I'm a new Beekeeper in need of some help. I have one of four hives that seems to be on the decline. Last week the hive was on par with the other three, all started the same day. Thinking they had swarmed, I removed the top deep and removed and inspected the bottom brood box. I removed all the frames from the top super and inspected them before removing it. I did not find a queen or queen cells anywhere in either box. The top only has two frames partially drawn out. The ones drawn out are Plastic one piece frames. The other 8 are small cell wax foundation. All the equipment is new, yet the wooden frames have a yellowish stain in streaks on the top bars. There is very little activity at the entrance, about eight bees per minute while the others are washboarding an coming and going in such numbers that I can't start to count them.
Having had a medical proceedure yesterday that precludes any lifting for seven to ten days, it will be the end of next week before I can get into them again. If this hive is indeed without a queen, what's going to happen to the remaining bees ? How long will they last without a queen ? If there is brood, and they are without a queen, why would they not have started to build queen cells ?
Also I didn't recognize the brown shinny substance in the cells where the brood normally is and I found no eggs or larvae and could not positively identify capped brood. There were some capped cells with flat cappings in the brood area. Pollen and then honey capped around the outer/upper edges of the frames. Two frames are completely filled with capped honey on the outer frames.
I said to H with the doctor and went into the hive this morning. I found 3 new queen cells under construction. Still after very close inspection, found no queen. So why build queen cells when there is no queen to lay ?
Last edited by Scottsman; 07-17-2011 at 05:21 PM.
Reason: Queen Cells
Re: Waining Hive
If they is a not many bees I merge the hive with another. If the hive has plenty of bees just add a frame of brood and you will have a queen. If they don't make queen cells then they got a queen somewhere in the hive in your case.