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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Dayton, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Will a hive survive this far into winter without a queen?

    This is my first year. I got a late start with a 5 frame nuc that I picked up the first of June. I have had a heck of a time keeping queens alive this year. I would get about 1 round of brood and then the queen would disappear. Let them raise one themselves and requeened with one about august. I put them up for the winter with a candy board on 10/16. I saw a few eggs at this time but could not find the queen. Anyway, I am wondering how can I tell if I'm going to have a queen this spring? Will the hive make it this long into winter without a queen? I did check on a warm day in December and the center 4 frames 2 boxes deep were covered with bees and about half of the candy board was still there. I did not check the bottom deep. I have a deep with 2 mediums on it btw. Today I can hear them when I knock on the hive.

    I know I can't do anything now, but I'm worried that this last queen won't make it and I'm not sure what I will need to do this spring if that is the case. Thanks for any advice for a worried new father

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,532

    Default Re: Will a hive survive this far into winter without a queen?

    IF you indeed are queenless in the spring, order one and install it properly. No sweat.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Will a hive survive this far into winter without a queen?

    You can't really tell if you will have a queen come spring, for that matter you can't tell if you will have live bees.
    You are correct in that there is not much you can do right now. Don't go looking for brood or the queen, or do any pulling of the combs out.
    You can check for honey stores by weighing/lifting if you know where you started. If not, on a nice day above 50 and no wind you can open the top and look in. If they are light on stores feed Mtn Camp style (sugar) to keep them from starving.

    If on 10/15 you saw eggs and the hive is still alive today, you can say you had a laying queen, and a good guess is she is still there. If they are without a queen the hive sounds pissed off (roaring).

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