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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Palmdale, CA
    Posts
    68

    Default Keep Losing my queen

    I requeened my largest and most active hive 2 months ago. This hive was pretty hot, and I was getting tired of being relentlessly attacked. I bought a queen and used the shipping cage with candy plug to release her. A week later I found her in the hive and all seemed well.

    A week or two later my commercial queen was gone. No more eggs to be found. I requeened with another queen. This time I put the queen in a small hive with gentle bees. I then combined this hive to the big hive. For a couple weeks, all was great. Then the other day I found another different queen in the hive and my commercial queen is gone. There are no eggs so I think this new queen is a virgin.

    What is going on? Any thoughts on this?

    I am raising some queens nearby. Could one of these virgins drifted over?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,269

    Default Re: Keep Losing my queen

    The dynamics of an individual hive may always be a mystery, why your original queen disappeared no one can say, it could be when you replaced her the new queen was probably a young queen that was not laying to the satisfaction of the hive, so she was superseded. Before the virgin queen got laying you may have added another queen which was killed. Although late in the year. since you have good hive complement, and most likely ample stores the hive should be fine and the queen still has time to breed. This is one plausible scenario.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    adair county, kentucky, usa
    Posts
    461

    Default Re: Keep Losing my queen

    Then the other day I found another different queen in the hive and my commercial queen is gone. There are no eggs so I think this new queen is a virgin.--Quote}

    I would leave them alone. Obviously they don't like the queens you have introduced. I would leave the virgin queen with the hive. she still has time to mate. If you still want to re-queen, wait until spring.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Palmdale, CA
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Keep Losing my queen

    If that Virgin queen failed to get mated for some reason, then wouldn't it be lights out for that colony?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default Re: Keep Losing my queen

    Yep they won't have fresh eggs to replace her and will dwindle out
    Check in ten days for eggs in cells
    As to the refusing your new queens I'd do a split and requeen each or one at a time to get calmer less aggressive bees
    Use a mated queen to cut out any local aggressive genes in drones and breed/split from her
    Good Luck, Mike
    When you combine the hives back you must find and kill the native bred queen or she might kill your commercial queen.
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,630

    Default Re: Keep Losing my queen

    You may have missed a queen cell when you introduced the first queen. Even if you went through the hive and removed all wild cells when you placed the intro cage in the hive, sometimes the hive apparently wants to keep the old genetics alive and are determined to make more queen cells as long as there is larva young enough. A lot of older foragers are more likely to do this than younger bees.
    When your new queen was released there was a queen cell in the works somewhere in the hive. When the virgin hatched she killed the introduced queen. She also may have killed the second queen when you then combined.
    A virgin accidently getting into a queenright hive would be balled. A virgin hatching out in a queenright hive is a supercedure.
    Again, this is just a scenerio, but likely what happened.
    I don't remember this happening as much last year, but it was very common for me this year. I am now manually releasing all my mated queens and removing queen cells at time of intro and also three days later, a day before releasing.
    Last edited by Lauri; 09-03-2013 at 08:33 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Palmdale, CA
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Keep Losing my queen

    Thanks for the info! Yeah, I wonder if I missed a queen cell. I pulled out 2 capped cells and incubated them, but it's possible that one escaped my notice.

    There was a good few weeks in between the first and second queens that I introduced, so it would have been different vigins.

    I guess the lesson for me is that it's not so easy to change the genetics of a hive. The old bees in that hive were dead set on raising a new queen, even though the hive was queenright for a couple weeks. Once that virgin gets mated I will probably have some mean genes in my hive again.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,071

    Thumbs Up Re: Keep Losing my queen

    It would be my guess that, given the timeline you describe, the egg in the queen cell producing your current, (possibly virgin), queen was from one of the queens you introduced. If that is true, that newest queen could have more desirable behaviour. Your sighting of the commercial queen one week after introduction is key in my guess, as queen cells from the original queen would have hatched >three weeks ago. There is reason for hope.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Palmdale, CA
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Keep Losing my queen

    Very true, the eggs had to be from my commercial queen so the maternal side of the family is great, it's the paternal side that I'm worried about. There are undoubtedly a lot of AHB drones in my neighborhood.

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