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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenbrae, CA, USA
    Posts
    325

    Default Merged nuc with queenless hive... is it OK now?

    Two weeks ago I found that one of my hives was queenless. It also had very little stores of honey/pollen. Luckily I had a nuc available, so I merged it with the queenless hive using a newspaper combine (nuc moved to a brood box and on the top) and also added an internal feeder (the two frame kind) full of syrup and a pollen patty.

    I inspected it yesterday for the first time. When I first opened it the bees were making a lot of noise so I initially thought they were still queenless, but after a brief inspection found the queen on a frame in the top box. I also saw capped brood. I didn't see eggs/larvae, but only looked at one or two frames and stopped looking after I saw the queen. The bees were working on the pollen patty, but hadn't taken much of the syrup. Not a ton of bees, not surprising given the situation.

    My thought is that as long as the queen seems to be doing OK there's not much I can do at this point other than hope she produces enough bees to make it thru the winter. I do have a couple other hives so I could take a frame of bees from one if that's a good idea, though I'm somewhat reluctant to do so now if it might endanger the donor hive. I was surprised to hear them making so much noise as from what little I know that's a sign of queenlessness. Any tips? thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Humboldt, South Dakota
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Merged nuc with queenless hive... is it OK now?

    I wish I had an answer for you. I did something similar a few weeks ago only to have the combined hive blown over during the 35 degree night in 50 MPH winds. Needless to say, my findings were inconclusive other than: a small cluster of bees left exposed in high winds and freezing rain tends to not survive.

    I'm sure others have had results more useful for your situation!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,010

    Thumbs Up Re: Merged nuc with queenless hive... is it OK now?

    Quote Originally Posted by bison View Post
    ...snip...My thought is that as long as the queen seems to be doing OK there's not much I can do at this point...snip...
    That sounds reasonable to me. Pollen patty, sugar syrup and time. Those capped brood are your winter bees. Keep an eye on them as cold weather approaches. When they won't take syrup, your last ditch effort (after taking honey frames from donor hives) will be to get the stores up with be some sugar or fondant on top of the frames if needed.

    I have a queenless hive with a virgin queen due for mating flights this week. If that fails, my solution is to combine a five frame NUC and proceed as you did.

    Good luck!
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Merged nuc with queenless hive... is it OK now?

    I would probably estimate the weight if I could not weigh it. Agree with Lburou.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: Merged nuc with queenless hive... is it OK now?

    Your capped brood wasnt drone brood was it?
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenbrae, CA, USA
    Posts
    325

    Default Re: Merged nuc with queenless hive... is it OK now?

    Quote Originally Posted by sfisher View Post
    Your capped brood wasnt drone brood was it?
    Nope, good old worker brood.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    SUNNYVALE, CALIFORNIAUSA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Merged nuc with queenless hive... is it OK now?

    Here in the Bay Area I have not had a problem with haveing enough storesfor the bees to make it through the winter. The last two years at the end of winter the bees were up two frames of honey. Now I am in the city ( Sunnyvale, CA) and there seem to be something blooming all the year long . I would think if you are in the city there in Greenbrae you should do ok.

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