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Thread: Queen problem?

  1. #1
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    Default Queen problem?

    I installed a nuc in my first hive a week ago. Yesterday I went through the hive frame by frame. There are a ton of bees, I found the queen (pic below), and they're bringing in lots of pollen. I'm going foundationless, and they're drawing out the two empty frames really well, and building the comb right down the center of my triangular comb guides. But I didn't see any eggs or open brood. Should I be worried?

    queenhive1.jpg

  2. #2

    Default Re: Queen problem?

    A proper nuc, in my opinion, comes with a queen who has already been producing brood in the colony. There are a few nuc suppliers who will take some frames of bees, brood, etc, then introduce a new queen….and as soon as she has been accepted will sell the nuc.
    If your queen is part of a proper nuc, I would be concerned that she stopped laying.
    If your queen is newly introduced and may have been banked…it might take a week or so for her to restart.
    Give ‘em another week….look closely and if she’s still not laying, contact the seller.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Queen problem?

    Time to worry. She should have been laying and there should be at the very least.. eggs.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Queen problem?

    There's plenty of open cells?

  5. #5
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    Bryant, AL
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    Default Re: Queen problem?

    With her crawling a honey frame, they may be honey-bound. They may be filling open cells as fast as they are made if they dont have enough room...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Queen problem?

    with a nuc there should be eggs and larve or you got mislead.....is there capped brood???

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Queen problem?

    More pictures would help us understand where your bees are in terms of brood cells available and such...... Any pictures of the frames you could post?
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Queen problem?

    Okay, maybe a little more information. I'm a complete noob, this is my first hive ever. The guy I got the nuc from has a very good reputation. he's a member of our local club. I talked to a guy who got a nuc from him last year, and that hive is going gangbusters.

    As the nuc seller described the situation to me, this was a nuc he used as a cell builder this spring, and the queen came from a cell he allowed to emerge in the nuc. He kept tabs on her, and when he thought she had mated and had time to start laying eggs, he called me up to his yard, and we looked at the nuc. The first frame we pulled, he said he saw eggs. My eyes aren't so good, and I couldn't be sure that was what I was seeing, but I was happy to take his word for it, as he seems like a really good guy, very helpful. He even took my wife and I around his yard, so we could open a few of his hives and look through them. (We found a bunch of queen cells, which he cut, trying to stave off swarming, which is already in full swing here.)

    Anyway, there are lots of open cells-- only one frame of full of honey in the five frames that came with the nuc, with what appears to be some capped brood and pollen in some of the others, but mostly open cells. I did have my wife take pics of the frames for later examination, with her phone, and for some reason, when I emailed them to myself to look at in a graphics program that would let me do high magnification, the last frame did not transmit until this afternoon. When I looked at this frame, I thought I might be seeing some brood, and I'll include a magnified pic that I think might show some.

    maybebrood.jpg

    What do you think? Are those faint C-shaped forms brood?

    Here's one I blew up a bit more. Brood?

    maybebrood2.jpg
    Last edited by rhaldridge; 03-25-2013 at 12:39 PM. Reason: add pic

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Queen problem?

    Sure looks like Larve in the first one to me, I would say your fine. Get some cheap magnify glasses at wal mart 10.00 will get you some 3x readers.... Its what I have to use to graft....

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Queen problem?

    Looks like fresh larvae to me. I think you are o.k. In a week you should bee the
    bigger white larvae at the bottom of the cells.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Queen problem?

    Thanks, guys.

    I feel greatly reassured. I spent last night looking morosely through ads for queen bees, thinking I might need to requeen the colony.

    I think maybe what threw me was that this last frame was an outermost frame, and I didn't expect to see eggs or larva on it But now that I think about it, this was the first frame the beekeeper pulled and it was the frame he said he saw eggs on. I guess he was right!

    I guess I better get some of those magnifying glasses.

    Ray

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Queen problem?

    Looking at those pics there is what seems to be eggs, but the pic quality is not good enough to be certain. However if the guy you bought it from saw eggs you should be fine, and if not, he will surely put it right. How long ago was it he saw the eggs?

    I would not recommend attempting to requeen it without talking to him first.

    Re the glasses, yes get some. Your beekeeping will be considerably hamstrung if you cannot see larvae, you need to know what is going on. My eyesight isn't the best either but I just use some cheapo magnifying glasses.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Queen problem?

    Well, now I feel bad for doubting the queen.

    Here's a shot of some pretty tight brood pattern; the queen is sneaking off up at the top left, hiding from the sunlight. There is a lot of capped brood now, just a week after I got all panicky.

    queenmar29hive1.jpg

    The bees are building beautiful comb in my foundationless frames:

    newcombmar29hive1.jpg

    I've been told that they'd draw nothing but drone comb to start with, but I didn't measure this to see if it was any bigger than the brood comb on foundation in the nuc. As to drones, I saw a very few capped drone cells in the midst of a patch of worker brood, and there are a fair number of drones in the hive, but nothing unusual, I think.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Queen problem?

    That's worker brood. I have found that most nucs will build worker brood on new frames. But, if you put a foundationless frame in a full size hive they tend to build drone brood. I think they build what they need at the time. A nuc will need more workers and a full size hive tends to need more drone brood. Hope that makes sense.

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