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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Bend, OR USA
    Posts
    93

    Post

    I had a hive go queenless for a period of at least three weeks this spring. There was no brood or eggs at all. I got a queen and installed her, checked a week later, and she was there with a nice batch of eggs and young brood. Two weeks later (today), I checked the hive. The brood pattern is now very spotty, there's quite a bit of capped drone brood, and I didn't see the queen. Did I run out of nurse bees and attendant bees while this batch of brood was maturing? What should I have done differently?

    Roger

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,774

    Post

    Are there any eggs? Are there multiple eggs in the cells? Do you have any other hives?

    One thing you could have done before, if you have another hive, was give them some brood as soon as you saw they were queenless and just let them raise one. It's always possible they already were rasing one. It's also possible they had a laying worker when you installed the new queen.

    If you have evidence of a laying worker (drone brood in worker sized cells and mutilple eggs haphazard on the sides of the cells) the simplest thing, if you have other hives, is shake them all out in front of the other hives, split the frames between the other hives and then make a split from one of your strong hives if you need another hive.

    Requeening laying workers has been discussed many times and I have suceeded at it on occasion, but all in all, I wouldn't bother unless it's your only hive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Eagle Creek, Oregon
    Posts
    289

    Post

    Roger,
    I'm a first-year beekeeper this year so I'm baffled by my bees on a fairly regular basis. I've been keeping up with the Oregon State Beekeepers Bulletin Board http://www.dream-tool.net/tools/mess...egonbeekeepers and it sounds like this year is particularly troublesome for many of us. People with no shortage of experience are having the same problems that you are describing. Brood nests plugged with honey, lots of swarms, poor brood patterns and disappearing queens seem to be common this year. Most of the posters are in the valley or on the coast so your problems may be different. I had problems in one of my hives (started from a package this year) and assumed that a new queen would fix it but the problems just seemed to return after I put in the new queen. I captured a swarm and added it to this hive without even attempting to look for either queen---let them settle any differences! It's been about three weeks since I added the swarm to the hive and it finally looks like things are working out. I wish I had started keeping bees in a more normal year!
    George

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