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Thread: queenless

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Williston, NC, USA
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    Default queenless

    I have a queenless hive with nothing but very little drone brood and lots of bees (mostly drones)? Which is better to do at this time of year? Get a queen and get them back up and running or combine them with another hive and have a strong hive going into winter which can then be split in the spring? Or any other ideas you might have?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    6,080

    Default

    Do the combine to deal with any laying worker issues if that is what you have. If its a bad queen, find her and kill her, and then combine.

    You can combine for a couple of weeks and then break back out to two hives. I still like the odds of two hives versus one going through winter, and you still have plenty of resources and time to split into two hives in a couple weeks after the combine corrects any issues. No bee alive at this point will be lasting till next spring, so if you have 4 boxes (2 per hive) why not just let the bees build back up strength after you split them back out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
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    Default

    If they are mostly drones, I would shake them out rather than combine, then give the frames to the health hive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    maysville,nc,usa
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    18

    Default

    give a frame of brood/eggs every week, they will raise a queen.. you have drones to mate her it sounds like. every week a frame should keep them from becoming a laying worker hive,also it will keep the numbers of bees up until the queen starts laying. just my .02 cents
    CAUTION- BEEHANDLER !!! if you see me running , you should follow !!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Williston, NC, USA
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    Default

    I am a lazy beekeeper. Finding a frame of brood/eggs every week sounds like a lot of work to me (moving those heavy boxes, etc.). Right now, Bjornbee's suggestion of combining for a couple of weeks sounds like the easy way out. I just don't understand how that's gonna "correct any issues." When I split them again, I'll still have to buy a queen, no? Or are you figuring by that time the queen will have laid some eggs in the addes boxes from which that colony can make a queen? I prefer to have them raise their own queen. I've only bought two queens in six years because I've found they do a better job themselves if allowed to.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
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    Question So, I finally went back in. . .

    There are lots more workers than I remember there being. The medium is full from wall to wall. And I don't see as many drones this trip. There are only a few capped drone cells. I have a hard time finding eggs, but I pulled out my magnifying glass and some of the cells had a single. . .what shall I call it? It was fatter than an egg, but wasn't curled like a larva. Even though it hasn't started to curl, I imagine it is probably a four-day (approximately) uncapped larv Which means there had to be a queen a few days ago, no? I searched and search, but could find no queen.

    Since it's like 95 degrees out there and I had been working for about an hour and a half by this time, I opted to combine this hive with my strongest hive for a couple of weeks and then take it from there. As I asked in my prior response, will I still need or order a queen, or do you think the queen from the strong hive will lay in these boxes? Or do I just take a frame of eggs from the strong hive when I separate them? I probably won't get around to separating them until about the end of the month. Do you see any problem with this?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    greer south carolina USA
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    86

    Default Make your own queen

    I have read some old books on queen rearing and you can get a queen less colony to make a new queen by cutting out that young brood you saw ( hatched less than 3 days ) in a single cell strip and with a baster brush and barely liquid wax attach the strip of brood to the top bar, the paint the comb with wax to strengthen it and cut out every other cell. The bees will tear out the worker cell and build queen cells. You will have a virgin queen in a few days.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Williston, NC, USA
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    Default

    It's always been my understanding that they need an egg--the younger the better--to make a queen. there are no eggs in the hive and I am pretty sure what brood there is is all drone.

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