Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Homerville, Ohio
    Posts
    62

    Default Queen less topbar

    Looking for some advice, I have several topbar hives and one of them, a rather strong one has gone queenless. First discovered about 10 days ago but waited to be sure it wasn't just a fall slow down. I'd like to combine into a smaller hive that has a good queen, a daughter of the one that's gone missing. Good stores in both hives. Any advice on how to proceed would be great. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    hinesville ga usa
    Posts
    395

    Default Re: Queen less topbar

    Short answer, do a news paper combine. I have TBH supers that have no bottom, you may have to rig up something else. Or if you have enough room to put the combs from both hives into one, you could spray both hives down with light sugar water that has vanilla flavoring or mint flavoring in it to cover the scent of the queen, I just did that on one of my Langs today, worked good.
    Look for the lost queen and her eggs one last time, she may be there and has shut down her egg laying, it's that time of year.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Chicagoland, IL, USA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Queen less topbar

    Do you have Les Crowder's book? He's got a great diagram on how to do a newspaper combine.
    Essentially, you put both hives in the same 'box' with a sheet of newspaper between the two. Leave both hives intact - just move the physical bars from the weaker hive into the back of the stronger hive. (move each frame in the same order as the old hive).
    Then in a week, check to see if the bees have cut through the newspaper and are inter-mingling.
    If so, you can determine which hive parts go where. The honey stores should be with honey stores, the brood with brood, etc. The bees will sort it out from there.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Madisonville,TN
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: Queen less topbar

    Do you have an extra queen cage around? And would you feel comfortable catching the queen and putting her in the cage? If the answers are yes, then catch the queen, cage her, and hang her from a top bar into the main cluster. Make sure the bees can cover her to keep her warm at night. Then simply add the other bars from the queenless hive, bees and all. They will not fight I promise. The queenless bees will be glad to have a queen. After a couple of days release the queen, by that time the new bees will be used to her. I did this method twice this year and it worked great.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,178

    Default Re: Queen less topbar

    If it is a strong hive I would leave it until spring then requeen it. I had a TBH last year that went through winter with an utterly useless queen that would not lay much at all. they made it to spring and the new queen managed to build a population that filled the entire hive with comb and honey. I will take whatever honey they have next spring at the first sign they are foraging.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Queen less topbar

    Can you pull a bar of eggs/young brood from one of your other TBH? Give that to the queenless hive and if there are still drones about (a big if I know) then let the raise a new one...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    hinesville ga usa
    Posts
    395

    Default Re: Queen less topbar

    I don't see where it would hurt anything to put in a bar containing eggs. Keep us posted on it's progress.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Queen less topbar

    Another thing you could try (has better success) is to graft in a queen cell or two. The way to get those in a hurry is to grab your queen out of the other hive, and a frame of workers (brood bar but not one with eggs!) put them in a swarm trap for a day or three (no longer) and then re-introduce them, at the same time harvest the queen cells the colony will have made and graft into the laying worker hive.

    I did queen removal trick last fall to requeen a TBH that had gone laying worker, and just moved the whole bar as I was unsure on how to graft the cell over, this past month I did it again to another hive (I just stole some cells from a pre-swarm split), in both cases the virgins and returned mated queens were accepted.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads