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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Posts
    223

    Default Late-season emergency queens?

    One of my two hives had a queen that would quit laying for four weeks at a time despite good weather conditions and nectar/pollen availability. First time it happened I thought they were queenless and introduced a caged queen, which they promptly dispatched. Second time I finally found the queen after four weeks of no eggs, just as she was starting to lay again. At that point I had a new queen in a three-frame nuc, so I pinched the old one and 24 hours later did a newspaper combine with the nuc. Sadly they killed the new queen, and I now have several frames with emergency cells and no queen.

    Today I put one of the frames with queen cells in a nuc containing open and capped brood from the previous nuc as well as honey and pollen from the queenless hive. Thus in a week both the nuc and the hive should have virgin queens hatching - the idea being that two chances is better than one when it comes to mating this late in the season.

    My main question: Is there any chance that these queens will successfully mate in mid-September in western Oregon? On the plus side, the weather is forecast to be clear and sunny (and warmer than July - upper 70s to lower 90s), so if there are any drones about it might be possible.

    I might see if there are any queens available locally and introduce one to the nuc (after destroying the queen cells of course), but I'm tired of throwing money (i.e. queens) at this hive.

    Mark
    Corvallis, OR

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,068

    Default Re: Late-season emergency queens?

    Mate? That would depend on the amount of drones around. How many doe you have in your other hives?

    If a queen stops laying for a month I would be more inclined to suspect that there was a superceedure and you in fact have a new virgin queen that is just getting started to lay. It sounds like that may be what you killed. Or are we talking about a marked Q where you can sure that is not what has happened. Consider giving then a frame of eggs every week for 3 weeks and then leave them alone. That way you cover your bases.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Posts
    223

    Default Re: Late-season emergency queens?

    The other hive has very few if any drones. Plenty of drones in the queenless hive but from what I read inbreeding doesn't make very good queens, so I have to hope the queens fly out and find some unrelated drones.

    Supercedure does make sense, but given that I inspected the hive weekly and never saw queen cells, I can only assume that the queen stopped laying. My other hive superceded and it was quite obvious as the emergency cells were developing.

    I should have moved the old queen into a nuc instead of killing her, but at the time I didn't have an empty nuc to put her in. A poor-laying queen is better than no queen at all...

    Mark

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, U.S.A.
    Posts
    396

    Default Re: Late-season emergency queens?

    If you have another hive put a frame of eggs out of it in the nuc and let them raise a queen from that hive instead and inbreeding is not a issue and neither is drones from that hive not mating with her because they are from the same hive

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