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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default No brood, no eggs, only bees and honey

    And multiple queen cells.

    I went over to a friends house to try to help her with her hive. Seems like every time I get in a hive the details are different and I feel like I need to go back to grade school all over again. I didn't really know what to do. This hive was nekked of brood - I mean not a single ANYTHING.

    From reading Bush Bee Math, this means no queen for 24 days? But it says queen cell to laying is 20 days. This hive had multiple unhatched queen cells. What am I missing?

    Also, what should we have done? Just put it back and left it alone? That's basically what we did, except we added another box since much of the other frames had pollen or honey or nectar in it. I don't think it was honey bound. The bottom box seemed to have room.

    I wasn't sure we could do a split (because of all the queen cells) without any brood at all. Is that correct? But here sits this hive with no brood and queen cells, so I kept feeling like we might should have split. I hope we erred on the side of caution. I was previously told to let the queen hatch and take care of the other queen cells. Any input? Thanks.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: No brood, no eggs, only bees and honey

    If you want to split it, I'm sure you could...as long as there are enough bees. IMO, most likely, the hive either already swarmed, or started the cells as E cells due to the queen's death (sometimes they'll use older eggs than "prime" in this case). Either way, it's kind of strange to have absolutely 0 brood, as there *whould* normally have been workers emerging up to 4 days after the new queens emerged ... so where'd the other eggs go? Either way, check 'em in 3 weeks to see if the new queen's started laying yet before hittin' any panic buttons


    P.S. I found one of my nucs in similar condition this spring...got to it after it'd swarmed, had 0 eggs/brood, and an emerged Q cell; so I'm pretty sure there was a virgin in there somewhere, just didn't spot her.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Summerfield, NC
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: No brood, no eggs, only bees and honey

    I've noticed the same thing this season with almost every hive. If my reading is correct, I think the queen slows her laying to a stop when she is getting ready to take flight with a swarm. I'm making preparations to be very busy with swarms when the rain clears up later this week, just in case. I haven't seen that many queen cells in any hive, though...although if they were stuck between hive bodies, I might've pulled them apart.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: No brood, no eggs, only bees and honey

    Miller- Yeah, the queen slows the laying to prep for swarming. But I guess even when I've gone queenless I've seen a bit of brood - somewhere.

    Rob - we didn't really look for a queen. I guess it's possible we were between that stage of just hatched and not laying yet huh? That would be good.

    We had started out putting the queen cells in a box to make a split. Put a frame of HNP on each side. When we decided there wasn't enough resources to split, we filled the remainder of the box with frames and put the box one down from the top. A capped honey filled box was on top. I know the "brood nest" likes to be down low but there was no nest. Was this a major blunder to position it there? Seems like if the queen IS hatched, no problem. But if those were viable cells, would the bees move up to cover them?
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,122

    Default Re: No brood, no eggs, only bees and honey

    Should have a laying queen before the last drone emerges, sometimes it takes a few days longer.
    Dan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: No brood, no eggs, only bees and honey

    That's what I was gleaning. 24 days till all drone would have emerged, 28 days till queen is laying. So maybe there's just a few days of lag time. I sure hope that's it.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: No brood, no eggs, only bees and honey

    If somehow those were viable, non-emerged Q cells, then #1 where's the rest of the worker brood who were laid at the same time (conundrum), and #2 if you have a strong hive, they'll "fill in" the extra space on those frames & cover the cells, most likely.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: No brood, no eggs, only bees and honey

    Rob, from what I read (http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm), 24 days till no brood. So it's been at least 24 days. But who knows how long really. If its 28 days till laying, the queen COULD be in there. But if the cells HATCH in 16 days, that tells me those cells are probably NOT viable. Yes??? Don't they ultimately uncap them when they are "done" with them? And if she IS in there and hadn't started laying by last weekend, we should see larvae by the weekend even if eggs aren't visible. That will be telling.

    I'm beginning to think she needs a frame of eggs...? The answer is probably way obvious, but I haven't been speaking "queen" very long. It is, however, a great opportunity to think through all this. I always learn something (ultimately!) when I help someone. It's amazing how many variables there can be!
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

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