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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    GA, USA
    Posts
    183

    Question

    I have a hive that just doesn't seem to want a queen. I have tried putting in frames of eggs on several occasions and when I check the frames a few days later the cells are empty and no queen cells.

    I can't find the eggs/young larvae anywhere in the hive, but do find some deposits by laying workers (I assume since there are multiple eggs in the cells and they seem haphazardly "thrown in")

    Adding a grown queen would probably do the trick, but I just don't understand why they are getting rid of the eggs and young larvae. Can anyone help me out with this?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    St. Clair, Mo.
    Posts
    133

    Post

    Ribster, wish I could help you, but I seem to be in the same boat. I have one hive (Russian) that apparently went queenless a month ago. Since then, I have placed 2 different frames of eggs in there since they had no brood or queen cells. The first time, all eggs/larvae were cleaned out of the cells. The only brood noticed was a fist sized patch of drone eggs on the outermost frame. Last week I added a second frame of eggs, checked two days ago, same thing. No eggs! But, believe it or not, there are 3 queen cells built out of the drone sized comb! One capped, two with visible larvae and royal jelly. Thought I was seeing things! On top of that, as I was looking at the queen cells, a varroa mite was crawling across the comb, leading me to believe any queen that emerges will probably be deformed by the mites seeking the only brood in the hive. I have tried finding a queen, but all suppliers I have contacted are done for the year or won't ship less than 50 because of the heat.

    I don't know what to do for now except to start adding brood to the hive to make up for their long broodless period, and to try to find a mated queen. I am interested to see what kind of queen emerges, but I don't have much faith in this hive. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    P.S.- Sorry to tack on to your post Ribster, but it sounds like we have a somewhat similar problem.
    \"Home is where the hive is.\"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    CANDIA, NEW HAMPSHIRE
    Posts
    76

    Post

    I'm a newbee but I don't think varroa can affect a queen cell due to the short time it takes for the queen to emerge.

    Brian

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
    Posts
    4,072

    Post

    Yes varroa can and will affect a queencell. It sounds like you do have laying workers, here is a couple tips that will help you. Keep putting in fresh brood, eggs and capped larva, as this will help them population wise. The second thing you can do is swap the hives with a strong hive, that will give them a big increase in numbers of workers that know what a queen is, and they will take care of your laying workers. Has to be a strong hive that you swap them with, though. Also you need to treat for mites. Powdered sugar works very well when you have little or no brood, and will do the trick in one treatment, as opposed to three 7-10 days apart when brood is present in the hive. As far as the queencells, let them hatch, then if the queen isn't any good kill her and replace with new one. Sippybees from this forum sells queens, still has them, and would proably set you up with what ever you need. He is a super person to deal with, and has a post in the for sale section under Italians queens.

    peggjam
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    If you have laying workers you'll have to kee open brood in the hive for a few weeks to supress them. That means a frame of open brood every week or so until they decide to raise a queen or you decide to risk introducing one. I'd go at least a couple of weeks. That or shake them out and let them drift to other hives.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    GA, USA
    Posts
    183

    Post

    My problem with putting on more brood is that they will destroy it. They have even removed some capped brood.

    I guess I'll just add more capped brood to build the population and go from there. Or just buy a queen.

    Thank you for your help!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
    Posts
    4,072

    Post

    Ribster:

    Buying a queen at this point would be a total waste of money. They will kill it. Again, keep new brood in the hive at all times, they will stop destroying it within a few days or weeks. If you swap it with a strong hive, by this I mean place the laying worker hive on the stand of a strong hive, and the strong hive on the stand that the laying worker hive is on, will cure the problem within days, at the same time place a frame of eggs and open brood in, you will have queen cells within 2 days. I don't know why this works but it did with a nuc that had already killed two queens, my initial reaction was to shake it out, but I did what I describe above, two days later I had queen cells, so I know that it will work.

    peggjam
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    233

    Post

    even buying a queen is a bad idea.

    you need a queen in laying condition for them to accept her.

    (feed while you're at it)

    you can always combine it with a nuc or another hive with a sheet of newspaper
    \"You\'ve got to stop beating up your women because you can\'t find a job, because you didn\'t want to get an education and now you\'re (earning) minimum wage.\"<br /><br />-Bill Cosby

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    St. Clair, Mo.
    Posts
    133

    Post

    Thanks for your suggestions! I'll give 'em a try.
    \"Home is where the hive is.\"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    The simplest and most effective way to deal with laying workers is to remove all the equipment from the old site. Shake them all on the ground and put all the equipment on other hives. Then it's a done deal. No wasted time. No queens killed. No futsing and worrying. You're done. If you want another hive, split one or catch a swarm.

    Other methods sometimes work and sometimes not. I've never failed by shaking them out, to resolve the problem.

    The only situation where I'd waste any time trying to requeen a laying worker hive is if it's your only hive.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    GA, USA
    Posts
    183

    Post

    Yeah, thanks. I've been beekeeping for 9 years now, and haven't ever dealt with laying workers. I had no idea they could do this.

    Thank you for your help.

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