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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Keene, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    29

    Cool Should I wait for a returning virgin or combine?

    I checked one of my hives yesterday that on 9/6 had brood, no open larvae and probably no eggs (hard to see). Yesterday, there was no brood at all but two open queen cells on the bottom of a frame. This hive consists of one deep and two mediums, all chock full of pollen and capped honey.
    Perhaps there is a virgin queen out there mating, but I think it getting pretty late.

    I have a single deep hive and also, a double five frame nuc that I could put into a 10-frame deep body. Does it make sense to do a newspaper combine with the queenless hive and these two smaller hives. They each have a lot of brood and are storing honey and pollen. The queenless hive had a mite count of 2 (sugar roll). The other two hives' mite count were 5 and three, respectively (they were splits in late June and made their own queens).

    My instinct says to combine them and not wait for a queen to maybe return. I was just wondering what other opinions/options there are?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,320

    Default Re: Should I wait for a returning virgin or combine?

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm

    So on 9/6 you had no brood or open larvae, that means there had not been a queen laying since the 28th of August. It's not the 25th of Sept, so it's been 28 days. If you lost a queen back on the 28th I would expect them to raise a new queen from a four day old larvae, (on the 28th of Aug) have a virgin queen 12 days after that (by the 9th of Sept) and most likely have her mated and laying two weeks after that (the 23rd of Sept) and three weeks after that at the latest (the 30th of Sept). If you don't have a laying queen by the 30th you are most likely queenless.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Keene, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Should I wait for a returning virgin or combine?

    Thanks, Michael. I did similar calculations, but yours are more accurate. This Sunday, I will check them and if there is no sign of her, I will do the combine.

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