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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    289

    Default A Queen and 1 worker

    Some Back Ground- This Observation hive was a single brood frame and an empty drawn deep and one shallow wax foundation, 3 frames total.
    It has been weak all along but if there was an empty cell this Queen laid an egg in it.
    It seamed like it was being robed all summer because there were always dead bees around the entrance.
    At times both deep frames were full of brood and covered with bees, but the bees never touched the shallow frame other than to cluster on it at night.
    In the fall they had all most filled both deep frames with winter stores with a small area on the bottom frame with some brood.
    The hive is in our Sun Porch.
    We put a heat pad under the hive and covered it with some heavy towels to help retain the heat as it is unheated in the winter.

    My son was out in our sun porch today and looked at the Observation hive and asked were all the bees went?
    The last I looked at it was about two weeks ago and there were still several hundred in it.
    Well I brought the hive in the house and there is only 2 bee's in it.
    The Queen and 1 worker?
    Only about 4 dead bees on the bottom of the hive and nun out side, both frames are still mostly full of stores?
    It's like they just up and left her.
    I am thinking of just leaving them in the living room and see what happens?

    Up date - My wife called me away from finishing this post and there are now 7 workers and the Queen.
    We are going to leave them in the house and see what happens?
    Zone 6b 1400'

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    7,033

    Default Re: A Queen and 1 worker

    There is a remote possibility that if brood is hatching and you keep the hive warm enough, they could pull through. Can't say what caused the original problem though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Fort Gay, WV, USA
    Posts
    1,768

    Default Re: A Queen and 1 worker

    With the dead bees around the entrance it would seem there may have been a mite problem, or since just the queen was left in the hive could always say CCD, but I think if it manages to live through the winter i'd take a sample and get them tested to figure it out for sure.
    Thomas Bartram - 43 - 8 F langs, 22 Italian & 21 Russian

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Santa Rosa County, Florida
    Posts
    450

    Default Re: A Queen and 1 worker

    This is just a wild guess but since you kept the bees warmer than the outside air,is it possible they flew out into the cold and died outside?
    54+ years 30 colonies Treat using Hopguard and essential oils
    http://99-40.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    289

    Default Re: A Queen and 1 worker

    gone2seed
    We thought about that?
    I do know that when we took temp readings on the bottom board it was between 65 & 70 constant with the heating pad.
    We used an in fared thermometer.
    This is a very cheep OV hive and I have plans to build a good one after I finish building hive bodies.

    Thanks for the question.

    They were feeding the Queen this morning and she looked like she was checking cells last night??
    Zone 6b 1400'

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    49,118

    Default Re: A Queen and 1 worker

    You need at least a couple hundred bees to keep her alive. You may need a couple hundred more to even raise a little bit of brood... I often boost them when they dwindle on a warm day by shaking a handful of bees into a small box and have the box at the end of the to (or cut a hole just the size of the tube) so they smell the queen and move into the hive. I stack up some empty boxes to put that box on to get it in line with the tube.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    289

    Default Re: A Queen and 1 worker

    Thank You Michael
    I was thinking about doing some thing like that as I have one hive here at home that is very strong and full of bees.
    I left a supper on them because there were so many in this hive.
    Now if it would just get above freezing for a day or two.
    Zone 6b 1400'

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    2,349

    Default Re: A Queen and 1 worker

    Three frames is not much, and depending on the hive configuration the heating pad may not be a very efficient way to heat a vertical hive. Do you have a picture of the hive set up? seeing what you are working with may give better insight as to the problem, although if you plan on upgrading the hive this summer, it may be a moot point.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    2,349

    Default Re: A Queen and 1 worker

    Quote Originally Posted by gone2seed View Post
    This is just a wild guess but since you kept the bees warmer than the outside air,is it possible they flew out into the cold and died outside?
    Bees do not do that, I have an 8 frame Observation hive in a heated building and although it is constantly 70F in the building, the bees do not fly out unless the outdoors temperature in 50 or so.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    289

    Default Re: A Queen and 1 worker

    The Queen and her few attendants are still alive.
    I have been putting out a few frames to feed back to my Full size hives and Nuc's and came up with a way to catch and release some bees to try to reboot this hive.
    I know it may not work but I get to play with Bees in the down time.

    Jim
    Zone 6b 1400'

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    7,033

    Default Re: A Queen and 1 worker

    OK well if a lot of bees have not hatched by now the remaining brood is likely dead, and the few bees will not be enough to raise any.

    So the only hope for it is to add some adult bees.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    289

    Default Re: A Queen and 1 worker

    Oldtimer
    There was no brood in the hive.

    UPDATE
    I built a single frame OV hive with an entrance hole in the side at the same height as the OV hive with the Queen.
    I placed a frame with some caped honey in the new OV hive with the lid open and a plug in the side hole.
    The temp. was around 59 yesterday so I left this new hive set out for several hours.
    Around 3 o:clock I closed it up with around a 500 bee's in it and removing the plug I slid it up to the entrance to the OV hive with the Queen in it.
    This morning they have mostly moved in to the 3 frame hive and there is a steady flow of bee's moving the honey stores in with the Queen. They are feeding her and cleaning cells.

    Michael: This is a twist on what you do and I am doing it on the Dinning room table and the wife is enjoying it.
    She insist she will NOT work the hives though.

    I have 14 hives here at the house so I don't think taking these few bees will hurt any of them.

    Now we wait and see what happens next?
    I have to get one of my son's to show me how to do pictures?
    Zone 6b 1400'

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    2,357

    Default Re: A Queen and 1 worker

    so you trapped 500 old forragers ?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    2,195

    Default Re: A Queen and 1 worker

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoot Owl Lane Bees View Post
    Oldtimer
    There was no brood in the hive.
    Then how did it go from 1 worker to 7 workers once you brought it in the house?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    289

    Default Re: A Queen and 1 worker

    I think they were in the exit pipe or under the feeder jar?
    When the hive warmed up is when we saw the others.

    Old foragers are better than no bee's.
    The Queen was checking cells last night and she is being fed by these old ladies.

    Remember I am just doing this to see what happens?
    Zone 6b 1400'

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