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Thread: requeening

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Ithaca, NY USA
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    Default requeening

    I took a hive out of a house. I did not get the queen. There was brood, they formed two queen cells. I went the other day, the cells were opened, didn't see any queen, or eggs, or new larva....it has been a few weeks since they have been queenless -- I ordered a queen to be here in a few days...how long is too long for a hive to be queenless?

    Otherwise the hive is active, many bees, already full of honey -- I'd hate to lose it.

    Any knowledge would be appreciated. I am a fairly new beek...

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

    Default Re: requeening

    The new virgin queen doesn't emerge looking like a queen, more of a slightly larger worker appearance. Very difficult to find. If you have a virgin in the hive, which you probably do have, you cannot introduce a queen as she'll be killed immediately. Give them another week and then check for eggs and young larva.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,481

    Default Re: requeening

    From emergence to a laying queen is two to three weeks. After three weeks if there are no eggs I would assume they are queenless. Before that I would assume they have a virgin queen. But a frame of eggs is cheap insurance. It will give them the means, if they are queenless, to remedy the situation, and it will give them open brood which will suppress laying workers.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Ithaca, NY USA
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    Default Re: requeening

    Thank You -- They are in a top bar -- the only one I have -- so swapping frames isn't an option for me at this point. I will wait to see. Thank you I did not know that about the queen's size.

    For my knowledge sake...how long can a hive go without a queen and recover? If they are queenless they would at least have to go 16 days in the wild before the new queen emerged -- and then after mated and whatnot...

    but how long is too long?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Ithaca, NY USA
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: requeening

    and also, if there is a queen cell -- does it generally produce a queen, would a worker ever come out or a drone -- you know, like a dud queen attempt? Obviously there is much I don't know -- I am just wondering if a queen cell always produce a queen in the case of queenlessness....in the case of laying workers do the bees produce queen cells to no avail?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
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    2,297

    Default Re: requeening

    Once there is no brood left in the hive, and if the hive is queenless, then expect to see a laying worker situation. The brood pheromone is the deterrent to laying workers which is why it's recommended to add a frame of eggs and very young larva. Yes, the bees will sometimes try to produce queen cells from the infertile eggs produced by laying workers; obviously it's not going to work out well for them.

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