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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Brookfield, IL (Chicago) USA
    Posts
    2

    Default New Beekeeper, Big Problems

    Last month I received my first package of bees. After months of study and preparation I could not wait to introduce the bees to their new hive. However, I did not realize the queen cage had two corks, and, being the rube that I am, I inadvertently opened the wrong one, immediately releasing the queen. Long story short, she has not been seen since, and I now have a hive of laying workers and an abundance of what appears to be all drone larvae. I do not have another hive to introduce new brood from. The apiary has now attempted to send me two new queens and their progress is being halted at a sorting facility in North Houston. They are attempting to send me a new queen with a "push-in cage", which they said should work.

    I have another brood box with new frames. Should I shake out the hive 100 yards away and put the new box and new frames in the place of the current hive? I do have a single frame of built out brood comb that another beekeeper was kind enough to lend me, but I do not feel comfortable asking him for a brood frame of live bees. This has been extremely frustrating, and I almost feel like throwing in the towel and starting again next year.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Algonquin, IL, USA
    Posts
    639

    Default Re: New Beekeeper, Big Problems

    From my experience, if you introduce the queen to that hive, they will most certainly kill her. I would definitely shake out the hive before introducing her.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Reading, Michigan
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: New Beekeeper, Big Problems

    I feel your pain. That's why I started with 6 packages instead of 1. Now I'm down to four and it's only been a week. I think slow release method with a new queen would be worth a try at this point.

  4. #4

    Default Re: New Beekeeper, Big Problems

    Hi Conrad,

    I would try the shake method, and the borrowed brood may buy you some time and decrease population drop. Similar thing happened to me (I call it my teaching hive: laying workers, chalk brood, small hive beetles - at least I got that experience out of the way early on) last year. I didn't think it was practical to shake the bees since that hive was in a pretty tight residential area, but long story short, two queens and a frame of brood still failed - wish I had dumped the bees, even if only 75' away. Laying worker is a case for extreme measures in my book.

    Best of luck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,105

    Default Re: New Beekeeper, Big Problems

    and I now have a hive of laying workers and an abundance of what appears to be all drone larvae
    I think you MAY have a normal hive I'd bet your Queen is laying drone brood for a reason
    you say appears to be all drone larvae can you take a picture of this
    has you hive grown at all since you installed it
    How many eggs are you seeing in each cell and location
    Hope I'm right

    Tommyt

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Brookfield, IL (Chicago) USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: New Beekeeper, Big Problems

    "I think you MAY have a normal hive I'd bet your Queen is laying drone brood for a reason"

    I would love for that to be the case, but I received the package on April 14th, and have yet to have a single capped cell with brood, only larvae, and they only emerged within the last few days. Late last week I saw eggs everywhere, often 2, 3, or even 4 to a cell. They had also started building a total of 3 supersedure cells on various frames. I also had a marked queen, and spent a great deal of time trying to spot her (remember this is a new package - so it shouldn't have been that difficult), but was never able to.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Tigard, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: New Beekeeper, Big Problems

    Sounds like a classic case of laying workers. (Queen never lays all drone eggs unless she's out of sperm.) By all means, when you get that new queen, shake and brush your bees away from your hive. I would suggest that 50 to 75 FEET would be far enough, not yards. If your bees have any frames that they stored pollen or nectar in put that into your other box (about 10 feet away from where you do your shaking). Put that back onto your hive stand. Fill in the rest with other frames. The nurse bees, including laying workers, will not find their way back; field bees will, they're not the problem. Also, swallow your pride, get out of your comfort zone, and offer to BUY the guy's open brood frame with eggs. It's money in your pocket to do this deal this year rather than putting if off until next year. Next year, start out with at least 2 hives if you can. There's a reason.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Shoshone County, Idaho
    Posts
    567

    Default Re: New Beekeeper, Big Problems

    I agree with Kendal!
    Offer to buy a frame of fresh eggs/brood, it would definitley be to your advantage!
    Then I would split several cells down to the midrib (http://www.mdasplitter.com/ )
    technique will get you back up and running.
    Also try to give that laying worker the squish if you can locate her, I've done it in the past!
    Best of luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,458

    Default Re: New Beekeeper, Big Problems

    A drone laying queen will lay single eggs and solid drone. Laying workers will lay multiple eggs and the brood will be spotty and not solid.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,652

    Default Re: New Beekeeper, Big Problems

    What is the practical time limit a frame of brood can be out of the (between) hive. If, say, the temperature were in the 70s can eggs and larvae survive half an hour without becoming chilled?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,741

    Default Re: New Beekeeper, Big Problems

    Yes, the brood can survive a half hour without being chilled. No wind. I typically move brood frames in a nuc. Should be fine. Laying workers can be a real chore but brood is key. Shaking doesn't hurt either. If you do find a worker actually laying, go ahead and squish her but I've mostly had multiple workers so the problem isn't always completely solved when you hunt one down.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

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