Here is my dilemma. Finally opened the last of 6 hives yesterday. They looked wonderful except: No eggs, no larva, no brood. Looked for the queen and did not find her, but the rest of this hive is in really great shape. I pulled a frame of eggs and brood from another strong hive and gave to them last night, so now what. I can possibly get a queen as early as Monday, otherwise Thursday. Will I be able to tell within 24 hours if they are truly queenless? Or should I wait until Wednesday to check again. This is a 3 deep hive, so am I better off releasing the queen in the top box, and then rotating them, or release her in the bottom, and wait till she reaches the top?
You say you've given them a frame of eggs and brood; check through after about 3 days and see whether they're building queen cells. If they are, they're queenless, otherwise not.
You now have a couple of choices. If they are building queen cells you can let them raise a queen. The only problem with that is the time delay of raising her and then waiting for her to mate. But that is kind of an exciting thing to do anyway. Or you can buy a queen and introduce her. Then only problem is what will they do with the queen cells they built? They will probably tear them up, but you never know for sure.
You should see queen cells being built in 3 or 4 days or less.
I would go back in today and look on the frame you introduced yesterday. Often times
when you put a "strange" frame into a hive,
the queen will go to investigate. I think
it has some thing to do with phermones.
The queen smells a rival and goes to that frame.
Also is the hive in chaos?
Meaning pollen and honey being stored within
the brood nest (in your case the brood area) with no apparent order?
Also is the hive "buzzy"? Does the roar
quite down after you open the hive or
does it stay up?
Fremont, NH USA
If you have a queen, her ovaries must be damaged or depleted. This time of year all queens should be laying like crazy, if not then you need a new queen asap
regardless of queen or not, you need a new queen yesterday.
I know how you feel, as I have a hive I suspect is queenless, and even worse may have a laying worker. The hive, when I checked it about 3 weeks ago had lots of drone cells, but it also had worker brood. I didn't see the queen, and its numbers are not proliferating like my other hives. I went to see my older beekeeper friend/mentor today and he said it could be either way. A laying worker or a queen who lays too many drone cells. I'll have to go back into the hive in the next day or two to see for sure. Either way, they will probably get a new queen. I have read that requeening a hive with laying workers is extremely difficult. Any of you have experience with this? Is it a common problem?
I had that problem last year. It was late summer when I noticed that I had a laying worker colony. I ordered a queen right away and installed her the next weekend. When I opened the box I found a queen cell that was not capped yet. I destroyed it and put the new queen in. The next weekend I checked and found that they did not release her even though I made a hole all the way through the candy. I made the hole much bigger and came back the next weekend. By now the wax worms were getting bad and while I was checking the hive the queen was seen on the top bars and after a bit on the front porch, she was trying to get away! She was clipped and could not fly.
The following weekend there was no queen and the worms had completly devistated the hive.
Four weeks of messing around with trying to requeen, and if I had left them alone they would have done it themselves.
It all ended with the total loss of the hive. I guess it wasn't much of a loss, it was my first hive that I started out with in 1999, German or Italian, the guy I got them from wasn't sure. At any rate they never gave me a drop of honey in four years, good riddence I say.
That's my sad story, my very first hive, and the only one I've ever lost. Live and learn.
Well, I looked through the hive pretty thoroughly this morning and have improved my outlook. There's apparently not a laying worker, and possibly a brand new queen. I didn't see her, but I did see a queen cell that was torn open at the bottom end. If she just recently emerged, how long would it take for her to mate and start laying? Or is it just a pipe dream? I saw no brood of any kind in the hive. All the drones and all the worker brood have now emerged, apparently. The mood of the hive seemed pretty good, but a little passive compared to my other hives. Any ideas? In other words, how long do I need to wait before getting a new queen? My beekeeper friend/ mentor said he will have some queens ready for sale in about 10 days.
[This message has been edited by dragonfly (edited April 14, 2003).]
I'd say 13 to 16 days from the queen's emergence to seeing eggs. And that's if you have a good eye or dark comb so you can see them when they are that small. The queen is also hard to see at first because virgin queens are small compared to laying queens. Basiclly it's 30 days from when the egg was layed for this queen to when you are seeing her eggs.
Dear Husband(also known as man who hates bees) picked up a new queen from my supplier on his way home from work today. Daughter (it's her hive) and I inspected the frame of brood we placed Sat. Night, saw no existing queen and the beginning of a queen cell or two. The hive is slightly chaotic, some honey and pollen in the brood nest, but the bees are actually quite calm. Put the new queen in in her little screen box, they were climbing all over her when I closed up the hive. If they have settled down by morning I will release her, otherwise give them 'till tomorrow night. Wish us luck!
Michell, I have read that you should let the bees release the new Queen. If you release her to soon they may kill her. My thoughts, Dale
this queen is in a package with a cork in the bottom, not candy. Don't know if they would ever release her. I'm torn, I don't want to rush them, but every day counts right now....to quote beeman202 "I need a new queen yesterday" They have been queenless, so I'm thinking I'll just peek in they morning and see how they respond. If they have settled down, then I'll release her, if they are still all over her cage, then I will give them more time. Thanks for the caution.
pop the cork out and stuff in a minature marshmallow. place the cage back in, the bees will calmly release her in 24 hrs., check in 48 that she really is released. a really nice soft marshmallow, not an old dry one.
Michell: look at the cork end good,If it's the type of box with a hole on each(cork)end .most of the time they put the candy in then a cork.I'd just check the box over, Mark
Thanks for the marshmallow tip. I may try that this AM if I can get out there before work. None of the queens I have received have come with candy in them. With packages this isn't a big deal, I just quick release them when I hive them and haven't had a problem so far...With splits and requeening I don't usually try to rush the release, but I'm trying to beat a cold front that may not let me into the hive for another week. The mini marshmallow may do the trick though.
Your going through one of the most rewarding areas of beekeeping. Its great to see this in action and be successful.
I would of let the bees raise thier own queen and used a frame or two from another hive if new eggs were needed.
Also, if the numbers decrease in this hive until the queen has new brood raised, swap out a couple more frames of brood from another strong hive and maintain good numbers. After all, this is the most important time to have a good honey harvest.
I considered letting them raise their own queen, but my local advisor (supplier) said that it's too early yet, and breeding would be a challenge. I can and will supplement with a couple extra frames of brood while this one is getting back on track though. I am seriously thinking about trying to raise my own queens and wintering them so I have new for next year. I have 3+ hives that I plan to split, and will probably pull frames for a couple extra nucs for extra queens next spring. So much fun, and so much to learn....
I did manage to get in this morning and replace the cork with part of a marshmallow (had no minis, had to improvise)Which is a good thing, it started raining before I got home, and now they say snow again tomorrow.
[This message has been edited by ChellesBees (edited April 15, 2003).]