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  1. #1
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    Default fresh eggs, a handful of bees and a queen

    I found a queen in a hive I was taking apart. There was only a handful of bees and a queen. What is even more amazing is that before I found the queen I saw a frame with eggs. I thought the eggs must be from last fall, but the eggs looked fresh. The hive next to this found queen is queenless. I put the found queen by the entrance of the queenless hive and she flew up. I caught the queen again and released her through the inner cover. I did not have a queen cage with me. I hope the queenless hive accepts her. I gave the queenless hive a frame of brood/eggs a few days ago. To complicate matters the hive with a handful of bees also had small hive beetles. I took apart the hive and made two piles, the frames I would keep and the frames I would discard. Frames with shb are nasty and we do not have this problem to a great degree up north. In a couple of weeks I will put the hive back together again and install a package. I almost wish I could rent freezer space for the frames with shb. The hive was two deeps. What do you do with the nasty shb frames? Some of the honey frames I can save and give back to the bees when I install a package. One of the big problem is freezer room.
    Last edited by linn; 05-10-2013 at 08:54 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: fresh eggs, a handful of bees and a queen

    Easy, either wear a pair of rubber gloves to clean them or throw them away.
    I'm not sure if the smell will attract other shb afterward though.
    If it were me I would use the new frames.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: fresh eggs, a handful of bees and a queen

    Hi Beepro,
    I set aside frames I will toss. There are some frames with honey that I may keep for the bees but some of the honey in the frame is a little fermented. I think tomorrow I will take a blow torch and flame the inside of the deeps and also the bottom board. I will put a package into the hive again.
    Here is the odd part of this story. There were only 3 to 4 bees in the failed hive and a queen. The queen is laying eggs! The queen is not fat and she is a light brown color. When I placed the queen in my hand and folded my hand around her she seemed glad for the warmth. I was hoping she would just walk into the queen less hive but not so. I did a direct release on top of the inner cover. The queen less hive is queen less because the queen died in the cage. I installed a package of bees in this hive almost a month ago. I am hopeful because the queen less hive has nurse bees and the nurse bees are around the inner cover by the mason jar of syrup. I installed a frame of capped brood days ago. I am waiting for a mated queen to arrive by mail and this is why I installed the frame of capped brood. The little queen deserves a chance. The little queen would have died if she did not get into the queen less hive that night. There are plenty of bees in the queen less hive and nurse bees. I did not have a queen cage with me. I did not expect to see a laying queen and four bees.
    Last edited by linn; 05-11-2013 at 10:12 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: fresh eggs, a handful of bees and a queen

    Even when what seems impossible, a queen must do what a queen's job is that is to lay lay and lay more eggs when the time comes.
    This is a tough little Italian queen bee. What you could do is to split this hive into 2 nucs, one for this queen and one for the new
    mail order queen. Should one fail then you can recombine the hive otherwise you will have 2 hives to compare things to. If you
    have other healthy hives you can help both nuc hives to grow even faster. From less than 1 frame hive with a new laying queen,
    I split into 5 nucs. Then later split again for one more nuc hive. I balance out all these hives by adding a frame of bees and nurse
    bees into the weaker hives. Hive balance is the key here to help each others out.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: fresh eggs, a handful of bees and a queen

    dups

  6. #6
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    Default Re: fresh eggs, a handful of bees and a queen

    The two hives that were next to this tough little queen hive are 25 day old packages. One package has a laying queen with capped brood one and a half frame worth. The other package lost it's queen. I ordered a mated queen and she will come by mail next week. I prepared the hive for the mated queen by adding the frame of brood. I saw this queen and I placed her in the queen less hive. What else could I do? I will check for queen acceptance. Hopefully, the tough little queen was accepted. I won't check until the mated queen arrives by mail. Well, if the tough little queen has been accepted then I don't need the mated queen. I can take a frame of brood from another set of hives and make a small nuc. This year brood build up is slow.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: fresh eggs, a handful of bees and a queen

    Now I understand your situation better. Is there any way you could get one frame or 2 of bees and larvae from another beekeeper nearby? The 25 day hive need time to establish to replace the old bees that will die within another week or 2. If you take the brood out then you will weaken this hive. Beekeepers say rather have a strong hive than 2 or 3 weaker hives that take the whole season to build up. It is better to get some frame of bees from somewhere else.
    Because it takes about one month to have the first batch of new bees.
    I called a local beekeeper for a frame of bees from late last winter. He never thought about selling individual frame before.
    In your situation I would recommend to take 1 or 2 frames of worker bees from both existing hive to form a nuc. Then place this mail order queen inside. Leave the original brood for the existing hive to build up some more. The worker bees must be strong to take care of the new nuc. If the little queen
    does not make it then recombine the 2 frames with the queen less hive. Or another option is to put the new queen in the nuc to see if she make it or not. You should know when everything is good or not in about 2 weeks. Oh, feed feed and feed them some more even when natural resources are coming in.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: fresh eggs, a handful of bees and a queen

    You sure you saw a frame of eggs? I don't think I've ever seen a queen just laying eggs w/o workers around or that they would.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: fresh eggs, a handful of bees and a queen

    Yes, I did see eggs-not a complete frame. This is what is so odd. The failing hive was a two deep going into the winter. I first looked at the bottom deep and all the brood is dead, some of which died early on-soup like. I did the rope test and it did not rope. There is a pile of dead bees on the bottom board. I scooped all that out and put it in a jar with a cover. There are small hive beetles in the jar. I looked at dead brood and frames of fermented honey in the first deep. I bagged all the frames from the bottom deep and I am thinking I will need to toss all the frames from the first deep.
    I start looking at the second deep and the number 3 frames has fresh eggs. It doesn't make sense because all along I have been looking at dead brood and nasty fermented honey and a pile of dead bees on the bottom board. I put the queen in my hand and I place her by the entrance of the queen less hive. I want the queen to walk into the hive. She flies back to the second deep, I am now taking apart, and onto the frame. I take her again in my hand and close my palm gently around her. I don't have a queen cage. I direct release her over the inner cover of the queen less hive with the frame of capped brood. The nurse bees immediately surround her. This hive is at a farm and I manage the hive for a co-op farm group. I can ask someone to come with a camera and take a picture of the queen if she is still alive. I am hoping the mated queen is late arriving by mail. I have two established hives of my own but not much brood to spare at this point from the established hives. I could take one more frame possibly from one of my established hives at a different yard. I could buy a frame from someone in my area maybe.
    Last edited by linn; 05-12-2013 at 05:13 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: fresh eggs, a handful of bees and a queen

    If I have a co-op farm I would keep 50 hives or more. It is easy to sell the honey and pollen. I'm sure you can
    up your skills to sell the queen bees too. Even with 6 hives now I can manage to keep them out of trouble by
    transferring the frames around to balance things out.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: fresh eggs, a handful of bees and a queen

    Hi Beepro,
    I am the beekeeper. The farm group grows food and then shares it among the members, according to how much work each person did. They also give some food to the local people. Before me there was another beekeeper.
    It is interesting because the hives at this farm have problems that my own hives do not. One example is that the hives at the farm have small beetles. I read that small hive beetle causes the honey to run out of the frames and ferment. I understand why you say get rid of the frames.
    Another challenge is the location. The location is great but I think it would be good to get these hives off the ground more. Right now the hives are on concrete blocks.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: fresh eggs, a handful of bees and a queen

    The concrete blocks touching directly on the ground will cause more beetles to go inside the hive.
    They can fly inside too.
    It is better to put a hive stand made of long lumbers to put all these hives on. This way they
    are off the ground. Cannot guarantee if there is no beetle but at least better than what it is now.
    There are many good pictures of better hive stand on here if would do a search.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: fresh eggs, a handful of bees and a queen

    Two days ago I checked the hive with another person. We saw eggs and the queen. I didn't mark her, so I don't know for certain if she was the struggling queen. I would like to think so. I still have the original queen (dead in the queen cage). I am going to put those hive higher off the ground. Thanks for the tips and advice.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: fresh eggs, a handful of bees and a queen

    When they have an active queen running around they will feed the new queen
    inside the cage. Now I know not to do this again.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: fresh eggs, a handful of bees and a queen

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    You sure you saw a frame of eggs? I don't think I've ever seen a queen just laying eggs w/o workers around or that they would.
    Just saw this week. Hive had been building up nicely 2 weeks ago. Next inspection more eggs than nurse bees, as many SHBs as bees. Queen and maybe 20 bees left. Rats abandoning ship and drifting next door was my take.
    Should have put them back into a nuc.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: fresh eggs, a handful of bees and a queen

    Yesterday, I checked the hive with the struggling queen. The struggling queen is gone but in her absence are a number of queen cells. The queen cells have their sides chewed out. Hopefully, the hatched out queen will come back from her mating flight. The struggling queen was moving pretty slow on the day I last saw her. Those queen cells could also be from the frame of mixed brood I placed in the hive.

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