Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Hyattsville, MD
    Posts
    46

    Default Am I Queenless, Virgin Queen, or Honeybound?

    So here’s the deal.

    I’m a new beekeeper and have one 47” long top bar hive on a small urban lot near DC. The bees were started from a package at the end of March and have built out about 15 bars of comb (actually slightly more as some had to be sacrificed to deal with cross-combing issues). I stopped feeding any syrup about mid-May as there seemed to be plenty of foraging going on. The last time I saw the queen was during an inspection on 4/14. She had been out and was laying. During an inspection on 4/29 I saw 1 queen cell on one of the front top bars and in subsequent inspections I found 3 more. I left the cells alone as I have read that introduced queens are often immediately superceded. During an inspection on 5/19 I noted quite a bit of capped brood, C-shaped larvae, honey, but very little pollen. Again, I couldn’t locate a queen but did see that one of the queen cells was open on the end and another had been chewed from the side. The other two appeared to be untouched. This makes me think that a virgin queen hatched sometime around May 19th as she had emerged and dispatched the queen in one of the cells, but not yet reached all of them. I didn’t get back from vacation until Tuesday the 29th and decided to do an inspection when I got back. First thing I noticed was the bees got louder than usual when I smoked the entrance. When I opened the hive, it was just full of bees, they weren’t being aggressive though. I saw some brood that was actually in the process of hatching and saw a few tiny patches of capped drone brood and worker brood, but no eggs or larvae (admittedly I am still bad at recognizing the eggs). The wierd thing is, the hive was now suddenly PACKED with pollen…beebread actually as it was not dry, but covered with honey. The lack of brood is worrying me, but I’m wondering if the new queen just hasn’t started laying yet. If she hatched on the 19th, she should have been mated by now though (according to all the books anyway). Could she be honeybound? I moved a couple of bars up into the brood area in the hopes that if she is honeybound they would draw out new comb for her to lay in. I’m also worried because there wasn’t much coming and going at the hive entrance yesterday afternoon (mostly drones coming home and far fewer workers). Hoping someone out there can read the tea leaves and help me understand what is going on.

    Glad I kept some notes,
    Matt M.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Dunlap, TN, USA
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: Am I Queenless, Virgin Queen, or Honeybound?

    Maybe we can get some more experienced opinions on this, but my guess is that it's probably just not been quite long enough. Technically if the queen truly hatched out on or around the 19th then we're talking about roughly 2 weeks time. She should have been mated within a few days... possibly up to about a week at the most. Egg laying should typically begin after about 3 or 4 days but could be longer depending on how the mating goes.

    So if all went well we would hope to be seeing eggs within 1 week... larva then should be spotted within 3 or 4 days after laying.

    So really it could just be a case of things taking just a little longer than what we would expect, but it shouldn't really be much longer at all before you see some larva at least.

    If any of this info I'm giving is wrong please correct me, but this is the order of things as I understand it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Hyattsville, MD
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Am I Queenless, Virgin Queen, or Honeybound?

    Thanks for your reply JYawn! You were right...it just took a little longer than expected. We had a stretch of several rainy days and she probably wasn't able to get out and get mated for awhile. She evidently did get out on enough mating flights eventually though, because she's been busy in the last week and a half. Lots of combs packed full of capped brood...a much better pattern than the queen they superceded. Guess they knew what they were doing. When those bees hatch, the hive will be exploding.

    Matt M.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Dunlap, TN, USA
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: Am I Queenless, Virgin Queen, or Honeybound?

    Good to hear! I just inspected my own hive this past weekend and saw my first batch of brood emerging out of their cells. Hopefully we'll both have some booming hives over the next weeks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Nueces, TX, USA
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: Am I Queenless, Virgin Queen, or Honeybound?

    had one of my hive swarms and actually thought it was queenless because it went for an extremely long time and I still couldn't find the queen or open brood, this was after I saw hatched queen cells...point being that in certain circumstances perhaps it takes a while before a virgin queen mates and starts to lay, I have no idea why it took her so long but I did actually spot her last week, open brood as well

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    2,241

    Default Re: Am I Queenless, Virgin Queen, or Honeybound?

    Am I Queenless, Virgin Queen, or Honeybound?

    Sounds like a rather personal question that belongs in another thread?
    http://OxaVap.com
    Your source for the Varrox Vaporizer, "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

Tags for this Thread

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