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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    San Diego, CA, USA
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    159

    Default No brood...queen in question. Please look at pics to help me....

    I came back from a two and a half week vacation to find my strong hive consisting of a brood nest, and two mediums with fewer bees, and from what I can tell, no brood at all!!! I believe there is none, and the queen is likely not present or has been replaced.

    Please look over the pics from yesterday's inspection. Take careful look at pics 8-10. Something in me says there is something wrong.

    What is your thought? Could ants have done this? In both mediums...they each weigh at least 40 lbs, full of honey (yet still some space) and are backbreaking heavy!!! If ants did this job, I would think the hive would be full of ants. There were only a few straggler ants found on the top and outside of the hive...

    I believe no matter the case, I should attempt to requeen. I was told to smoke out the queen by using the queen excluder. What is your thoughts????


    Thanks for any input,

    Lori

    PS. Trying to upload pics...hold on...
    Last edited by TheRatLover; 07-23-2012 at 08:10 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    San Diego, CA, USA
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    159

    Default Re: No brood...queen in question. Please look at pics to help me....

    Sorry....I seem to not be able to upload the jpg files. I brought them down to 13k and still they won't load. I will have to wait till tonight to get help from my husband.

    I did get one experience lady to view them. This is what she said....

    Hi Lori,

    I see no brood in those pictures. It's odd because I don't even see any drone brood and normally if you did not have a queen ... the workers would start laying drones. In picture #8 there is an empty queen cell. In pictures 8-10 I see some honey that is capped but looks weird and grey so maybe that is what doesn't look right to you. I have seen that before in my own hives and I don't think its an indicator that anything is wrong.

    Because of the lack of brood and your comment that there seems to be less bees and the fact that there is an empty queen cell plus the fact that there is no drone brood I would guess that maybe your bees have swarmed and that you have a new queen who hasn't started to lay yet so you are seeing a lag. BUT it sounds like you have a lot of capped honey... did you say a full super? So that might be an indicator that they have not swarmed.

    What I would do is verify if there is a queen by smoking out the hive. What you do is remove the supers then place the excluder between your two brood boxes and smoke all the bees in the top box, they will go down into the lower box. Once you have smoked them all down remove the top brood box and search the excluder. If the queen is in that top box she will be on it trying to get down but she won't fit. If she is not on it then put the top brood box under your bottom brood box with the excluder in-between and repeat the smoke method. Remove the box and check the excluder again for the queen. If you only have one brood box then use and empty brood box underneath or maybe a super would work.

    If you have a queen she's either a new one and hasn't started laying or she is weak and has stopped laying. If the first case you may want to replace her because she could mate with wild bees and your hive might get more aggressive. It is a chance and it will take time to see if they become aggressive or not. If the second, you should replace her because she is weak.

    If you have no queen then I would order one.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    DFW area, TX, USA
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    1,097

    Thumbs Up Re: No brood...queen in question. Please look at pics to help me....

    A shot in the dark here (not having seen your pictures or looked in your hive)....The queen cell is a good sign. Do you have capped brood?

    Although I haven't had good luck finding the queen myself in one of my hives, I would suggest you have another try at finding the queen. You could even have two queens in there: The original queen, who could have been superseded, and a virgin queen (from the queen cell). If you are lucky enough to have a virgin queen, it takes 10-14 days after hatching to start laying, sometimes sooner and sometimes later. Michael Bush has a good page on finding queens, check it out before you look again. E-mail pictures to me and I'll try to upload them for you (not in TIFF format).

    One other possibility is that the queen is fine and has just suspended laying for a time. Carniolan queens, and probably others too, do suspend laying for a week or so at times of their choosing. It is a good strategy for being frugal with stores, dealing with the heat, poison as well as for mite suppression.
    Last edited by Lburou; 07-23-2012 at 09:10 PM. Reason: Added poisoning
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    San Diego, CA, USA
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    159

    Default Re: No brood...queen in question. Please look at pics to help me....

    There is no brood at all or drone brood! Not even any signs of live drones on the frames. Just 3 weeks ago this hive was booming with bees and beautiful frames of brood.

    This is a newly started hive as of May 8th, 2012. No need for swarming as there was lots of room for growth. Just 2 and 1/2 weeks ago, I checkerboarded the two mediums. One was full of honey, the other had none.

    Today, the mediums are back-breaking heavy!!! Tons of honey was gathered since 2-3 weeks ago. Yet, no brood in the deep hive??? Literally ALL frames are void of brood!

    How does this happen?

    My bee variety is VHS. I just started my two hives May 8th, 2012.

    There must be no queen for the brood to be absent. I most likely need to just re-queen even if there is another queen starting up as it likely will be Africanized.

    I did not realize that smoking too much could bring the queen to a place unsafe. Maybe I accidentally killed her?

    -Lori

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
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    Default Re: No brood...queen in question. Please look at pics to help me....

    Sounds like they swarmed more than 20 days ago since you have no brood at all. The virgin probably didn't make it back from her mating flight. I would requeen if you don't see a queen.
    Last edited by Keth Comollo; 07-23-2012 at 11:30 AM. Reason: Rethought the scenario . . .
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    San Diego, CA, USA
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    Default Re: No brood...queen in question. Please look at pics to help me....

    Why would they need to swarm if they had space?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
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    Default Re: No brood...queen in question. Please look at pics to help me....

    They swarm because it is their way of propagating the species and they feel the hive is strong enough with stores to take care of itself once the queen leaves with half the bees. Just because there is space doesn't always mean they won't swarm. Their swarm instinct is very strong.

    I had a hive swarm about 4 weeks ago and it had two empty supers on it. Luck of the draw.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    San Diego, CA, USA
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    159

    Default Re: No brood...queen in question. Please look at pics to help me....

    Sometime around 6/24/12, there was an odd occurrence. It was a large amount of bees swirling in a tornado fashion about 5-6 feet away from the hive. After returning home about 45 minutes later things were calm. However, it looked like tackling was going on at the entrance, so I just assumed this was a robbing incident.

    Others told me my hive was too young to swarm. Are they right? Or was this likely a swarming, and now a month later, I have no brood. One queen cell is apparent...a new queen on the scene?

    Your thoughts?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    2,923

    Default Re: No brood...queen in question. Please look at pics to help me....

    swarm or superceded and the new queen didn't make it as Keth says. Probably full of honey since there was no brood to feed.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: No brood...queen in question. Please look at pics to help me....

    Okay. Just what my intuition said. No queen. New one needed. Who do I contact if I cannot get one through Glenn Apiaries? There is a strange notation on Glenn Apiary site stating the 2012 Queen breeders are sold out. I am kind of feeling a bit desperate as I know I need a queen, but I have no idea how to go about obtaining one.

    Please help.

    Thanks! Lori

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ashburn, VA, USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: No brood...queen in question. Please look at pics to help me....

    Do you have a local club? Someone in the club may be able to help you out with a queen.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,097

    Thumbs Up Re: No brood...queen in question. Please look at pics to help me....

    This is a link to a list of 2012 varroa tolerant queen producers....One of them may be close to you with a queen available.

    I seem to be in the minority today, but by using Michael Bush's Bee Math, and your approximate 24 Jun swarm date, your virgin queen is only a week overdue for egg laying.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: No brood...queen in question. Please look at pics to help me....

    I just contacted a company called A-Bee Honey in New Mexico. The man's name is Ed. Soooo helpful! He said I could call him whenever I had questions or needed help. He recommended Olivarez Honey Bees to obtain my queen.

    He also said the new queen could be on the verge of starting to lay. You are right Lee!
    He also said there are many Beekeepers in San Diego, so he felt the chances are good that the new queen came in contact with a non-africanized drone. However, I think I still may go about re-queening down the road.

    Not sure exactly how to find the queen, but I have learned that over smoking causes the queen to run and hide. Also, to likely get into areas that are unsafe. Well, now I know...

    Thanks for all the help!

    Lori

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Granby, MO
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: No brood...queen in question. Please look at pics to help me....

    I had a similar situation today while inspecting. I have two hives that have a lot of bees but no brood. I'm hoping I just missed them both swarming. Update your situation for my sake if you would.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: No brood...queen in question. Please look at pics to help me....

    I just looked today, and smoked out the queen. She had a slight lighter color but her striping was just like the other bees. Interesting.

    There were twice as many bees as last I looked on Sunday. How does this happen when there were no brood last Sunday?

    The queen didn't make it when I put her in a nuc. I was running around today, and didn't get a chance to make the best decisions. Hopefully this new queen that arrives tomorrow gets accepted.

    -Lori

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Granby, MO
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: No brood...queen in question. Please look at pics to help me....

    Thanks for the update. Good luck with the new queen.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    DFW area, TX, USA
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    Default Re: No brood...queen in question. Please look at pics to help me....

    Lori, you did a good job of planning ahead, well done and good luck. Next time you see this you will know just what to do.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: No brood...queen in question. Please look at pics to help me....

    Last night I left two frames in the nuc after finding the dead queen in it. Towards morning, I woke up realizing my error. I knew robbers would come.

    Yep....small grey bodied OBVIOUSLY Africanized bees attacking the nuc frames and my bees trying to guard it. I had even left the nuc lid ajar...oh man! I got in my bee gear fully knowing what my odds were, and with lots of prayer I moved in without the smoker. I shook off the frames and replaced them back into the deep hive body. They now only have to fight the 4" entrance.

    I was actually fine as the guard bees were preoccupied with the nuc box. It was when I shook the nuc box with guard bees and Africanized bees in it. Not smart!!!! Good thing I was done, cuz I threw the box aside and got out of there. I had a few bees wanting to keep going after me for a few minutes, but I eventually got into the house bee-free and only one sting! Phew!

    I am trusting that this incident will be resolved by the time the new queen arrives. Boy... I sure do hope this incident increases the bees desire to take on a new queen and not the reverse!!!

    Thank you for your encouragement Lee and ddb123. I really need it right now as I am on the verge of quitting. One sure gets acclimated to Beekeeping really fast!!! So much can happen in just a few months....

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: No brood...queen in question. Please look at pics to help me....

    It went well!

    The new queen came unmarked, so they gave me a credit on a new marked queen for future use should I need it. She is pure golden which will help to spot her.

    I see Beekeeping as a game of Chess. You have to strive and plan for the right moves. Sometimes you don't figure out that perfect move up until the last moment. If you make the right move, you win, if you don't you lose.

    I have to trust that all the things I am attempting to do will work.

    1) the bees were without their original queen for approx. 24 hours
    2) the dead queens pheromones were spread over the cage
    3) a fresh frame of brood was placed in next to her that was swept of bees to make sure no queen was on it
    4) the time it takes for the bees to eat through the candy

    Now I wait two weeks.


    I know all of you out there were where I am now. Someday I will be really good at this, I know I will. I just have to NEVER give up! This is one characteristic my parents taught me...so many would have already thrown in the towel by now...

    -Lori

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Novato, CA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: No brood...queen in question. Please look at pics to help me....

    Hey Lori,

    Just reading of your woes and very sorry this happened to you. I am glad you made a rebound and more importantly are learning from the entire experience! When you wake up in the middle of the night and realized you made a mistake...well you are learning! I've done the same lots of times! Please let us know how it goes and may the egg laying force be with you! K

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