Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 21 to 36 of 36
  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Virgin queen in hive?

    When I went thru the hive, I was thinking they were queenless since I didn't find brood in the lower boxes. But they didn't sound queenless.
    Then I found the random pattern of drone brood (two drone grubs in the same cell, bad spacing, etc) and assumed it was a laying worker. I was just about done when I spotted the queen. So, they have a queen, but they don't have a leader.
    Oh, and they are messing up my/their nice honey frames and making them into brood frames.

    Now I just have to replace her. I want a local queen, but it's too early here - no one has them yet. My cutout sounds like the best way to go. It's been in the house for years, could be interesting.

    Thanks!

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,339

    Default Re: Virgin queen in hive?

    Kurt,
    Thanks for the update.
    Hate to nag, but do you believe the drone brood were the result of laying workers? Or more specifically, did the drone brood have the characteristics described above? Its OK if you don't remember.
    Pretty please?
    Walt

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,531

    Default Re: Virgin queen in hive?

    kurt, i think i missed the part about finding the queen in your first post, sorry about that.

    in the four hives i mentioned above there was no queen, and only spotty capped drone brood in both drone comb and worker comb.

    so mine were queenless and developed laying workers, a different scenario than yours.

    so you have the pattern of a laying worker as walt describes, but still have a queen....weird!
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester NY
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Virgin queen in hive?

    She could be an old fart queen who ran out of sperm also--Do you see any supersedure cells at all? If not stick a frame of brood with some eggs and young larvae in there and see if they try to rear a queen. (or if you are pressed for time pinch the queen and then do the preceding to insure that the current queen doesnt tear the cells down) I would leave her first just for an experiment though

    Or--The old queen keeled over and the new queen you see is a virgin how big was she If there already is a laying worker and lets say this is a virgin queen that goes and gets mated, will the colony accept her or is it too late once the laying workers get rolling?
    http://www.peekskillnurseries.com
    Specialists in Ground Cover plants since 1937. Talk to me about ground-covers!

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Virgin queen in hive?

    Walt,
    The brood has the characteristics I associate with laying workers. I've never seen a queen lay like this. But strange that a queen is there and she isn't laying the drones. Maybe she knows that's not good for the colony. I assume she won't leave to mate at this point.
    If I get a chance, I'll shoot a picture.

    Yes, there clearly were a bunch of newer supersedure cells.

    Square,
    You missed the title then too.

    Yes, I think the whole thing is strange. And if there are laying workers, ugh, that may not be fun to fix. But then again, the LW are coexisting with a queen, so maybe it won't be a big deal....

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,339

    Default Re: Virgin queen in hive?

    Thank you, Kurt. Thought I might be on thin ice.

    Slightly off-topic, don't think I've seen any reference to "dwarf drones" here on the forums. A drone reared in a worker cell is under sized. Never noticed them in any of my hives, but have seen them. A beekeeper in VA that I visited had a colony where most of the population was big-eyed workers (dwarf drones). That will get your attention.

    Walt

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Virgin queen in hive?

    I noticed that, but the sample size was really small. I only saw two mature drones and they were not very big....

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Virgin queen in hive?

    I bought a queen today and tore apart the hive. No uncapped brood. So I thought maybe no queen. But I got lucky and found the old queen (on the top of the box I had just checked!).
    BTW, I did later find a small strip of open drone brood on a different frame, with a nice pattern - some much for consistency.

    So the new queen is installed. How long do you like to let her in the cage before opening the cage? It's been a while, but I recall 2-3 days.

    I brought the old queen inside. She buzzed around the floor for a while, then deposited eggs on the floor.

    I have pics, but when I click on the attachment button, the new window opens but it's blank. ???

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,731

    Default Re: Virgin queen in hive?

    It is better for the worker bees to release her usually within 2-3 days.
    When you see the blank window that means the
    connection is slow. You can close the window and then try to reconnect again.
    I sometime have to do it 3 times to post pics.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,339

    Default Re: Virgin queen in hive?

    Kurt,
    You are plowing new ground here. Beware the roots and rocks.
    If you have not taken any action to deactivate the laying workers, we could expect them to kill the new queen. Co existance with the old queen does not mean they will accept the replacement. Maybe too late now to slow the release of the new Q.

    Walt

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Virgin queen in hive?

    I'm confused if there really was a laying worker or a bad queen. Whoever it was had stopped laying the crazy pattern.
    I tend to think it was a laying worker that did the crazy pattern initially and then the queen did the limited open drone brood in a nice pattern. Kinda of like the queen exerting her dominance.
    We'll see, but I'm hopeful.

    It doesn't like my connection (even using other browsers), so here the pics another way. Note how the eggs are stuck together.
    2013-05-03%u00252520005cr.jpg
    2013-05-03%u00252520038%2520cr.jpg

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,339

    Default Re: Virgin queen in hive?

    Now we're squared away. It was a faulty queen all the time. She was running out of sperm. Note in the upper pic that she was firing an occasional blank as the brood nest expanded - getting worse all the time. The lower frame shows expansion to the left and it's getting very bad.

    Noticed that you dodged my question about the appearance of laying worker brood, but didn't want to badger you about it.

    The colony should be in good shape with the introduced new queen. They will have to outgrow the burden of excess drones per worker, but that shouldn't be too rough, if they have enough bees for a viable cluster size.

    Walt

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Virgin queen in hive?

    Walt,
    I tried to answer your question in post #25, but looks like I was wrong.
    > The brood has the characteristics I associate with laying workers. I've never seen a queen lay like this.

    I think I see why you say it was a bad queen. Terrible pattern, but all the brood is contained in the normal brood area and it's an expanding pattern, right?
    What does a laying worker pattern look like? I had that PITA once, but it was many years ago.

    No question in my mind she was never mated (she appeared in Nov-Dec timeframe I think), but I thought she'd have unlimited drone eggs. Maybe she was an older egg turned into a queen and that was the problem. I saw two eggs in one cell and there were even brood on the top of the frame in that picture - things that I think any queen should be able to better than she was doing.

    I froze those drones for the mites (though I didn't see any!) and cause the hive didn't the drone imbalance.

    Thanks for the help!! Next time, I'll include pics at the start.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Green,Wisconsin,USA
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: Virgin queen in hive?

    I've seen similar things in the past. On more than one occasion we had a mature queen and a small virgin queen in the same hive in early spring, well before the virgin could mate. This year, we had a hive with a small population of bees and a small virgin queen. We checked on her today, and she had grown considerably (though not full size) and was laying a nice pattern of eggs. From the looks of things, she had only been laying for a day or two tops. So we're introducing her as a queen for spring split of another hive. But I was wondering when we first found her if bees will supercede well before drone production. Apparently they will and it can work provided drone laying queens or workers don't initiate first.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Earlysville, Virginia USA
    Posts
    96

    Default Re: Virgin queen in hive?

    Kurt you are not alone. I pulled a queen out of a friend's hive a week ago for the same reason as yours and we gave them an extra queen cell that I had. The thing I noticed which was interesting was that she had a great pattern of eggs on several frames but the workers seemed to be removing most of the drone larva such that the best capped brood pattern was in the drone brood comb where it belonged. It was like they knew that her unfertilized eggs did not belong where she was laying them in the worker cells.
    Did your hive accept your new queen?

    I hope you kept the queen in some rubbing alcohol for future bait hives or swarm lure. It is always nice that they can help out in their after life! I landed a swarm last fall by dabbing a q-tip of queen sent on a trellis and they landed on the exact spot within 3 minutes! It was one of the most amazing things I have ever watched as they landed right next to my head. I doubt I will ever replicate that experience.

    Walt.....I hear your frustration with beginners posting as pros....It sure can be confusing for other beginners. I hesitate to post most of the time with 50 plus hives as I feel like I still have more questions than answers.

    -Ryan

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Virgin queen in hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Williamson View Post
    Did your hive accept your new queen?

    I hope you kept the queen in some rubbing alcohol for future bait hives or swarm lure.
    I landed a swarm last fall by dabbing a q-tip of queen scent on a trellis....
    I checked yesterday and they hadn't released her yet. I'll check today and release her myself if needed.

    Yup, I dropped her in some alcohol. I didn't realize her scent would be so strong. I was preserving her for future show and tells!
    Thanks!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads