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Thread: No Queen

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Delavan, WI
    Posts
    39

    Default No Queen

    Hello and good day to all.

    My hive was very quiet so I looked inside.
    There is no queen although there are still bees left.
    There is also no brood. The bottom hive body has comb
    that is mostly empty. The top hive body is 90% capped honey.

    At this point should I...

    1) add a new queen?

    2) put in a package of bees with a new queen?

    3) wait until next season to add a package of bees with new queen?

    4) Purchase nuc hive?

    Does anyone have suggestions?


    Thank you for your time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: No Queen

    if there is still a decent population of bees then you could just purchase a queen, do you only have 1 hive?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Delavan, WI
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: No Queen

    Thank you for kind reply.

    Yes I have one hive only.

    Maybe a few hundred bees left.
    I'm not sure how many.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: No Queen

    If you have enough bees to support a queen, then I would by a queen, but you have to act fast.
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Delavan, WI
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: No Queen

    Thank you for reply.

    What is fastest way to get new queen?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    591

    Default Re: No Queen

    Eberthoney.com from Cedar Rapids. You could have a queen in 1or 2 days depending on how much you want to pay for shipping.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Rowley, MA
    Posts
    249

    Default Re: No Queen

    when I first started I was surprised every time a queen less hive started having brood, make sure that you don't have a swarmed hive with a virgin or recently mated queen running around. otherwise you will just be killing any queen you put in there. speaking from experience, since i have sacrificed more than a couple before i learned to look a lot harder and be more patient.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Delavan, WI
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: No Queen

    Thank you for kind reply.

    I emailed the place in Iowa to see about new queen.

    I will let you know if they respond.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Delavan, WI
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: No Queen

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkster View Post
    when I first started I was surprised every time a queen less hive started having brood, make sure that you don't have a swarmed hive with a virgin or recently mated queen running around. otherwise you will just be killing any queen you put in there. speaking from experience, since i have sacrificed more than a couple before i learned to look a lot harder and be more patient.
    Thank you for info. I guess there could still be a queen. But since I could not find any brood
    I thought perhaps she was gone.

    Does anyone have some pictures of new brood or bee larvae that I could look at on line?


    Best regards

    Pat L.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    591

    Default Re: No Queen

    Pat,

    If you want a queen sent tomorrow, call Adam in the morning. They don't sell their queens by email or Internet.....you need to call him to buy queens.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,538

    Default Re: No Queen

    A few hundred bees left? I am not so sure that a new queen would help at this point. My smallest swarm that had a queen and thrived was about 800 bees. She had laid eggs and had some capped brood in the nuc.
    It later helped that I had a queenless hive that had about 2000 left so I paper combined with.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Delavan, WI
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: No Queen

    Thank you for kind reply.

    Actually I just got an email back from Phil Ebert at the Ebert Honey Company.

    He said it is too late for my hive to re-queen.

    He said to just extract the honey and try again next year.

    Sounds okay to me.

    Does anyone have a good method of extracting from the larger hive body frames?

    I don't have access to any kind of extractor.

    I thought about using cheese cloth in a very hot room (I have a very hot room in this weather).

    Any suggestions?

    Best regards

    Pat L.

  13. #13

    Default Re: No Queen

    For getting the honey, just use a fork or knife to uncap the cells, and then lay the frame flat on a cheese cloth like you said, over a bucket of course, and let the honey drain for a day or so.

    A note on the queen situation, as someone had mentioned the possibility of a swarm and virgin queen. When is the last time you saw the queen? In a typical swarm situation, the hive won't swarm until the new queen cells are capped. When they leave there should still be fresh eggs in the hive. This means that the new queen should hatch and mate before all the eggs that were left will pupate and hatch into new bees. If there was a virgin queen, there should still be brood. Note that I said this is a "typical" situation. Typical is a pretty loose term in beekeeping IMHO
    I'd worry in your climate it is too late to requeen. You only have the one hive though so I guess no chance of combining with another. Shame. Better luck next year! At least you got some honey out of the deal.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Delavan, WI
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: No Queen

    Hello and good day.

    Would there be any advantage for the bees, if I left the capped honey in the hive for the next group of bees?

    Will bees use the honey from the previous occupants as if it were there own? Would that give them a head-start
    for the new season?


    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Brueggen View Post
    For getting the honey, just use a fork or knife to uncap the cells, and then lay the frame flat on a cheese cloth like you said, over a bucket of course, and let the honey drain for a day or so.

    A note on the queen situation, as someone had mentioned the possibility of a swarm and virgin queen. When is the last time you saw the queen? In a typical swarm situation, the hive won't swarm until the new queen cells are capped. When they leave there should still be fresh eggs in the hive. This means that the new queen should hatch and mate before all the eggs that were left will pupate and hatch into new bees. If there was a virgin queen, there should still be brood. Note that I said this is a "typical" situation. Typical is a pretty loose term in beekeeping IMHO
    I'd worry in your climate it is too late to requeen. You only have the one hive though so I guess no chance of combining with another. Shame. Better luck next year! At least you got some honey out of the deal.

  15. #15

    Default Re: No Queen

    Yes they will use it. You've heard of robbing. As far as the bees are concerned, honey is honey. They will use it as needed.

    Did you end up getting a new package of bees? If the hive is going to be vacant all winter, do not leave the honey. Pests will get in there and eat it all. Go ahead and extract it and bottle it for storage, and then feed it back to the new bees next spring.

    Good luck!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Delavan, WI
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: No Queen

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Brueggen View Post
    Yes they will use it. You've heard of robbing. As far as the bees are concerned, honey is honey. They will use it as needed.

    Did you end up getting a new package of bees? If the hive is going to be vacant all winter, do not leave the honey. Pests will get in there and eat it all. Go ahead and extract it and bottle it for storage, and then feed it back to the new bees next spring.

    Good luck!
    Thank you Tom for kind reply. I did want to get more bees, but was told it was too late in season for that.

    I am okay with that, but I would like to hear the reasoning behind that suggestion for my own education.
    If you would be kind enough to explain, that is.

    My thoughts were that since there is already plenty of honey in the hive, if I were to put in a new package of bees,
    they would already be all setup for winter with the empty comb for brood and the whole top hive body full of honey.

    There must be some important point that I need to hear to correct my thinking.

    Thank you for your time

    Pat L.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wright, MN, USA
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: No Queen

    If you want to save some frames of honey for next year, you can put them in a freezer.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Morgan ,Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: No Queen

    Gabmux, I think what they mean is that it takes a while for the bees to get up to a large enough number to survive the winter. If you introduce a package now and everything goes great it would be a month befor the new bees would emerge and that just replaces the number lost during that time. The queen won't lay more eggs than the number of bees to care for them. That hive my need to get from 10k bees to 50k in a short time. You may pull them through in a double nuc, but I am not familar with the winters that far north.

    If you are wanting to chance it, you should be able to purchase a hive locally after the flows are over cheap enough or a nuc that has a queen already up and running. Unless you are just wanting the learning experience of trying to get one through the winter, I would wait until next spring.

    Waiting would allow you schedule an overwintered nuc or at least an early nuc or package for next year. This would allow you, with your pulled comb and honey frames to have a honey maker if conditions allow next summer. I would harvest a frame or two for my own use, providing its not sugar syurp, and freeze the rest for the spring. In the mean time I would locate some paramoth for those brood combs so wax moths wouldn't damage them until spring.

    What ever you do don't lose hope, its hard to get them going sometimes. You may want to think about starting two for next year. It will give you another to compare its progress to and resources to help one out that is lagging. Good Luck, and keep us informed of your progress.

  19. #19

    Default Re: No Queen

    I'd say Dunkel nailed it. They won't have time to build up there numbers for winter. I'm assuming you have Italian bees, and if so, they tend to go into winter with a larger population, relying on the extra numbers for the heat needed to survive. Other bee races will cut their numbers in preparation for winter, but Italians don't cut as much. They need more food for more bees, and in your case, a lot more for a long hard winter. I'm comfortable with my splits now, as our winters down here are pretty mild, and something is almost always blooming!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Delavan, WI
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: No Queen

    Quote Originally Posted by Tohya View Post
    If you want to save some frames of honey for next year, you can put them in a freezer.
    Great idea! Thank you much.
    I have a small freezer in basement.
    Will work just fine.

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