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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Maricopa, AZ
    Posts
    62

    Sad Queenless in AZ?, check pics

    It appears to me that the queen of the swarm I captured a couple of weeks ago must not have made it. I come to this decision based on the attached images which I just took. I don't think a queen would lay multiple eggs per cell and it appears that is what I am looking at. I was unable to find a queen by looking at the frame, but when looking at the image on screen it becomes apparent that I have 2-3 eggs per cell at times.

    Any help is appreciated... what do I do now?

    Thanks, queenless in AZ
    This shows an overview of the frame:


    This shows a closeup of the cells:


    One more question, it appears they are building a queen cell in the upper right of the close up image? Why would they do this if they know they do not have a way to raise a queen?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Algonquin, IL, USA
    Posts
    638

    Default Re: Queenless in AZ?, check pics

    You're in trouble. I had that happen once, and could not get them to accept a queen. I eventually killed the hive with dry ice.

    I've heard some say to shake out all the bees on the grass about 100 yards from the hive. The laying worker will not be able to fly. Then introduce a queen.

    I've heard other's say that a paper combine with another hive works, but man, I don't know if I'd take the chance on them killing a good queen.

    Good luck. Please let me know how you solve the situation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,425

    Default Re: Queenless in AZ?, check pics

    How many hives do you have to work w/? Looks like you have a laying worker laying multiple eggs in each cell. Combine this colony w/ another one and then later in the season make a split and you will be back to the number you already have.

    As far as the queen cell is concerned, bees do that. They don't know they don't have a queen, but they know they need to replace the queen they have. They think they do have a queen. That's why trying to add a caged queen to this colony won't work.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Maricopa, AZ
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Queenless in AZ?, check pics

    Unfortunately I only have 1 hive (from a swarm) and don't know anyone close with hives. I did meet GB in Mesa who has a bunch but his are currently out of state (in Calif working). I could order a NUC or a queen but it'll be months before then can get here, so what do I do with the bees in the meantime?

    If there is in fact no queen this will turn into a colony of drones and will die is what my understanding is. I am thinking I should at least let them keep working because they will build more comb which can be used when I eventually replace them with another hive?

    Any suggestions for saving this are appreciated, I can ask around... and if anyone happens to be from AZ and has an idea for a contact let me know!

    Thanks again, Dale

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    JACKSON OHIO
    Posts
    486

    Cool Re: Queenless in AZ?, check pics

    i would drop a frame of brood in this hive if you have any and give them a couple more weeks to see if you do have a queen the brood pattern appears to be fairly tight and my experiance with laying workers is a buck shot pattern scatered all over the frames and also eggs on the sides of the cells

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Pinehurst, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: Queenless in AZ?, check pics

    As mentioned above, you can do the 100 yard shake technique but it is very labor intensive and very sensitive. This is what you'll need and the steps to take.

    Needed: an empty hive body, a tele top, a wheelbarrow or hand truck, some kind of table, and a new queen.

    1) screen up the entrance of your hive so that no bees can exit and prepare the hive for moving.

    2) load the hive onto the wheelbarrow or hand truck and take it at least 100 yards from your current hive location.

    3) when you're at least 100 yards away step up your table and place an empty hive body with tele top on it. DO NOT USE AN INNER COVER FOR THIS.

    4) now that you're wearing full gear and have your empty hive body (with tele top on) sitting on the table, open up your queenless hive.

    5) one by one shake/brush all the bees from each frame onto the ground and place the bee-less frames into your empty hive body sitting on the table. It is important that you do not miss one single bee! lift the top off of the empty hive body only to quickly place the bee-less frames in. (this is why it's important not to use an inner cover, because the bees could sneak in through the vent hole) Remember: Missing ONE bee could be a laying worker, and laying workers will NEVER accept a queen.

    6) once all the frames are in the new hive body and all the bees are on the ground, carefully cart the new hive back to the original location. You will surely find some bees already there waiting for you. Set the new hive on a bottom board and insert your new queen (in cage, of course). Put an inner cover on and close it up.

    --the idea is that only the older foragers will return, and since the laying workers have never been out of the hive they will not be able to find their way back. Luckily I've never had a laying worker problem, so I have never actually tried this. Anywho, Good Luck!

    ***reference*** Beekeeping For Dummies

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Yucca Valley, CA, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Queenless in AZ?, check pics

    Hey Queenless, I think the glass is half full, not empty. Laying workers doesnt look much like this, its more scattered. Multiple eggs in a few cells is common, especially in smaller clusters. She wants to lay but there is not much room or bees so she over does it a few times. Since you dont have another hive to steal brood from, your only course of action is to wait. And u nly have to wait 8 days or so, and they will seal over those eggs. If it looks terrible like just some scattered cells, not groups, its drone brood laid
    in worker cells meaning laying workers or a unmated queen. Im still hopeful for you as I also see plenty of pollen, and queenless bees dont work much like that. I think you will see nice groups of sealed brood in a week. Hang in there. Rob.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Foley, AL
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Queenless in AZ?, check pics

    Quote Originally Posted by c10250 View Post
    I've heard other's say that a paper combine with another hive works, but man, I don't know if I'd take the chance on them killing a good queen.

    Had a weak hive last year. Caught a swarm and laid newspaper down then a medium super. It's my strongest hive today.

    Lastly, instead of newspaper, we've decided to use the paper which comes between the foundation when shipped. It already has the honey scent (and no foul words on it...ha!).
    Last edited by Barry; 03-01-2011 at 06:42 PM. Reason: excessive quoting

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
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    2,297

    Default Re: Queenless in AZ?, check pics

    Wait! Give them a week or so. As stated above, sometimes a new queen will lay multiple eggs for a while until she figures out the right way. Also as above, laying workers usually lay eggs on the sides of cells and lay many eggs per cell, the shotgun appearance. If you can get some open brood/eggs from another beek place the frame in the hive and see if they try to make a new queen. May take 2 or 3 frames a week apart for them to get the idea. As for the shakeout, it usually does not work. There are many laying workers in a LW hive, not just one LW. Some of them will be waiting for you when you return the hive to its original location after the shakeout. Try getting in touch with Joseph Clemmons on this website; he's in AZ and might be able to help.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Belfield, North Dakota, USA
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    616

    Default Re: Queenless in AZ?, check pics

    I am with fish stix, yuccan and Nasalsponge. That doesn't look like a laying worker to me - it looks like a young queen.

    I have had laying workers and there are hardly ever just a couple of eggs/cell. It is more like dozens of eggs/cell.

    Leave her alone for a week or so before you check next. I would be willing to bet that in 8-10 days, you are going to see capped worker brood and many fewer multiple cell eggs.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
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    2,279

    Default Re: Queenless in AZ?, check pics

    From what I've read it takes more than a couple of weeks for a laying worker problem to start. I'm also voting for a newly laying queen getting her act together. Please keep us informed what develops. Doing nothing for a week or so is a safe and cheap option - if this is a swarm it cost you nothing.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Spicewood, TX, USA
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: Queenless in AZ?, check pics

    Boy if it does break even, it will be the 1st hobby I have ever had that did. Come to think of it, if it generates any revenue at all, that may be a 1st too.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Central San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    490

    Default Re: Queenless in AZ?, check pics

    Another vote with fishstix, yuccan, Nasal sponge & NDnewbeek. I think you're okay. Be patient and watch what develops.
    His Hive Honey Farm - Do all for His glory!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Maricopa, AZ
    Posts
    62

    Re: Queenless in AZ?, check pics

    Ok, I got a little time and decided to check out my bees and see if it looked any better. I shot this picture a few minutes ago and feel much better about it. It appears to me (total novice) that I see a single egg in a cell now and that the older cells have a growing pulpa and the others have a newly laid egg in the center that is nearly vertical... like my new queen is getting better?

    What do you think? Thoughts and comments are appreciated. I won't be bothering them for a few weeks now to give them a chance to make it!



    I still have to wonder what in the world the new queen cell is for?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
    Posts
    1,325

    Default Re: Queenless in AZ?, check pics

    I'd say you're doing well at this point. Once those cells are capped you'll be able to see if they are workers or drones. Drone laying queens don't normally have the pattern you have there. Please hang in there and send updates.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,870

    Default Re: Queenless in AZ?, check pics

    What you could have captured there is an afterswarm which had a young virgin, once mated it is very common for a young queen to lay multi-eggs in a cell, good news is the eggs appear to be on the bottom of the cell (laying workers are usually on the sides) and with a young queen there is seldom more than 2 per cell, LW will depost many more most times also it is very common for bees to build queen cups year round. Thirdly, even if a hive is doomed they will still try to survive by doing stuff like building a queen cells. Of course you could also have laying workers, hard to tell.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

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