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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Trussville, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    29

    Default How often do hives fail to make a queen?

    I started 2 nucs April 6, this year from a reliable local source and one is doing great. The other has struggled from the beginning. Two weeks in, I noticed what appeared to be a supercedure cell plus other queen cells at the bottom of the frames. I assumed the queen either died when I placed them in the hive or I read often the bees supercede the queens in nucs so I assumed they would be okay and make a new queen. A few days later, I thought I saw a virgin queen attacking the supercedure cell, but the other bees were almost covering her up and climbing all over here and i could not see her very well. When I checked the other queen cells, one was open and the other looked like it had been opened and white larvae in it. So I assumed I had my new queen. However, it has now been almost 3 weeks and I still do not have any fresh eggs or larvae. All old brood has hatched and the bees are packing in honey everywhere. The first brood box is still virtually full of bees and honey, but they are not really drawing out the comb in the second brood box that was added long ago. I have ordered a new queen, but I am still probably 3-4 days away from getting her. Is it possible that I lost 2 queens in this hive in roughly 6 weeks? How often do bees fail to produce a queen themselves? Is it possible, that my new queen just is not laying yet?

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts on this subject.

    edit: also odd that everyone says a queenless hive makes a funny buzzing sound. This hive is as quiet and docile as can be. However, the activity at the entrance is slowing as the population dwindles. I think I need a new queen soon or else I will combine with my other good hive. I dont think I can chance putting brood in at this late stage.
    Last edited by obsoddity; 05-17-2012 at 09:19 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: How often do hives fail to make a queen?

    Pop a frame that contains egg and larva from another hive into the weak hive and check on it on about two weeks. If there is no queen you will have queen cells. If you had a virgin queen you will hopefully see eggs and larva.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Chesnee,S.C.
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: How often do hives fail to make a queen?

    had a hive last summer that dwindled down to almost nothing.i must have killed thousands of hive beatles & worms. the bees clustered in a corner & was about the size of a softball.i removed all but 2 frames & put back 1 frame from my best hive with fresh eggs, open & sealed brood. they went to work & raised a queen. had a decent fall flow, warm winter, & early spring. This hive may be my best one this year. i would give them a frame with fresh eggs also, they might surprize you & rebound. Randy
    wishbone

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,870

    Default Re: How often do hives fail to make a queen?

    I have heard the sound you are referring to made by a hopelessly queenless hive with laying workers. Sounds like despair ...like they are asking for help...hard to explain...and they were very docile.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: How often do hives fail to make a queen?

    Success rates vary by climate, time or year and by location. I had a bunch of hives near a creek once and there were a lot of dragon flies and a lot of hives that failed to make queens. During a flow I have much better luck than in a dearth. During the late spring seems to be the most successful time of year.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Auburn, Washington, USA
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: How often do hives fail to make a queen?

    I know you have nectar coming in, but humor youself, give them some supplemental feed for 2 days. It might just make the queen fly out and get mated.

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