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Thread: Queen only hive

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Pacifica, California
    Posts
    4

    Default Queen only hive

    Hi All...So I had a complete loss of my only hive. It was doing great. Honey and 20 drawn comb. The bees began to decline down to nothing left. When I inspected the hive I found mites at the bottom of hive. Not tons but enough to see them easily. Here is my question...the only bee left in the hive is the Queen. What, if anything, can I do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,227

    Default Re: Queen only hive

    You will have to get some bees to take care of her and let her become their queen. Make a cage with screen wire and feed honey/sugar water and water until you can get bees.

    Where is Pacifica?
    Lawrence Heafner
    15 hives; 15 years; TF for 10; Zone 7B

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Pacifica, California
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Queen only hive

    I am 10 miles from San Francisco, on the coast. Thanks! So how do I get bees? hahaha I mean is there away to do this without having to wait till next spring? I have been buying the bees with a queen. She is just walking around the comb.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,227

    Default Re: Queen only hive

    Maybe a beekeeper would be willing to sell a split. Several frames with bees but without a queen or a package without a queen.

    I've never heard of your situation before. Maybe the bees absconded and left behind a ripe queen cell. Does she look like she is a virgin: short and small abdomen?
    Lawrence Heafner
    15 hives; 15 years; TF for 10; Zone 7B

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Pacifica, California
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Queen only hive

    I will have to look again tomorrow...she looked big to me but I am a beginner. A few days ago she had about 20 bees with her. Do you think she can live over the winter if I bring her inside and feed her like you said?? I can take a picture of her.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Fort Gay, WV, USA
    Posts
    2,057

    Default Re: Queen only hive

    Sounds a bit like mite overload to me.
    Thomas Bartram

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Pacifica, California
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    4

    Default Re: Queen only hive

    probably! I wish I caught it sooner

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Bellflower, Montgomery,Mo,USA
    Posts
    476

    Default Re: Queen only hive

    This isn't the first thread this year about only having a queen left. They protect her to the best of their ability and she will be the last left in a failing colony. Without a support crew YOU will not be able to keep her alive. Sorry.

    This is the reason my bee club suggests that you start with 2 packages or nucs. You have the resources on hand to save either of the 2 colonies that you have without having to depend on outside intervention. That being said you would be well advised to find another beekeeper or club near you that may be able to help you now. If not then you have drawn comb and equipment to jump start your new package or nuc for next spring. Please consider starting with 2 next year. Also you now know why varroa control is essential.

    You may want to contact some of the queen breeders in the valley to see if they may be able to help you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    6,665

    Default Re: Queen only hive

    Sometimes we need to admit defeat, and call the whole thing off. Put your equipment away, protect it from wax moth and mouse damage, and when you can buy a new starter...nuc or package...re-stock the hive.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Sandy, OR
    Posts
    368

    Default Re: Queen only hive

    Time to turn the queen into something useful: make swarm lure.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    1,683

    Default Re: Queen only hive

    Give her away to some one in your bee club, quickly. Then someone will owe you.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Champaign, Illinois
    Posts
    1,009

    Default Re: Queen only hive

    Sorry. Pinch that queen, put her in a bottle with some alcohol and use that as your lure to attract swarms.
    You have to know when to give up.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    7,026

    Default Re: Queen only hive

    You will not keep it alive through winter with no bees with it. For now, if it is still alive tomorrow, put it in a cage with some candy and keep warm, 25 to 3o degrees. If you can get a few bees, from anywhere, to put in with her that will help but extending her life by a week or so might be all you can hope for. Room temperature can be lowered once you have some bees in with her.

    About what to do with her, any of the above options, my own would be find someone who can use it.

    Not sure why this thread is in the neonics section it should be in the treatment free section, under Treatment Free Fails, Another Newby With one Hive Drank the Kool-Aid, Why Is This Encouraged?
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 11-21-2015 at 08:21 AM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dickson TN
    Posts
    1,069

    Default Re: Queen only hive

    I believe Oldtimer if referring to 25 to 30 degrees Celsius and not Fahrenheit take heed

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    7,026

    Default Re: Queen only hive

    Oops! You are correct Slow Drone thanks for catching that.

    I just googled it, 25 C is 77 F.

    The reason I gave those numbers is that a queen on her own cannot maintain temperature in a cold room. Temperature in a broodnest is around 95 F, and in a broodless cluster can vary but often around 77 F.

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