Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, ON Canada
    Posts
    9

    Default Queenless Hives?

    It's been 21 days since my two original hives swarmed. I caught the swarms and placed in new hives. I now have 5 hives total, 2 hives with double brood boxes that over wintered and 3 swarm/split single brood hives.

    I'm pretty sure the 2 original hives that swarmed don't have queens. I've waited 21 days to see if they would produce new queens but they have not.

    I went through both original hives today and there is only honey and pollen and the bees seem to be back filling the brood area with honey.

    The other 3 hives have queens, eggs, larvae and brood. All is well with these.

    What should I do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Oregon, Ohio
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Queenless Hives?

    Take a comb of eggs or open brood from your splits and give it to the "queenless" hives, if they are really queenless, they'll make a new one from the frame of eggs, if not they'll just strengthen their numbers, maybe they have a virgin queen and she wasn't sucessfully mated, if so the bees will supersede her and replace her with one of the eggs from another hive, if that happens it will be another 3 weeks w/o a laying queen so they hives will be weak but they should come thru it, just it sucks to lose 3 weeks of new bees.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, ON Canada
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Queenless Hives?

    Can I buy new queens and introduce them to the hives?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    740

    Default Re: Queenless Hives?

    Yes, and buying a queen that's ready to lay will get your hives going alot faster. Home grown queen will take weeks as you don't have even a queen cell started in those hives.

    Or, you could get one queen and combine the two boxes for one strong hive. Just a thought.

    Good job on catching the swarms!
    "Rule Three of beekeeping...Never cease to feel wonder" Laurie R. King--
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,207

    Default Re: Queenless Hives?

    I'm willing to bet there is a virgin queen in there that will be laying soon. A new queen will be a waste. Give them a frame of eggs. If they draw a bunch of queen cells, I'm wrong.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Asheville, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: Queenless Hives?

    I agree with Ross, she should start up any day now. Sometimes 21 days isn't long enough.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, ON Canada
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Queenless Hives?

    Thanks so much for the advice. Are there any signs I can look for before the queen starts laying? Does the virgin(mated) queen look any different from a laying one? In a double brood hive where would be the most likely place that she would be? top? bottom?

    I've seen queen cells that have been broken open with the little flap in both hives. I guess I'm just anxious because they are my 2 strongest hives. I'm trying to avoid taking frames of eggs from my other smaller(just starting up) hives but if I have to i will.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Perth, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Queenless Hives?

    I'm in the same boat. All 3 of my hives swarmed between May 15th and 22nd. I caught one and it's doing very well. I checked them over this weekend and of the 3, only 1 had any brood in it (about 2 frames of larvae). The other two had absolutely nothing in them but honey and pollen. A friend gave me one mated queen which I immediately put in one of the hives. Now I'm trying to get a 2nd queen for the other hive.

    Oh well. They would have needed re-queening anyway. Good way to get rid of Verro mites though.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, ON Canada
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Queenless Hives?

    I ended up placing a frame with eggs in both queenless hives from my other hives. On further inspection a week later, one of the hives had new eggs/larvae(queen) and the other had some queen cells. I'll check again soon.

    I agree about the mites, as there was no brood in the hives for quite some time.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Perth, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Queenless Hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by pohlan View Post
    I ended up placing a frame with eggs in both queenless hives from my other hives.
    that's a good idea.

    Doing the math, my queenless hives last had a new worker emerge less than 21 days after the swarm left, or more than a week before I introduced the new queen. Assuming she started laying right away, there won't be any new workers for another 21 days. That over 4 weeks of no new bees in the hive. Given the average worker lives 6 weeks during summer, there won't be a lot of bees in the hive by the time the new workers start to emerge in mid-July at the height of nectar flow!

    Stealing a frame of brood from my healthy swarm hive will ensure the hives have new bees during the next 3 weeks.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Perth, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Queenless Hives?

    Doh!

    After the hive swarmed I forgot to close the upper entrance. That's where the queen went in after mating. So that whole time I didn't see any brood it was because she was laying in the honey super - grrrr.

    I added a queen to the brood boxes last weekend and she's doing great (masses of eggs everywhere!). So now I have two colonies in the same stack separated by a queen excluder! Time to split them into two hives.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Augusta County, Va. U.S.A.
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Queenless Hives?

    I have had hives that swarmed, therefore seemingly queenless. Then they swarmed again and possibly again, in a months time. Now as you can guess, after a total of about 6 weeks from the first swarn, they appeared to be completely queenless. Since it all started the first week of April, and since swarming is a natural thing, I didn't get nervous and order queens. All my hives have healthy, laying queens now. I probably could have sped up colony building with fresh, bought queens. I chose not to as I am just a hobyist with hives in my back yard. No reason to rush, I am sure I will still have plenty of honey for our own use and for our friends too.
    Robee

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads