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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    watertown,wi.,USA
    Posts
    471

    Default No guard bees, no eggs, means..... no Queen??????

    I am trying to decide if I still have my queen or if the expectations I have for my hive are too much at this time. It has been a week and a half since hiving the package. The queen was released after 4 days. During that time the bees had been guarding the inner cover entrance. I have noticed over the past 4-5 days they don't really even come to the entrance opening anymore, I have even rubbed my finger on it to try and get a few to come and guard it. Nothing happens, they just stay in the frames and totally ignore the threat at the entrance. Also, it seems as if the bees are staying somewhat concentrated in the back corner of the hive and haven't moved to the center like my other hive. I did not find any eggs, or larvae in the hive either, just sugar syrup stores, and I think some pollen. Some of the bees had their heads in the cells head first. By the way, the bees are drawing out comb on the plastic foundation. I guess it could still be too soon for eggs at this time. Any idea if these might be signs of a queenless hive, or am I just get too worried about something at an early stage? Thanks, juzzerbee.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,069

    Default Re: No guard bees, no eggs, means..... no Queen??????

    A new queen in a package can take up to two weeks to start laying. No eggs does not mean no queen, just no laying queen yet. Two weeks after she was released, if there are no eggs, I would get another queen and dispose of that one when it arrives.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    watertown,wi.,USA
    Posts
    471

    Default Re: No guard bees, no eggs, means..... no Queen??????

    Thanks. Wednesday(May 2nd) is the moment of truth. It will have been about 2 weeks since she was released. I am excited and nervous to check for eggs. It should be good weather and I hope to have a lot of time to check each and every frame very closely. I am hoping to find something. Eggs are a good sign enough?? I don't need to find larvae do I? What is the safest way to moving bees aside that are covering the comb? I usually blow at them and they move but this results in me almost tipping over from lack of oxygen. I was considering using my bee brush, but I didn't know if that is safe? What does everyone else do to move the bees out of the way for a look for eggs? Thanks, juzzerbee

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default Re: No guard bees, no eggs, means..... no Queen??????

    "What does everyone else do to move the bees out of the way for a look for eggs?"

    I just get up close and personal and use my mustache. It works great for getting over one's initial,.. "fear of bees" real quick. > That comes from a recent documentary film about bees called "Queen of The Sun". It was shown in Robert Redford's Sundance theaters early last year around here. You can watch the trailor here at about 20-25 seconds in. > http://www.queenofthesun.com/about/trailer/

    Seriously, a bee brush might work but they are so big. The craft stores have many different kinds of soft paint brushes for watercolor that might work better. A feather would work if you can find a nice one. When I tried to blow on the bees, they seem to get riled up a bit.

    Yup, eggs are a good sign.
    Last edited by Oldbee; 04-30-2012 at 09:09 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,346

    Default Re: No guard bees, no eggs, means..... no Queen??????

    I usually just give them a gentle puff, with my breath, but if they seem to be prone to overreact to that (and some will), I next poke them gently with my finger tips, that usually works; puffs with the smoker will also work, but there's a fine line between enough smoke to start them moving and driving them all off into the sunset.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Papaikou, Hawaii, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: No guard bees, no eggs, means..... no Queen??????

    Have they drawn out enough foundation for her to lay in?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Eldersburg, MD, USA
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: No guard bees, no eggs, means..... no Queen??????

    If you have black plastic foundation in the brood chambers, it will make it easier for you to see the eggs. Practice will help and having a second pair of experienced eyes helps as well. Do you have a mentor from a local beekeeping club that can come and help? The next best is to look at several pictures since the eggs are very small (maybe a third of a grain of white rice and a translucent white). This will give you an idea of what to expect: a single egg in the very bottom center of the cell is all you need for evidence of a queen-in-residence. Seeing the queen in nice but not necessary if you see the eggs.

    The frames in my hive are covered completely with bees and yet it seems as if they move away and allow me to look, most of the time. As you keep turning the frame, they should move enough for you to see the cell contents. Make sure you have the sun over your shoulder, it makes a world of difference.

    Have fun!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    watertown,wi.,USA
    Posts
    471

    Default Re: No guard bees, no eggs, means..... no Queen??????

    That is a lot of useful feedback from all of you, thanks.
    Oldbee- come on down to southern Wi. and show me that, my mustache takes about 2 weeks to fill out to the guy's in the movie trailer.HA!! The movie looks great, as a teacher, I think my students would be interested in that movie, they have enjoyed hearing about what I have learned so far. I think I will stay with the puff of my breath, or carefully use my brush and go from there.

    Vermillion- I would think that they have enough comb drawn out. From what I can remember. I would say that there are about 4 frames with about 1/3 to 1/2 of it drawn out. Will/should each of these frames have eggs on them?

    Suburban-I will look at each cell if I need to, it seems that it may be a bit harder to see them in the clear sugar syrup, than if they had honey around them. That is what the eggs should be floating in, correct???? Unfornunately I am using yellow plasticell. Thanks again, any other help/opinions are appriciated and kept in mind.

    Do you think the "hotspot" to find eggs will be smackdab in the middle of the middle frame, offset on a frame closer to the edge or where? I don't want to overlook an area that is more likely to hold them. I am pretty nervous about Wednesday, hopefully I am just getting too worried about this and everything will be fine. Hopefully there with be brood at some stage of life when I inspect.
    Thanks, juzzerbee

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Eldersburg, MD, USA
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: No guard bees, no eggs, means..... no Queen??????

    Number one: relax. Everything will be okay...one way or another.

    You will likely see eggs on the middle frames. The eggs don't float in a pool, it's the larva that floats in a pool of royal jelly which is a milky-fluid. I'm excited for you, I hope you find those eggs!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    watertown,wi.,USA
    Posts
    471

    Default Re: No guard bees, no eggs, means..... no Queen??????

    Suburban- you are right. I need to relax, but I don't want to "bomb" on these little critters. I hope I am just being an overly concered,"parent" and everything will be fine. By my choice, I am letting these fun bees have most of my time and attention. It seems addicting at only 2 weeks in, as does this site So are the eggs just going to be laying there in one of the cells with nothing around them, how do they grow if that is the case?? Thanks, juzzerbee

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,346

    Default Re: No guard bees, no eggs, means..... no Queen??????

    Nurse bees tend to them almost continuously as they grow and develop.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Eldersburg, MD, USA
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: No guard bees, no eggs, means..... no Queen??????

    The egg hatches in three days at which point, as has been stated, the larva is tended to by the nurse bees.
    You may find these books very informative and helpful in your beekeeping career: Beekeeping for Dummies, Storey's Guide to Keeping Bees and The Practical Beekeeper. This last one is by Michael Bush who posts on here often. Good luck and have fun.

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