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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Hartwell, GA
    Posts
    183

    Default Queenless in Janurary

    I check my hive entrances daily, weather permitting, in an attempt to determine what is going on inside. For the last three days the weather has been in the low 30's at night with highs in the low 40's during the day so very little to observe. The last warm spell was a couple weeks back and I had lost a hive, no bees dead or alive in a hive that had produced very well and with a queen that I liked very much for her gentle brood. To get to the story, this morning, It is climbing toward the middle 70's and while watching the entrances I notices one hive to which the bees were not bringing in pollen. No Queen ? Opened them up and sure enough no queen, no brood except for a few drone cells, no queen cells, old or new and no queen in site. Could she have swarmed during the last warm spell ?There is plenty of honey and pollen in the hive. They were very aggressive, as most hives are when they don't have a queen, and after six or more kisses from the stripped end, I went for my brand new cool suit. I gave them a frame of brood, with larvae of all stages, couldn't see eggs through the veil but assumed they will be there, in hopes they will raise a new queen on their own. There were no drone cells in the hive from which I removed the frame of brood. It seems too early for Queens to develop and breed. If they start today it will still be the middle of February when she is ready for her mating flight. I think the weather has them all screwed up, they are working the Camellias in the morning and are loaded with pollen. Just wondering what your thoughts are.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,444

    Default Re: Queenless in Janurary

    I've had one hive queenless since late Sept. still doing well. I will requeen here pretty soon.
    They should raise a queen if there are eggs available.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Queenless in Janurary

    Scottsman - I would continue to give the queenless hive resources from your other hive if your goal is to carry this hive into spring. They will try to raise a queen with eggs and probably a 50/50 chance she will get mated. But even a poorly mated queen will buy you time. Some may advise you to combine this hive with another and use the resources to carry the combined hive into spring. All in your goals as a beekeeper.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Murray County, Georgia
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: Queenless in Janurary

    Just start giving them a frame of brood (eggs) every couple of weeks. It is possible that there is a queen that is sterile. If so they might not draw a queen cell w/o removing her. I have a hive that the queen hasn't layed since september. I'll be giving them brood for the next couple of weeks and will pinch the queen and let them raise a new one once I start seeing drone brood (which may be now).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Hartwell, GA
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: Queenless in Janurary

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzsaw View Post
    Scottsman - I would continue to give the queenless hive resources from your other hive if your goal is to carry this hive into spring. They will try to raise a queen with eggs and probably a 50/50 chance she will get mated. But even a poorly mated queen will buy you time. Some may advise you to combine this hive with another and use the resources to carry the combined hive into spring. All in your goals as a beekeeper.
    Being nearby you are familiar with these strange weather conditions, and the confusion it's caused both plants and wildlife. I'm gonna chance that they will do well and produce a queen. If not from this frame maybe from the next, I'll give them 8 days and see what they do. If nothing happens I'll give the another frame of brood and keep them going til I can raise a queen. There is about 4lb of bees and I don't want to combine them. Thanks for the advice.

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