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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Richmond,Virginia,USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Ever Get A New Queen This Way?

    I got a queen in a very unusual way. I had a hive that died out just before the nectar flow ended and the bees dwindled down to zero. The robbing started and that's when I noticed the cappings on the inside of the hive bottom. I took the hive apart to find wax moths had pretty much gotten in and ravaged one section deep. The other two deeps I have been freezing to put back on a hive to clean out the slight damage. Well I took the one deep that was wax moth infested to work to show my friend and new beekeeper (this year) what happens to a hive when it is weak. In any case I had set the box on the ground by my truck and did not notice but my friend said, "hey there's a bee there running around". Now this hive was dead and I know scavengers had gotten to it but when I looked down I saw her. It was a rather slender queen on the top of the frame going back down. There were no other workers there and she was by herself. I quickly found a jar, some paper towel and a few cells on the comb that had honey left in them. I put holes in the jar lid and put a few drops of honey in there. She just about walked into it when I put the jar near her. I kept her in a somewhat AC'd apartment where I work and took her home that evening. I did not have a queen cage so I got out my spade bit, a piece of screen,staple gun, a piece of old non treated wood and a small support piece of wood. I made up some candy with confectioner's sugar and made a plug. Because the candy was so soft I decided to partially block the hole with some bee's wax too. That way she would have a few days for sure. I was able to get a small blue dot on her but since then it has been chewed off her. She is doing fine and laying well. Where she came from I can only look up and thank God. Several "never heard of's" in this story. I have since then been inspired to raise a few queens using the grafting method. I am waiting on the tool. I will see about raising some to requeen and perhaps a few splits that I can overwinter on top of other hives. That way I will have some queens when I need them or then again I could just Look Up!!
    Last edited by Stevebug; 07-18-2010 at 05:46 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,433

    Default Re: Ever Get A New Queen This Way?

    This can happen, if a hive is robbed out the queen will sometimes be one of the last survivors, or if a hive dies from varroa the queen can survive when pretty much all the bees have died.

    I've helped other people with dead outs and seen this a few times. Just a week or so ago I helped someone with a "dead" hive, all brood was dead, the hive just had maybe 50 bees, and a queen running around by itself. I caged the queen, put in a couple of frames of brood & bees from my own hive, reintroduced the queen to them, checked a few days later all was well. Plus one very happy new beekeeper who had been so upset at their hive dying they nearly gave up the hobby.

    Queens must be extra hardy, when I mail queens, often people will tell me there was one or more dead workers in the cage by the time they got it, but a dead queen in the mail virtually never happens ubder normal circumstances, only when there is some cause like some postal worker used insect spray accidentally or something like that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    957

    Thumbs Up Re: Ever Get A New Queen This Way?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    ...snip...a dead queen in the mail virtually never happens under normal circumstances, only when there is some cause like some postal worker used insect spray accidentally or something like that.
    That made me laugh That postal worker was probably a quail hunter too.
    Lee Burough
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

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