Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 24
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pinellas County, State of Florida
    Posts
    30

    Default Is it too late??? Need advise, please.

    So, the question: is it too late in the year for a hive that is not queen-right to raise their own new queen, breed, etc? I don't want to lose this hive and let it die out over the winter. Here's the story: Inspection on Oct 20th revealed no eggs nor larvae, as I expected when I noticed not many girls flying about. So, I took two deep brood frames from Hive 1, which had mixed stages of development, and put them into Hive 2 (the queenless hive). My goals was to have the girls raise their own virgin queen, let her mate, and get the hive going before our Florida winter set in. Short as our winter is in Florida, it can still get quite cold and last for weeks (usually in late Dec and January). I figured the only issue may have been if I didn't pull a frame that had young enough eggs for the girls to do what they need to do to raise a queen. According to the queen rearing calendar: http://www.thebeeyard.org/queen-rearing-calendar/ , I should have had larva by Nov 28th. I've been feeding them 1:1 sugar syrup since putting the additional frames in. Anyway, I didn't want to disturb the girls so I waited until today, Dec 7th, to check the condition of the hive. I'm not happy to say it, but I appear to have a laying worker: drones only. Florida daily temps are ranging from high 60s to 70s and the girls are still bringing a little pollen and possibly a little nectar here and there. So, is it too late for me to try again to take two other deeps from Hive 1 and repeat the process? Would the laying worker prevent the creation of a new queen? Would it be better to do combine of Hive 1 and 2 (like a paper combine)?? They have good stores, and with me feeding, maybe they could make it until I could purchase a queen, or get a nuc going, but I really don't want to wait and take any chances with my girls. Thoughts, please?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    600

    Default Re: Is it too late??? Need advise, please.

    If you have no queen there is likely no fertilized eggs which could become a queen.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Aguadilla - puerto rico
    Posts
    151

    Default Re: Is it too late??? Need advise, please.

    if you have another behive or if a friend that could give you a frame with new eggs on it yea , you live in fl so it not cold there yet

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,822

    Default Re: Is it too late??? Need advise, please.

    Tough call.
    With only two hives it's hard to recommend robbing brood to try and get a hive queen right during a time where drones are more scarce. I think it might work but why take the chance it's a risk (I can't believe I just said that).

    I would shake every last bee out and combine comb with good hive sliding it closer to where the drone laying hive was, assuming they where side by side. I would then feed that hive a lot of 1:1 watching carefully weight,mites etc getting it built up to split as soon as queens where readily available

    Please don't take my advice too serious, I have a lot to learn!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
    Posts
    341

    Default Re: Is it too late??? Need advise, please.

    One issue if you try again is that you are making the colony you are taking the frames from weaker. Are they strong enough to spare these frames of eggs and larvae? If so, try again. If not, I would just combine them, & split the hive in the spring. You still run a risk of pulling the frame/s and the weather changing on you (even in Florida), and the queen not having any drones to mate with or not even being able to leave the hive to mate.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Genola, Ut
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Is it too late??? Need advise, please.

    If I were in that situation I would probably stop messing with them. Taking more brood from hive 1 may leave you completely hiveless. I wouldn't want to do a combine if there is a laying worker involved. Let hive 1 winter and in spring you can split it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    3,999

    Default Re: Is it too late??? Need advise, please.

    I'm in usda zone 9b, & had a hive raise a queen over christmas last winter. I was surprised how many drones entered the hive when she was returning from flights.
    I'd say if you're only taking one frame with very little brood on it, why not give it a try.
    Dan

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pinellas County, State of Florida
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Is it too late??? Need advise, please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mbeck View Post
    With only two hives it's hard to recommend robbing brood to try and get a hive queen right during a time where drones are more scarce.
    Actually, there seems to be a lot of drones around (the laying worker is producing only drones, of course). But I thought I heard somewhere that a virgin queen will not mate with drones from her same hive? I thought the drones had to be from out yonder.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,042

    Default Re: Is it too late??? Need advise, please.

    here is some excellent information on laying worker colonies:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm

    i had one this summer, and ended up shaking it out. the comb and honey came in very handy as i needed it to help out a late swarm that i caught.

    since you can't afford to put a frame of brood in once a week for three weeks, i would consider shaking them out, freezing the frames, and using them for a new colony in the spring.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    797

    Default Re: Is it too late??? Need advise, please.

    Simply combining the hives in my opinion will be desaterous. The laying workers will seek out and kill the queen. With a laying worker MB does have great info. One frame of eggs per week for 3 weeks, but often the second week (or second frame of eggs put in) will enable them to make queen cells. I don't know if it's too late for you. Joseph Clemens I believe is in Florida and rears queen almost all year. Perhaps you could look him up and check. In regards to combining. . . Are they on the same stand or very close together? What "Oldtimer" had said regarding combining is to move the hive (10 feet or more) so that the foragers leave the hive and go to the old location only to find their hive not there and they'll go into the other hive. WHen the hive is down enough in numbers then you can shake them all out and dismantle the hive allowing / forcing them to enter into the other hive (or die outside). Your hive that's queenright at this point should be strong enough to fend off any laying worker that would seek to fly in at that point.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,042

    Default Re: Is it too late??? Need advise, please.

    the other point that i meant to make, was that since the laying worker hive has been queenless for so long, the bees in it would be getting pretty old by now, and it would take a long time to replenish them.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    957

    Default Re: Is it too late??? Need advise, please.

    You have two major problems so late in the year. The hive cannot make it without a queen and you will have difficulty introducing a new queen with laying worker(s) active in the queenless hive.

    I would not, at this point (late in the year and with laying workers), take valuable stores from the other hive to give the queenless bees another chance to make a queen. Can you find a NUC locally? If you found a NUC you could shake the queenless hive and put the NUC frames in the hive at the original location. That way, you would have a viable queenright group of bees to overwinter -some of the original queenless group of bees would drift to that hive and give some help gathering stores until nectar and pollen are not available, or until they die.

    I suppose your best option is to shake the bees close to your other hive and hope they are accepted for duty there -the idea of shaking is to lose the laying workers in the process because you don't want them i the other hive. A newspaper combine would introduce laying workers into the other hive, I don't know how that would turn out. HTH
    Lee Burough
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    SUNNYVALE, CALIFORNIAUSA
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Is it too late??? Need advise, please.

    It's not to late in my opinion as I still have drones and just produced five new queens and we are slightly cooler here than you this winter. But with laying workers that seem to be out of the question. You could order a new queen, I just receved two yesterday but then you will have to get them to acept her and not kill her. check out Oldtimer's post, To Laying Worker Nuc, and Back Again
    on the second page of this forum. sorry I dont know how to incert a link.

    Sorry that post is not in this fourm it is in Queen & Bee Breeding on the second page
    Last edited by LONNIE54; 12-07-2012 at 10:46 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,242

    Default Re: Is it too late??? Need advise, please.

    Now, you know exactly what to do!
    Seriously, It's not too late in your area. Your queenright and others in the area are likely to rear brood and have drones through the winter. You can give the queenless a frame of brood at weekly intervals for 3 weeks. And you won't hurt the good unit by doing that. If you replace the frame of brood pilfered from the queenright with a frame of drones from the queenless, scratch the drone brood cappings to kill the drones. The queenright colony doesn't need the burden of increased drone population.

    Walt

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    797

    Default Re: Is it too late??? Need advise, please.

    Simply copy and paste from the address bar.
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...er+Nuc%2C+Back

    This is a GREAT post and thread. I have another tool in the box now

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pinellas County, State of Florida
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Is it too late??? Need advise, please.

    Thank you all. Lots of things to take into consideration. So, from all of the above comments and further reading on the forum and Michael Bush's site (thank you!), I see now that my LW hive is not going to readily accept a new queen. So, my options of transferring one frame of brood per week for three weeks, or create a nuc. My last experience w/ a nuc worked out, so I'm going with that option again. I figure I have drones readily available, the weather is still good here, so I'm going with it. Then, I'm hoping if the nuc works out, I'll eventually transfer that to a deep hive and then I'll be able to do a "shakeout and forget" with the LW hive. Maybe it'll work out. I figure the odds on less than 50/50 this late in the year, but who knows. If the new doesn't create a queen for whatever reason, I'll then go back to the transferring of one frame per week - if that hive survives that long. It may just die out before that timeline comes to fruition.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,822

    Default Re: Is it too late??? Need advise, please.

    My guess is it will work, good luck let us know how it works

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Mims Florida
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Is it too late??? Need advise, please.

    Over here on the east coast just east of Orlando is Juester Bees. I have gotten queens from them and there ok. There on the internet I beleive lts 2600 Honeybee Lane Mims, FL 32754 Tele: 870 243 1596. Hope this helps.
    A vet is someone at some time in there life signed a blank check to the people of America that included there life.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pinellas County, State of Florida
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Is it too late??? Need advise, please.

    So, here's the update on my attempts to save a laying worker hive. This issue started in early December. I lost my queen and discovered I had a Laying Worker. I was trying to decide if I should try and do a split this late in the year, or just let it go (which would be certain death). I figured the odds were against me. Even though I'm in Florida, it does, in fact, get cold here. I decided to put 5 frames in a Nuc. 3 nice frames of mixed stages of brood, plus the attendant workers, plus 2 frames of honey. I've been feeding them sugar syrup from early December. Set the Nuc up right against the hive that has the LW. According to the "queen calculator" there should be mating flight around Dec 26 or there abouts. Also according to the calculator, I should have seen eggs by 1st week in January, larvae by Jan 15th. Well, we had some cold weather. I covered both the LW hive and the Nuc with a quilt and a tarp (rained, too). Every time I went out there, I just shook my head, thinking this is a waste of time. The LW hive numbers were dwindling, and not much activity at the Nuc either. I took a peek in the Nuc during that first week in January - didn't see any eggs. Didn't see very many drones by the LW hive either, so I figured the poor virgin, if they were even able to get her going, she probably didn't have any drones to mate with (plus too cold and wet out). Again, figured, lost cause, BUT, never give up hope! During week 2 in January, I peeked again in the Nuc - LARVAE! Now, I'm getting excited! Days are warming up and I figure, I may be able to save this hive yet! Well, you see, I get excited pretty easy about my little girls. But, now I have another problem - another BIG problem.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    957

    Default Re: Is it too late??? Need advise, please.

    Quote Originally Posted by FloridaBee View Post
    ...snip... But, now I have another problem - another BIG problem.
    And that BIG problem would be........?
    Lee Burough
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

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