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Thread: Hive die outs

  1. #1
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    Default Hive die outs

    Talking to a fellow commercial beek today and he asked if I was having any problems with my hives. He stated that he was having a higher then usual die out of hives from being queenless. The problem seems to be that if the queen dies, instead of building queen cells for new queens the bees are just dying off and not building queen cells. We are wondering if there is some genetic strain that has gotten into the bees that prevents this, maybe some anti-swarming genetic that someone was playing around with. Anyone else experiencing this? The majority of the queens are Kona but it could be anything. Also to note, there is not any unusual AFB or EFB going on and the hives that are not losing queens are exceptionally strong this year....never an easy answer.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alpha6 View Post
    Anyone else experiencing this? The majority of the queens are Kona but it could be anything.
    Ya every year at this time. Also note, nothing wrong with Kona.

    This month, I'm going around with a queen bank checking & requeening hives on the whole outfit. About the last five years or so been doing this and it keeps your winter loss rate down.

    Next month pollen sub.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Heck, requeening is like going to Reno,shoot what am I talking about beekeeping in general is a gamble.[JUST A COUPLE OF GALLONS]

  4. #4
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    Default

    No, nothing wrong with Kona queens, most are strong and they get are good about filling very large orders in the spring so I have nothing bad to say about them. I just put that out there in case anyone else getting the majority of their queens from them were seeing the same thing.

  5. #5
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    Default

    I have been seeing more queen problems the last two years since the CCD stuff started. Swarms going queenless, hives going queenless.

  6. #6
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    alpha 6 writes:
    We are wondering if there is some genetic strain that has gotten into the bees that prevents this

    tecumseh replies: well I am by self description a serious sideline (not commercial) but this observation was made some years ago (sometime around the mid 1980's) when I worked for a commercial concern.

    at that time I was rearing a goodly number of queen cells and I observed that some hives just didn't ever seem to get around to rearing emergency queen cell. there never really seemed to be any signifcant shortage of pollen or stores in these hives when you would break them apart. it just 'seemed' that they had forgotton how do do this essential task.

  7. #7
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    Default Stack em up

    :mad: Starting to get really old.Seems like anymore an outfit has to make up 40-50% more increase to come out even on their hive count for the following year.Still finding queenless hives that made 60+ pounds of honey.

  8. #8
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    "Still finding queenless hives that made 60+ pounds of honey."

    With no brood to look after, you should expect these hives to make honey. Have you had any problem with swarming from these hives? Requeening every year might help some. What are you finding for a hive population, strong, weak, or marginal? Could robbing be a problem?
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  9. #9
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    We requeen at least 60% of the outfit every year with cells and laying queens.Its just that time of the year.Spending thousands of $s and still stacking them up.

  10. #10
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    Big Grin

    Quote Originally Posted by high rate of speed View Post
    :hives that made 60+ pounds of honey.
    Well, that about 60lbs more than I made.

  11. #11
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    high rate of speed writes:
    Seems like anymore an outfit has to make up 40-50% more increase to come out even on their hive count for the following year.

    tecumseh replies: I don't really move my bees much, but if I did I would suspect your numbers would be about right.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by high rate of speed View Post
    :mad: Starting to get really old.Seems like anymore an outfit has to make up 40-50% more increase to come out even on their hive count for the following year.Still finding queenless hives that made 60+ pounds of honey.
    Then I guess all is not lost!
    Dan Williamson
    B&C Honey Farm http://www.flickr.com/photos/9848229@N05/

  13. #13

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    We just had our yearly picnic and heard everyone saying the same thing. Queen lost no queen cells to replace them. Sold a lot of queens after the picnic this year. Heard from some of the large beekeepers in SW Wis and same issue. Keep lots of queens on had when pulling honey to replace lost ones.

  14. #14
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    Default Queens

    We started using California queens 2 seasons ago and we are seeing way more supercedure and queenlessness than what we saw when we used Hawaii queens (either Kona or Big Island). I 'm kinda thinking not enough drones at mating time for the supercedure ones. The queenless ones not really sure.

    Jean-Marc

  15. #15
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    Default Losing queens

    If I had never heard of CCD, and was just looking at my bees with an open mind, I would say I am having some queen problems. To me this is normal, something I've been dealing with forever. If you're not getting after those no.2s all year, you're going to be picking up X % in the fall. 40-50% rebuild every year if I want to stay even. Sometimes I think all there is to having "good bees" is constantly cull out the "bad bees". Doesn't seem to have anything to do with the breeders.

  16. #16
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    I've seen this with every swarm and every removal I've hived, including several that I gave away to other beekeepers who wanted a swarm or
    cutout.

    Never had such a high percentage of this.

    How much brood do these colonies have?
    Sealed? Open? What stage of development?

    But by "this" I don't mean mere supercedure or queenlessness, but
    the LACK of an emergency replacement, or supercedure cell.

    To me, this means that the queen had to somehow have stopped
    laying before she died or showed noticeable signs of needing to be
    replaced. There simply were not eggs of appropriate age to use.

    ...and if you give a swarm to another fellow and it goes queenless,
    do you then "owe" him a queen? I'm just sayin'...

  17. #17
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    Cool Queen for a day.

    Thats what I am seeing also as I pull honey.
    ONE hive actually looked and acted queenless. Stingy, running, roaring, no brood, no eggs, etc...
    But the others:
    You open the hive, no brood, no eggs, no queen, no virgin, no cells, no torn-down cells, just calm quiet contented looking bees walking around on pollen bound comb.
    Fairly good populations.
    There you are with a frame in your hands saying, "Oh come on! There just has to be a queen in here somewhere; they're way to quiet!"
    Newp!
    And what is amazing, is how they bounce back with a new queen.
    A month later, you would never know anything ever happened.

    Right now, we are making up winter nucs.
    Unfortunatly, some of them get used prior to winter when queens are no longer available.
    So I am getting close to filling all of the nuc boxes.
    They sure are a salvation in California almond season!
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  18. #18
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    Wink Winter nucs

    Wow Harry Vanderpool winter sure comes early up there in Oregon!http://www.beesource.com/forums/images/icons/icon12.gif

  19. #19
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    Smile

    Tom,
    Actually, I am about 3 weeks later than last year in making up my winter nucs.
    Here are some pictures of the last 2 years nucs:

    http://orsba.proboards27.com/index.c...lay&thread=732

    It would really be nice to carry through at least 24 through this winter that look as good as the 16 that I took to California last spring.
    Last edited by HarryVanderpool; 07-31-2008 at 12:17 AM. Reason: OH my god; I'm an editor, I'm an editor!!!!!!!!
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  20. #20
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    central fla usa
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    Default

    I'm sure the lack of correct age eggs play's some part in not getting emergency queens made back,but I personally feel it's been bred out of the bees.
    For the last 30 years,queen breeders (and beekeepers) have viewed swarming as evil,and breeders have advertised and selected for low swarming.
    Swarming and an emergency cells are two different functions,but I think the making of a queen cell for whatever reason has been altered in the bees genes. A swarming hive is a vigorous hive ,when you start taking out vigor you start altering your future bees, and the instincts which have kept bees alive for ever,in my opinion.
    I'm sure others will not agree, but something has changed in that bees for the large part won't and don't make emergency cells like the did 20 or 30 years ago.
    And for the unofficial pole on queens ,I have no problem with Kona queens,any different than any of the others.
    Where there are fruits and nuts there are beekeepers!!!

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