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Thread: Uh oh

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Elma, Washington, USA
    Posts
    14

    Default Uh oh

    Pretty new at this. I don't know what has happened in the last couple weeks but upon recent inspection I could not find the queen and it appears that maybe she hasn't been around for awhile. I thought I spotted her the time before last but I wasn't sure cause she ducked behind a comb and I didn't see her. I did not observe any new brood and there were alot fewer bees than I remember. Is it to late to requeen in the Pacific Northwest? If so, then what, will the bees that are there now survive winter? They do have honey stored up.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tulare County, CA USA
    Posts
    1,380

    Default Re: Uh oh

    Some bees shut down hard for winter. I have a few russians and I thought I was in trouble when I popped the first lid but as it turns out they are just shutting down for winter.
    Did you see any queen cells? Did the hive as a whole make a kind of roaring sound and act irritable like they weren't stirred-up but something wasn't right?
    If not then my guess is that they're fine and you just have a strain that quits laying for the winter.
    If they are really queenless and weak then the easiest thing to do is start over in the spring so I really wouldn't worry about it either way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
    Posts
    1,260

    Default Re: Uh oh

    She should have slowed or stopped laying in the past few weeks. That's normal. Is the hive acting queenless? Are they agressive, yet appear directionless and seem to fan excessively? If not you may still have your queen. Do you have another hive? If so and there are some eggs put them in the hive in question and see if they start to make a queen cell. If they do because the drones are usually gone and maiting flights are impossible I'd strongly recommend combining that hive with another queenright hive and splitting them in the Spring. This is assuming you can't find a mated queen at this time of the year.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Elma, Washington, USA
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Uh oh

    I would say that they were a little more agitated than normal but nothing that really concerned me. I looked pretty thoroughly through all of the frames. Just the fact that I didn't see any recent egg laying activity. I may go back out this weekend depending on weather and look again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,859

    Default Re: Uh oh

    I have kept bees since 1986 and I just realized that I don't really know what a hive looks like inside at this time of year because I really don't look through hives after around the end of September. After that, what happens, happens.

    I look at size of the cluster by opening the top, but I don't pull frames. My NWC hives have shrunk down to 6-7 frames in width right now when the temps are around 50. I will start looking at the tray under the SBB in late January to see if I see brood capping wax.

    Personally I would trust my bees right now to be doing the right thing.

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