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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murrysville, pa
    Posts
    111

    Default Well, need some advice on bad queens...

    Hi, I tried to do some checkboarding on 5 hives this year. Turns out I did a "partial" checkboard as I had little drawn comb in the mix.

    Anway, from my inspections it seems that at least 4 out of 5 swarmed.

    Now, Hives 1 & 5 have what appear to be steril queens. I have DRONE CITY in these 2 hives. Nothing but drone cells being built, no normal brood.

    I originaly thought hive 1 appeared to maybe be queenless so I grabbed a frame w new eggs on it from another hive and put it in. One week later and no queen cells being made or even started, and futher inspection shows lots of drone only brood.

    So I try to find the queens in both of these hives to squash, can't find them. (I don't know who has patience for this queen searcdhing, I sure don't.)

    Hive 2 has no drone or new regular comb, just the tail end of some normal capped, so must be queenless now as well, zero new eggs or larva.

    Hives 3&4 do have some eggs but very little. (is it just the time of year?)

    So basically I have 3 hive that are not queen right, and the other 2 look like they can barely afford to lose anymore egg shuffles as they have little to begin with.

    I'm assuming all this drone brood is not from laying workers, but ya know, could I be wrong?

    So, how do I isolate these steril queens if that in fact is my problem?
    (I do NOT want to buy new queens)

    Next, how the heck can I have such a queen disaster in only 5 hives? Could the Cb I used somehow messed them up? Did this earily spring mess them up?

    Thanks much,

    MP

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,339

    Default Re: Well, need some advice on bad queens...

    Here in SF if your hive swarms, it's almost a miracle if the new virgin mates properly and/or finds her way back due to dense fog and wind. There are some things you didn't mention like how long has it been since they swarmed? Are there multiple eggs in individual cells? Are the eggs on the side of the cell or at the bottom. You need to know that first to determine if you have laying workers.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murrysville, pa
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: Well, need some advice on bad queens...

    Hi Charlie,

    I don't ahve a fog or wind issues here. It been a bit since they swarmed, no normal brood left, so that over 3 weeks. Maybe add another 2. (Yes, I have not been able to inspect my hives lately)

    If fact there are signs of laying workers in at least one of the hives. I noted some doubles, some layed to the side at the bottom and I even noted a couple eggs on top of half filled pollen cells.

    So that could explain me not finding a queen in at least one of them.

    Do laying workers lay good patterns? The patterns are generally good, in the center of frames with pollen and honey bands.

    However, would they not raise a new queen on the new eggs I added? Do the laying workers give off that much or a phermone?

    I'm guessing a purchased queen is likely about all I can do in theis laying queen case? Maybe some kind of split w new eggs from another hive?

    I never had such a queen problem before.

    Thanks much,


    MP

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,339

    Default Re: Well, need some advice on bad queens...

    Here's a good thread already on this forum regarding your problem.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...509#post781509

    I normally shake out laying worker hives and requeen if it's not to far gone.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murrysville, pa
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: Well, need some advice on bad queens...

    Thanks for the link. Did a shake out will see what happens.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Buckingham, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Well, need some advice on bad queens...

    i dont fool around with them... a bad queen or laying workers and they get shook onto the ground in front of a hive that needs the population... never had an issue... you can always make a split later to recoup the loss...

    BTW checking for a laying queen 3 weeks after a hatch (swarm) is a good idea so you dont go too long... i also look to see if they are polishing cells in the brood nest (queenright with a virgin) or filling it with nectar and pollen (queenless)... thats what i observe anyway...

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