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Thread: Queenless hives

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    758

    Default Queenless hives

    Have 3 hives from cutouts that were done last week. All three of these had very few new larva during the cut out and the brood cluster was very reduced compared to my only hive. Well to make a long story short either they were recently queenless or I missed the queen or she has completely stopped laying.

    One hive has 9+ queen cells, one has 3 or 4 and the last I didn't see any (which is the biggest). Drones numbers are really low, we had an early frost, golden rod has less than about 10% blooming (mostly mowed stuff that is really short trying to make seed before it is too cold), and we are appearing to be in a cooler cycle than normal for early winter.

    I have one other hive with a laying queen (cut out that produced their own queen) and they are really gentle. Should buy a queen or two (or 3) or let these queen cells ride to see if they make queens.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Rupert, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Queenless hives

    Can you find queens to buy? I suppose someone down around the gulf might have some. Without decent numbers of drones, I wouldn't be very optimistic about the cells, but if that were my only option, I'd certainly give them a chance.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Honey Hive Farms, Winfield Missouri
    Posts
    357

    Default Re: Queenless hives

    If you have the option and the queens do not work out, combined the hive with another one, just a backup option, maybe your best option.. hard to say without seeing it.
    Honey Hive Farms "Saving the world one bee at a time"
    www.HoneyHiveFarms.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    758

    Default Re: Queenless hives

    Thanks for the ideas, will keep the combine in mind if I cannot get enough queens.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Orange, Texas
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Queenless hives

    Pat, I am a 1st year keeper in Orange. Yesterday I saw quite a lot of drones making flights from my hives. Please update us on whether the queen cells hatch and get mated or not. I am very interested in your out come.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    758

    Default Re: Queenless hives

    Ronnie - Will do that. Thinking about making several 2 frame splits to see if I can raise several of these queens. I wish I had lots of drones here by my hives, maybe they are in the area.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Sarasota, fl
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Queenless hives

    I would make the two or 3 frame nucs up and spread the cells between them. I have good luck mating queen cells every month except January in Florida. If they don't get mated, combine in 20 days and they will be fine. Then try again in February. Remember at your queens fly away and mate with other drones, not the drones I your hive.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    758

    Default Re: Queenless hives

    I might just get lucky. We have 5 to 6 days starting Sunday that are supposed to be in low 70s and my queens cells should have emerged, one today or yesterday and one last Sunday. While that might not be enough time to get her well mated, it might get me a laying queen to keep the hive going until February.

    Tried a cell punch attempt on the 3rd queenless hive. Those should be 10 days old on Sunday. I will check success rate then. Had one day of warm weather when I did that. Pulled my larvae from my one good hive. Tried making just 3 cells.

    Maybe I will get lucky

    Ronnie - I keep ya'll posted.

    Of course this is following the hard freeze warning for tonight. Must confuse the heck out of those bees.
    Last edited by marshmasterpat; 11-27-2013 at 09:33 AM. Reason: Freese warning

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Orange, Texas
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Queenless hives

    Good luck Pat !

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    758

    Default Re: Queenless hives

    Got off a little early from work and made it home before dark and the chill. It was about 68 degrees so I threw on the hood and took a look.

    My hive that made all the queen cells originally, I think it raised a drone layer or I have a worker layer. Was looking at it and said WOW there are capped brood, then I realized the brood are pop corn looking and there are quite a few drones in there. Brood are all scattered out. Not much in the ways of stores left either. And it had quite a bit of honey, but about 3/4 of the frames are empty. I was worried about not having any frames in the spring for expansion. Well I might just let this one go it's course to die out and I will have about 10 empty or partly empty frames in the spring to put on the other hives.

    The hive that I moved a few queen cells to, it has some small patches of brood that don't look to be drone brood, and I saw (WAHOO) eggs for the first time in my hives today. Single egg per cell but clustered in areas the size of a credit card. Guess I got a poorly breed queen, but that is better than not having one.

    The largest hive that I tried to add cell punch method to, well it is still well stocked with bees, they have lots of honey and they are stacking in the pollen. I don't know where it is coming from but darn that thing is about filled with pollen and honey. Have several frames that are about 1/2 pollen. Plus they are making comb???? They have a few older brood still that I added from my one good hive and they are all about hatched out. I am off on Thursday and will look really closely for eggs or a queen. Thinking I will do a combine with my one good hive with this one.

    Well my cell punch attempt didn't work really well but the experience makes me want to try again. Come on March.
    Started 9/13, building slowly, now @ 7 Lang hives + 5 nucs, and treatment style not decided yet

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    758

    Default Re: Queenless hives

    RonnieS - One of my queen cells from November apparently was successful. She apparently mated around the end of December but just started laying significant numbers of eggs the last week. There were apparently eggs earlier I am assuming, but I had placed a frame of brood in soon after she mated and just figured I had miss counted the date until the brood were supposed to hatch.

    However, I saw her yesterday. So while I wouldn't suggest that mid November mating attempts would be a great idea or even planned idea, it apparently can be successful due to the number of drones we have near the coast.

    Just an FYI.
    Started 9/13, building slowly, now @ 7 Lang hives + 5 nucs, and treatment style not decided yet

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