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Thread: Dead Queen?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    61

    Default Dead Queen?

    Hey everyone! I live in North Carolina and we just had a fabulous weekend for doing a few inspections.


    I went in both of my hives – one was thriving – tons of capped brood, honey, bees, etc...

    The other one had far fewer bees and no brood whatsoever. I was not able to find a queen. I transferred a surplus frame of capped brood over to the bad hive to hold it over. Is it possible that the queen died over the winter and the workers have continued living? If so, how? I have a queen on order, if I continue to inject the bad hive with frames of capped brood, will it survive until I can get a queen late March?

    Thanks!
    "Here's to the crazy ones" — Steve Jobs (1955 – 2011)
    Think Different

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Kingston, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    283

    Default Re: Dead Queen?

    Once those workers hatch out place another frame of brood over to the weak hive but this time make sure you have three day old brood/eggs on the frame. Recheck in three days and you should have some queen cells. I had a hive come out of Feb with no queen last year, she was a runt from a leftover swarm, she make it through the summer, fall and winter before she gave out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,260

    Default Re: Dead Queen?

    Was there any eggs on your frame of capped brood? I would get some wet brood with nurse bees moved over right away. Just make sure you don't transfer the queen!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Santa Rosa County, Florida
    Posts
    422

    Default Re: Dead Queen?

    Your ideas are right since you have a queen ordered.If you add young larvae and eggs as some suggest they will start queen cells and probably reject your new queen when she arrives.If you decide to add the eggs and young larvae then cancel the queen order.You don't need both.
    54+ years 30 colonies Treat using Hopguard and essential oils
    http://99-40.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Mirabel, Québec, Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Dead Queen?

    If you place eggs and young larvae, though, you'll be able to tell if there was a queen or not. If you just introduce a caged queen, and you had simply missed the non-laying queen, they'll kill her.
    www.apisrustica.com (French-only website) Bee Breeding: Canadian nuclei & queens
    www.facebook.com/Apis.rustica

  6. #6

    Default Re: Dead Queen?

    Quote Originally Posted by applefan View Post
    Is it possible that the queen died over the winter and the workers have continued living?
    It is pretty common. The winter is tough on all the bees, the queen included. Take the advice offered so far. This is the beauty of having two hives.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,355

    Default Re: Dead Queen?

    We stopped overwinter queen loss by insuring bottom board drainage in the fall. With propolis sealing the bottom board, the hive tilted back, even slightly, collects a puddle of frigid water. If the queen falls into that puddle - Instant chilling.

    In the wild nest the comb is attached continuously at the top and sides. In the nest the queen must go to the bottom of a frame to get to the other side. Negotiating the turn at the bottom of the comb with a heavy rear end is hazardous.

    Insuring bottom board drainage is not an unnecessary frill.

    Walt

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    cumberland me
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: Dead Queen?

    Quote Originally Posted by wcubed View Post
    We stopped overwinter queen loss by insuring bottom board drainage in the fall. With propolis sealing the bottom board, the hive tilted back, even slightly, collects a puddle of frigid water. ..

    Walt
    I understand that your hive is tilted forward, but when you speak of bottom board drainage are you speaking of some sort of drainage grate on the bottom board?
    Last edited by linn; 03-19-2014 at 09:42 AM. Reason: grammer

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,355

    Default Re: Dead Queen?

    Just forward tilt.
    Considered drilling a hole at both back corners with a through nail or something to twist to keep it open, but that seemed like overkill.

    Walt

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