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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    1,617

    Default She got bombed!?

    About one week ago, I bought a frame of Italian mixed honey bees about 500 or so bees.
    I'm thinking that when I added the frame to my existing hive (Carniolan queen) there will be more bees to over winter with. I put the frame of bees inside a newspaper wrapping and cut some holes for them to come out. Everything looks fine the first night when I checked on them. All bunching together like a big family.
    Today, I was outside watching them fly in the 50s. Then I noticed a bee was dragging something dark from the hive. It was too big for the worker bee to carry so both got dropped onto the ground just outside the hive. I picked it up after the worker flew off. To my surprise and sadden feelings, it was a dead Carniolan queen bee. She got bombed!? You think? Apparently, her worker bees are too weak to protect her against the Italian bees.
    Now I am thinking maybe she got killed by the Italians bees that don't want to accept her?
    Oh, the beekeeper who sold me the frame of bees already checked the frame and no queen bee attached.
    Tonight, I suspect that there might be an Italian queen inside my hive for the Carniolan queen to be killed? Then I opened up the bee hive to do a thorough close inspection 3 times. Brushing the little bees away from the frame but cannot find any queen bee. No brood or larvae yet on any of the frames. Now I'm afraid the Italian bees might turn into drone layer later on. Anybody know the time frame before they turn into drone layers? Still have 2 more months before the Spring time here. There are about a frame of bees packed on both sides left inside the hive now. Should I go get a new queen right now and hopefully they might accept her? Will they not accept a new queen if I waited too long until the Spring time? What is the time frame I wonder.... You think the Italian bees might turn aggressive later on?
    Lesson learned, never mixed the bees this way.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Boundary Creek NB Canada
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: She got bombed!?

    You could of rolled the queen and killed her when you put in the frame of bees.It is best to take out extra frames from wall and bush togather went adding brood

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,810

    Default Re: She got bombed!?

    I would suspect there is an Italian queen in there... but you never know for sure until spring.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
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    1,213

    Default Re: She got bombed!?

    [QUOTE=beepro;885695]About one week ago, I bought a frame of Italian mixed honey bees about 500 or so bees.QUOTE]

    Where there 1 to 3 day eggs on the frame you bought if so they may make some QCs. If not maybe you can buy another frame with young eggs .. Or a queen.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    1,617

    Default Re: She got bombed!?

    Hmmm, the queen is still alive when I put in the frame of bees. They are not brood but active flying bees. So the flying Italian bees not want to accept the queen I would think. Also, I put the frame in the upper hive and not at the bottom hive. The queen and the rest of the original bees are at the bottom hive when I put the one frame in. So there is a clear separation between them that I hope they can unite together. I did not even move the original hive at all.
    The bees right now are still not calm but hovering at the entrance when they went in.
    However, there are more guard bees at the entrance now because I opened up to check last night. Since there are only 4 frames inside the hive, I can do a check for the queen again to see for sure.
    Last night, I emailed some queen bee company even at local 2 hours away. But so far no response from any yet. But with only only 1 hive to work with because of the ants attack, I don't have another frame of eggs to spare. Around this time of year, nobody have frame of eggs to sell or give to me. My best bet is to get 2 queens to rehive them right now. Not even sure who can help now?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Dunlap, TN, USA
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: She got bombed!?

    Hey beepro, the good thing is you learned something! Obvisouly the bad thing is that lesson has put you in a tight spot.

    I suspect you are correct in thinking that the new Italians have something to do with the death of your queen. It would be extremely random for her to have died of some other reason within a days time of you adding new bees. Either way, it's basically impossible to determine the actual cause at this point anyway. So on to what you do now.

    I honestly dont think you are going to have much luck with finding anyone who can provide you with a queen at this time of year. However, you may be ok without one for right now. Check around and see what the earliest time frame is that some can provide you with a queen. If it's in early spring you will probably be ok. You current bees should continue to survive the rest of this winter and early spring long enough for you to introduce a new queen when one is available..... if it's early enough. If you can't find anyone to provide a queen in early spring you can always try to let your hive make their own. However, this would obviously require you to introduce a frame or two of fertilized eggs into your hive. Seeing that you were able to find a frame of bees to buy in the middle of winter I dont think you will have a hard time finding a frame of eggs in early spring.

    I would suggest you dont panic and make any quick decisions that might bring more problem to your hive than they already have. Good Luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    1,617

    Default Re: She got bombed!?

    Thanks, JYawn. Really appreciate the positive feedback and insight. Right now I am trying to get a queen bee for them. It is not easy to find one during this middle of winter. I did my research already and had contact many local and abroad queen bee producers. Earliest date available is in late March early April. No luck like you said. On the positive side, I found many beekeepers everywhere on my 3 days search online. I think will ask for help to find the queens later on.
    Many points I do agree with you. Leaving them queenless for so long might result in drone layers? Not even sure what is the time frame for them to turn into one, so just let them beeees for now.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
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    4,361

    Default Re: She got bombed!?

    Anything to combine them with? By the way, I haven't had a queen killed in a newspaper combine when there wasn't two queens, so I'm not sure that's your problem.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    1,617

    Default Re: She got bombed!?

    Yes, Ross. I put the frame of Italian bees inside a newspaper wrapping. Poked some holes on the newspaper. But I think put too many holes and they came out too quickly to overwhelmed the smaller original colony.
    So that might be the problem for too quick an introduction. Had I known, I would put the frame of bees into another bee box and then put them on top with a piece or two of newspapers to separate them. And gradually let them combine. I will learn fast the next time around.
    I already checked 5 times for any sign of an Italian queen but no luck either. I will do it again until I'm 100% sure.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Whitmell, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: She got bombed!?

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    To my surprise and sadden feelings, it was a dead Carniolan queen bee. She got bombed!? You think? Apparently, her worker bees are too weak to protect her against the Italian bees.
    Now I am thinking maybe she got killed by the Italians bees that don't want to accept her?
    The new queenless workers balled and killed the current queen in the hive. I've done it three times atleast this last year so I know.

    I'll bet the hive is now queenless.

    If you add bees to a hive. Shake them in front of the entrance. If you shake them into the hive. The chances are high that they will kill the current queen unless the others can protect her from them.

    If you shake the bees in front of a hive they will beg their way in and be accepted. They won't kill the queen that way unless you add combs at the same time.

    Tonight, I suspect that there might be an Italian queen inside my hive for the Carniolan queen to be killed?
    I bet there's no queen in the hive.

    Next time if you want to add to the population of a hive. shake all the bees off a frame of capped brood and give that to them replacing an empty frame or something. Don't add other bees directly to the hive. If you want to add to the population of a hive by adding bees then shake them in front of the entrance and let the ones who chose to stay, beg their way in but leave the combs alone when you do that or they may kill the queen.
    Don't laugh it's paid for. -- Manure draws more flies than honey.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: She got bombed!?

    Ralph, I did another check today on a sunny day. I look at the frames very close trying to find the queen to the point that my breath breathing on the frame causing the bees to run away slowly, of course. But still, I did not see any queen bee. I am 99% sure now that I cannot see the queen in there. That 1% chance might be that she's crawling away onto another frame or hiding. I can check at night time again that they not crawling or flying much. I will put the frames into another empty hive next time I take a look. I can check them at anytime that they are not aggressive towards me. Just flying around my veil.
    So you are right that the hive is queenless now after the Carniolan queen got killed. And yes, no queen in the hive either in this cold winter time. Finding one to buy is very hard right now. Seems like nobody has an extra to spare except in Hawaii. But I don't think I needed 25 queens in a minimum order from there. I wonder what type of bee lay all year long thru the winter as well?
    Thanks for the tips on adding bees. I'll try that next time when I have a chance to do so. The good news is the bees still cleaning and repairing out the old combs. That will keep them busy with something to do until I can find them a new queen. Hopefully soon!

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