laying workers are very difficult to spot.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,457

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    This is also a good reason for adding some eggs and seeing if they try to raise a queen. If it's a laying worker they will usually start a queen. If it's a virgin queen, they will not. If there is a virgin queen, they will not accept the new queen.

  15. #15

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    I'm hoping the last cluster contained the bee they were accepting as the queen. I looked at them all, but didn't see anything. I plan to uncork the new queen's cage tomorrow. How do I distinguish aggressive behavior from "meet the new queen" behavior?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,457

    Post

    A worker grabbing a hold and rolling up into a ball is agressive. Feeding and grooming is acceptance behavior. Balling the queen is probably aggressive behavior. It is hard to tell when they are on the cage because they tend to be agitated because they want the queen out. However if you watch them feed the queen through the wire, they are taking care of her.

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