Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Pflugerville, TX
    Posts
    14

    Default Queen Bee Cells but No Queen Now?

    I very recently captured a swarm and relocated them into a new hive box. I transferred much of the brood and honey comb to the new box (after they had been in the nuc for 3 days (screened in). While transferring the frames with comb, I noticed 2 queen bee cells but didn't see the queen in the swarm. If she never made the transfer, is it possible one of the new queens will emerge and be queen to the hive or do I need to order a new queen? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    greer south carolina USA
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: Queen Bee Cells but No Queen Now?

    just give it time the emerging queens have warm enough weather to mate. if there are queen cells the swarm was there a while and sometimes the queen is a runner and she will not let you find her remember feed feed feed

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Pflugerville, TX
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Queen Bee Cells but No Queen Now?

    I just reloaded their sugar syrup diet. Thanks for the advice.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    740

    Default Re: Queen Bee Cells but No Queen Now?

    If they are a new swarm and they made queen cells, they are either without a queen or they superceded her in one hello of a hurry. Place your bets on the new queen cells. It is far too late in the season for them to honey up for the winter - they would have been doomed if you had not rescued them. Feeding them is correct - liquid (1 part purified water and 2 parts pure cane sugar in the winter) unless it freezes - then give them a fondant board and get the liquid out of there. Give them a pollen patty, too, and treat new swarms for both kinds of mites and nosema. Best of Luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Pflugerville, TX
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Queen Bee Cells but No Queen Now?

    Thanks for the info. I also saw at least 2 small hive beetles in the nuc box after transferring the hive. Not sure what to do about that yet since I'm very new at this beekeepeing hobby. It does get down below freezing here in south central Texas in the winter but usually not for more than 2 or 3 days. Our average winter is generally mild.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Pflugerville, TX
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Queen Bee Cells but No Queen Now?

    By they way, when I transferred the hive from the nuc box, the existing comb now occupies 6 of the 8 frames in the hive box. The 2 remaining frames have wax coated black plastic foundations. Would it be advisable to add a shallow super or another deep before winter? Thanks again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    greer south carolina USA
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: Queen Bee Cells but No Queen Now?

    do not give them too much space i did that and fed them like crazy they made lots of comb and almost no honey give them just enough space then add on feed feed feed

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Pflugerville, TX
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Queen Bee Cells but No Queen Now?

    The sugar syrup (about 1 quart) I put out for the hive last night was consumed by mid-afternoon today. I suspect there was some robbing going on.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    740

    Default Re: Queen Bee Cells but No Queen Now?

    As winter approaches, you will want to have an inside-the-hive feeder. As freezing temperatures approach, do not use liquid feed. Make up a candy fondant inner hive cover, and feed them a patty of pollen substitute or actual pollen. Dry sugar feeding is an option in a pinch, but other feeding methods are probably better.

    If robbing is suspected, equalize the colonies with brood frames and narrow the openings to one bee wide by one bee tall.

    Seamus is correct. Supers are added in nectar flows - mostly spring and summer, and in fall if you have a good, late flow. The goal in winter is to have just enough room for bees plus just enough honey, and no more.

    How much is just enough? That is where beekeeping becomes an art...judgement. G.M. Doolittle suggested never letting them get below 20 lbs. of honey (that means starting with a lot more in the beginning of winter). Dr. Larry Connor suggests never letting a 2-deep Langstroth-hived colony start winter at a total hive weight below 130 lbs. These are good minimums. Do bees survives below these? Yes, often, but you will lose fewer bees to winterkill if you stay above the 130 lbs, and Doolittle said bees behave differently when they have 20 lbs of honey stored up. They forage better. Below these levels -> FEED THEM.

    You will eventually get to know the flows in your area, how your bees perform in your area, and your judgement will eventually be almost as good as the bees.

    One good trick for wintering 6, 7, 8, or 9- frame colonies in 10-frame equipment comes from Dr. C.C. Miller. Make up a "hive dummy", a wooden box the size and shape of a comb frame. Place these next to the side of the box in lieu of empty comb or undrawn foundation. It takes up volume that the bees do not have to heat, allowing them to heat a smaller volume with less energy, thus using up less stored food. I hardly see anyone do this anymore, and it is one of the best volume control tricks in the book! Dr. Miller thought hive dummies were essential equipment. I'd cringe to second-guess a guy whose 1903 and 1913 yeild-per hive records still stand!

    One other trick to help wintering bees is is to make up a 2" deep inner cover filled with foam. A small vent hole is directed so that water can't get in, but water vapor can get out. One could make up a special deep-railed outer cover to go with it, but it isn't necessary in any but the most sever rainfall areas.

    Incidently, G.M. Doolittle wrote two books - Scientific Queen Rearing and A Year In the Out-Apiary. Dr. C.C. Miller's book, Fifty Years Among the Bees, is one of the best sources of hive management and honey production information available. It is poorly organized, so read and take notes. Dr. Larry Connor's has written several books, all of them excellent, and he owns and operated Wicwas Press. www.wicwas.com
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 10-11-2012 at 09:27 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Pflugerville, TX
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Queen Bee Cells but No Queen Now?

    I have inspected my 8-frame hive (a rescue swarm) twice in the last two weeks and have yet to find a queen. Also, all the queen cells appear to be empty, there are no brood cells and no apparent eggs in cells. I have been assuring the bees have sugar syrup every day and they appear very active. There are abundant bees on about four of the frames and sparce-to-no bees on the other 4. Am I in danger of losing the remaining bees to attrition before I can get a queen in the spring? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Panama City, Florida, USA
    Posts
    452

    Default Re: Queen Bee Cells but No Queen Now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Truetide View Post
    I have inspected my 8-frame hive (a rescue swarm) twice in the last two weeks and have yet to find a queen. Also, all the queen cells appear to be empty, there are no brood cells and no apparent eggs in cells. I have been assuring the bees have sugar syrup every day and they appear very active. There are abundant bees on about four of the frames and sparce-to-no bees on the other 4. Am I in danger of losing the remaining bees to attrition before I can get a queen in the spring? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
    I would not expect to see eggs and brood until 15 days after the queen emerges. That is 25 to 30 days from egg to brood. Give them a little more time. A virgin queen can be hard to spot or she may be out on a mating flight during your inspections.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Pflugerville, TX
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Queen Bee Cells but No Queen Now?

    Thanks for the advice. I'll wait a while longer. Another question. Is it important the hive have sugar syrup every day or can they go without a few days?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    740

    Default Re: Queen Bee Cells but No Queen Now?

    You might be wise to add a queen at this point. Buy a good one if you can - although its awfully late in the year for getting a queen. I would try to use a Laidlaw push-in type queen introduction cage if I could get a queen.

    Buying a nucleus colony and combining the bees by the newspaper method is another good bet. They will likely have enough colony strength to last the winter, and definitely keep on feeding the bees!

    I would not wait any longer - if they are queenless, you will get laying workers very soon, as you started this thread about a month ago. LW's are hard to get rid of. They will only lay drones, and they will do so in an irregular pattern, sometimes 2 or even 3 eggs in a cell. LW's are stubborn about staying and getting rid of them involves fairly excellent timing. In the evening right after flying has stopped and as it begins to get cold, take the bees 20 to 25 yards in front of the hive and shake them all out of their boxes (leave one empty box in the original place). Quickly go replace the empty boxes in the usual arrangement. Some bees will fly back to the hive, some will crawl. The laying worker(s) will be too fat to fly. If the timing and temperature are working for you, the LW's will get caught in the cold while crawling back to the hive. You may have to repeat this procedure. If you successfully re-queen them you won't have to mess with this business. Best of luck.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Pflugerville, TX
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Queen Bee Cells but No Queen Now?

    I received an Italian queen from Olivarez Bees yesterday and placed it (in the cage) in the hive later that afternoon. However, before I did that, I inspected the hive again very closely and saw no queen nor any eggs. I'll leave them alone now for a couple of weeks, except for refeeding, and then see if I can find her amongst the others. She has a yellow spot on her back.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    740

    Default Re: Queen Bee Cells but No Queen Now?

    Good move, Truetide. Now leave her under the push-in cage until they are not attacking her and appear to be attending her and feeding her. It is good to leave her under a larger push-in cage until she is laying eggs whether they appear to have accepted her or not. I'll pray they accept her and that winter goes well for you and your new girls.

    Go ahead and make up that insulated fondant board / inner cover NOW - it could freeze any time soon.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Pflugerville, TX
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Queen Bee Cells but No Queen Now?

    Should I place the fondant on top of the inner cover or directly on top of the hive frames? Thanks.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    740

    Default Re: Queen Bee Cells but No Queen Now?

    Pointing down, facing the frames.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Pflugerville, TX
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Queen Bee Cells but No Queen Now?

    Well, the bees took to the fondant very well. I checked today to see if I needed to reload and found that all the bees except about 100 or so had left the hive, including the queen I just introduced. I checked the bottom board and all around the hive on the ground and there was no pile of dead bees. I had been feeding them regularly and they were never without food. The weather here in the Austin, TX metro area has been unseasonally mild. It was 79 today and expected to be in the low 80s this weekend. Who knows why they left, but I'm not deterred. I am ordering a nuc for pick up this spring and may order a second. I figure all these experiences will be helpful in the end. I recently joined the Texas Bee Association and also the Williamson County Area Beekeepers Association. We will see where things lead.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    greer south carolina USA
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: Queen Bee Cells but No Queen Now?

    need more info did you use a queen excluder? were the bees stressed, did you use old equipment? were there chemicals in the equipment that could have turned the bees away? was the hive in a shaded area? was the hive tilted so as to take on water?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Pflugerville, TX
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Queen Bee Cells but No Queen Now?

    No queen excluder needed since I only had one hive box - no brood or honey comb. Don't know if they were stressed. They always had food and a small garden pond within about 30 ft of the hive. All my equipment is less than three months old. I don't know of any chemicals. Can't imagine what chemicals there could be. The hive is in the shade in early morning and sun in the afternoon. The hive has a screened bottom board. I am considering a nuc for next spring and begin anew. The experience has really been interesting. I have a bee vac now and am helping volks get rid of unwanted hives from their property.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

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