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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    88

    Default Virgin queen in hive?

    Pretty strong hive, overwintered fine.
    I went thru them the other day - skipped the top boxes of honey and found the brood boxes empty. Next box up, empty. Finally top box, lots of bees, but terrible pattern and just drones. I thought I had a laying worker but I found the queen. There were empty queen cells on the bottom box that weren't there in the late fall.
    So, I'm assuming they superceded the queen, but it was too cold for her to mate.

    Does this happen often?
    I assume there's nothing to do but get a new queen or get them some brood, right?
    btw, I saw some drones already flying!

    Thanks!
    Kurt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,716

    Default Re: Virgin queen in hive?

    If you are not sure about your virgin queen then it is better to get a new laying queen.
    The more you wait then there is a chance the workers become drone layers if they aren't now.
    A strong hive with DL is hard to combat so I heard. When in doubt put a frame of eggs and open
    larvae to see. Hopefully they will make you a nice queen.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,339

    Default Re: Virgin queen in hive?

    beepro,
    Be careful. Some unsuspecting beginner, based on your screen name, might take you seriously and implement your advice. Heaven forbid.

    In this case, the OP knows more about the situation than you do. He will likely ignore your rantings. All you did was paraphrase his question. No help.

    Since I have no experience with that specific situation, I can only address the question on "happen often?" Have seen a lot of overwintered colonies and not seen one case of it.

    Walt

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: Virgin queen in hive?

    kurt i had 4 out of 18 end up that way in late winter this year, too early for them to mate or for me to buy a replacement queen. there weren't a lot of bees anyway so i just shook them out and gave what honey was left to my other hives.

    queen failure seems to be reportedly higher this year for some reason.

    if you have other hives and they are making brood already then by all means put a frame of open brood with eggs and check it back in a week for queen cells.

    it might not be a bad idea to reduce them down a box or two until they get going again.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,832

    Default Re: Virgin queen in hive?

    What's wrong with Beepro's advice? If I were to open up a hive early spring and see a crappy drone pattern and hatched queencells from winter I wouldn't care if there's a queen in there or not. Obviously the old queen met her demise and the hive is done or needs to get a mated queen or combined with another hive to save what's left. I lost a queen in Dec., probably through no fault of my own, I found 3 hatched cells in the hive in February, no queen to be found, and laying workers. They had a nice tight brood pattern though....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Atlanta GA
    Posts
    277

    Default Re: Virgin queen in hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    If you are not sure about your virgin queen then it is better to get a new laying queen.
    The more you wait then there is a chance the workers become drone layers if they aren't now.
    A strong hive with DL is hard to combat so I heard. When in doubt put a frame of eggs and open
    larvae to see. Hopefully they will make you a nice queen.
    What is DL?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wausau, WI, USA
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: Virgin queen in hive?

    SallyD, DL = Drone Layer

    Wisnewbee

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,346

    Default Re: Virgin queen in hive?

    Unfortunately -> DL (Drone Layer) is commonly a queen that only lays drones, being unfertilized and incapable of laying fertilized eggs.

    More likely what are being called, "DL" in this thread are LW, or laying workers.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,716

    Default Re: Virgin queen in hive?

    How do we differentiate the LW and the queen DL? I know that the LW has multiple eggs.
    Does th QDL also lay multiple eggs too or just one? And is it common in the spring time to
    get the QDL after the hive overwintered?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Battle Ground, Washington, USA
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Virgin queen in hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt S View Post
    ....I assume there's nothing to do but get a new queen or get them some brood, right?....
    No disrespect here Walt, but maybe you should read the entire OP before jumping Beepro? I have to say, I'm a little taken a back by the response, what are you suggesting he do then? I'm not being defensive here, I'd just like to learn from someone as experienced as yourself, honestly??

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