Drone laying queen
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Newnan, Ga. USA
    Posts
    21

    Default Drone laying queen

    Need some help. I have two hives that are both about two months old, purchased as nucs. One hive was super strong and the queen had a beautiful laying pattern, the other was doing good but not great. Last week I checked both and the strong have was still ok but had suddenly slowed way down in their progress. The hive still seemed happy but it had several, maybe five or six, new queen cells in it but very little if any other brood. I left the cells and added a box to try to give them a little more room. That left them with a brood box that had a little honey, lots of pollen and very little brood if any.

    The second box had the queen cells, some pollen and lots of honey and a new shallow honey super. Never found the queen or eggs though. Was a little concerned for it so I left the cells.

    The other weaker hive had no brood that I could see at all but plenty of pollen and honey. They were hot last week, boiling out of the brood box when I came to it. No stings, but they were really nervous. Interestingly enough theyonlyreally got that way after I took the honey filled box off. Anyways, I gave them one of the queen cells from the other hive and left.

    Checked both this week after about 10 days. The "stronger hive" has no brood still and was not happy. All the queen cells were open which leads me to believe I just need to wait on that one. BUT, the weaker hive now has either a laying worker or the queen is firing blanks. They weren't happy again and have twos frames of spotty drone brood. Both hives have plenty of bees and still seem like their actively making honey.

    What do I do? Neither hive seems to have any usable brood. It's like I lost both queens at once. Do I buy a queen for the weaker hive and shake the frames off into the grass. Or do I wait for the "stronger" hive to hopefully make a queen and use her eggs to give new brood to the weaker hive too. Or do I buy a new queen for each hive. Do I even have time to wait and see?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    10,025

    Default Re: Drone laying queen

    You need a mated queen or two. The worker population will diminish rapidly this time of year.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    [email protected]

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Cary, NC USA
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Drone laying queen

    Don't buy queens unless you are certain there are no queens in the hives. If you place a purchased queen in a hive that already has a queen, even a virgin or drone layer, the bees will almost certainly kill the newly introduced queen. Are your brood chambers back filled, ie is there a lot of honey and pollen in the middle of the frames that should have brood in them? If so, it can be helpful to open up the brood chamber by inserting empty, preferably drawn comb, in the center frame locations.
    Matt
    I really wish I hadn't picked NUBE as my username. Seemed appropriate at the time.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    adair county, kentucky, usa
    Posts
    461

    Default Re: Drone laying queen

    Nube is right. There are a lot of beekeepers including myself that have wasted a lot of money trying to add a queen to a hive that already has one. Before you go buying a queen make absolutely sure you are queenless.

    When you checked your one hive with the queen cells were any of them opened with a hole in the end only or were all of them ripped down from the side?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    5,400

    Default Re: Drone laying queen

    do You possibly have a source for frames of brood, often when you have a laying worker, and you discover it early enough. adding a couple frames of brood of varying age will get her to stop. as well as bolster the work force. this will give you time for the virgin queen to start laying. if it causes the laying worker to cease. I would Immediately add a caged bred queen. and check the reaction of the bees. if all seems normal leave her in the hive caged.
    Add some brood, and Take a wait and see on the hive you suspect has a virgin.

    That is how I would deal with the situation for now!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Newnan, Ga. USA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Drone laying queen

    The one that I put in the weaker hive was opened at the bottom. The "stronger" hive seemed to have a mix. A couple ripped and a couple open at the bottom this week. Seemed like there weren't as many as last week.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Newnan, Ga. USA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Drone laying queen

    Unfortunately I only have the two hives and neither seems to have any good brood right now. The one that I suspect has a laying worker did have larva.

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