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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Litchfield, Maine
    Posts
    3

    Default LW hive accepted new queen 1mo ago, still failing, recycle the queen for QL nuc?

    I'm a hobbyist second year beekeeper, first season was fantastic, but I started this season with only one strong hive, currently only have one hive (LW hive) and a small nuc.

    I have one hive that I identified as being queenless with LWs over a month ago - at that time did the shake out far away technique and a very slow introduction of new (bought carniolan) queen on a frame of brood from my small nuc. They seemed to accept her well, and then when I checked two weeks ago (which was two weeks from fully releasing the queen) I saw the queen, and there was some new capped brood (non-drone) and eggs and larvae - all looked rosy. When I did an inspection yesterday I saw the queen looking healthy and active, but scant capped brood, few larvae, and some eggs, but more than half of the cells I saw with eggs had 2-5 eggs in them - yuck!

    Also yesterday I saw that my nuc, which had been doing great but slowly (partially because I stole frames of brood 2-3 times to try to salvage the LW hive), is apparently now queenless with no eggs or larvae and only scant capped brood, and no visible queen. After seeing that, I was ready to just combine the nuc with the other hive until I checked it out and saw how badly it was doing and still acting like a LW hive.

    So now my question is, does the poor performance of my LW hive reflect accurately on the quality of the young queen there for the last month, or if I removed her from the LW hive and put her in the queenless nuc could I at least salvage the nuc? These are my only two hives, and at this point I'm not sure when to just cut my losses and start over again next year, and I'm not too interested in buying lots more queens... If I had other hives I'd just combine, but now I don't even have one healthy queenright hive - so frustrating! Would certainly welcome any advice.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,449

    Default Re: LW hive accepted new queen 1mo ago, still failing, recycle the queen for QL nuc?

    The problem is that by the time you get a queen going in a laying worker hive you have a lot of old bees. These are dying off quickly and not efficient at being nurses or wax makers. It takes young bees to really start to turn things around and it takes time to get those. It's getting late in the year to turn things around in Maine. You seem to be out of time and resources.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Litchfield, Maine
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: LW hive accepted new queen 1mo ago, still failing, recycle the queen for QL nuc?

    Thanks Michael - your wonderful website is always my first stop for all my beekeeping questions!

    Do you think I should judge the queen in the LW hive by that hive's performance (lousy), or is there a chance that if I go out this weekend and my previously strong nuc is still apparently queenless that she might actually do fine in a different hive? I think I might give it a try since the LW hive seems essentially doomed, but the nuc might still be salvageable and could by some miracle help me start fresh next spring (and I don't have much to lose). Thanks much!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,449

    Default Re: LW hive accepted new queen 1mo ago, still failing, recycle the queen for QL nuc?

    >Do you think I should judge the queen in the LW hive by that hive's performance (lousy), or is there a chance that if I go out this weekend and my previously strong nuc is still apparently queenless that she might actually do fine in a different hive?

    Or if you give them a frame of emerging brood they might have enough young nurse bees to get going. But yes, she might do fine in a hive that has the bees to support her.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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