Missing queen
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Thread: Missing queen

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Monkton, MD
    Posts
    64

    Default Missing queen

    I have an observation hive with 2 deep frames and very few bees. About three days ago, the hive was seriously jarred and the bees were not happy. Now I can't find the unmarked queen. She is not dead on the bottom or in the tube, and the bees don't seem queen less, but I can't find the queen or any eggs.

    My questions:

    1. Would the queen just fly away on her own for any reason? The hive is in bad shape with beetles and some DWV.

    2. Will the bees try to make a queen cell at this time of year given the cold and lack of drones?

    3. If she isn't gone, could she just decide to stop laying and hide in a corner somewhere for days?

    4. Are queens even available at this time of year anyway?

    Thanks.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Yuba County, California, USA
    Posts
    6,264

    Default Re: Missing queen

    You "have an observation hive with 2 deep frames and very few bees"...
    And "the hive is in bad shape with beetles and some DWV."

    I'm sorry to say this Ohive does not sound like it's in good enough shape to worry over. I definitely would not try to find a queen for it, but one might be had from Hawaii, if anywhere.

    #1 I doubt the queen will fly away on her own.
    #2 The hive may be in such bad shape that they don't attempt to make a queen.
    #3, If she is there she's hiding. She'll be small and skinny from not being in laying condition.
    #4 The only place I can think of to get a queen might be Hawaii.
    or...
    #5 She may have gotten damaged when hive was bumped and disposed of.

    For a hive to get in such bad shape as this one sounds like it is in, usually dies out. Is this a surprise to hear?

    I am not there seeing what you see. If you think it has enough bees to pull out of it's troubles, the only suggestions I can think of are to put in an apivar strip for mite treatment, and replace the queen if you can find one, and make sure it has stores of pollen and nectar or feed it. It may be a long shot that works, or it may not. You have to decide from what you see there.
    I'm not always the brightest Beek in the box, so I carry a flash light for my occasional dim moments.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Monkton, MD
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Missing queen

    I know it is a bad situation. I was trying to save a dying nuc that didn't build up this year by taking inside in an OV. Apparently the mite treatments didn't work, because once in the OV, the mites and DWV were very obvious and ugly. So I tried to treat with OAV, and tons of mites rained down. I thought they might pull through when I saw the queen laying again, but then the hive was knocked over...

    Anyway, the fact that I never saw the queen dead just made me wonder where she went. She couldn't shrink down overnight. No bees got squashed because the brace comb kept things stable, and thank goodness the I use plexi instead of glass. Did she fly away solo?

    Regardless, I don't want to put the remaining bees in a hive now given how diseased they are, and throwing a new queen in would be a waste of a queen, even if I could get on this time of year. Just trying to see if anyone had any ideas. Thanks for your reply.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Yuba County, California, USA
    Posts
    6,264

    Default Re: Missing queen

    Maybe she flew off with a small amount of bees? I don't know for sure, but I have a hard time imagining a queen flying off by herself, but it could happen I suppose. Maybe she flew back to where the outdoor nuc she came from used to be? Who can say for sure... I can not.

    One year many moons ago I found a queen by herself on the ground, about 10 feet away from the hive stands. I had no idea where she came from and found it very odd that she was all by herself. I tried to save her and get bees to stay with her but none would stay and she didn't make it when I tried to join her into a small nuc.

    I do know that queens do leave the hive sometimes, especially new queens, freshly mated. I've seen it myself. For me, it was when moving a freshly mated and laying queen nuc to the side and putting a mating nuc with cell where she had been. She ended up moving back to the nuc with queen cell and the cell got destroyed. Odd huh? I figured she must have went on another mating flight and went back to the nuc beside her own, as that's where she originally came from.

    I've seen queens end up in odd places over the years. What happened to yours? I doubt it will ever be known for sure. I'm sorry to hear of your problems with this one, I hope your other hives do well into spring.
    Last edited by RayMarler; 11-27-2017 at 03:09 PM. Reason: spelling
    I'm not always the brightest Beek in the box, so I carry a flash light for my occasional dim moments.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Athens, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    209

    Default Re: Missing queen

    Sorry to say but I think you should freeze the entire thing right now before it becomes a mite bomb for your other colonies.

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