Found queen on ground, thrown out of the hive
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Oslo Norway
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    Default Found queen on ground, thrown out of the hive

    Hi, I was visiting my bee-yard today and found my dear queen elizabeth on the ground, thrown out of her hive. No wonder really(?) as the broodnest is the size of a tennisball. Although the bee population in this hive is medium strong. She did not look that good and her movement were slow so i tried to put her into her hive again but the bees did not like that so i put her in a push-in cage(?) with candy as a stopper and placed it next to the small broodsnest.

    When i inspected this hive yesterday i found an open and empty queen-cell which i removed. So I think there is a virgin in the hive but Its getting really late for mating flights and the hive needs brood fast.

    My hope is that queen elizabeth gets to stay a week or so more so that she can contribute with her (meager) egg-laying until the new queen gets mated (if that happens). There are not that many drones left in my hives but the weather forecasts show summer temperatures at least a week from now which is really uncommon here, so maybe?

    What would you guys have done? As i see it i have several options, some of which may seem stupid to you experienced guys.

    1. I can combine this hive with another hive making sure to kill the virgin.

    2. I can combine with a strong hive with queen excluder in between making a two queen hive so that the virgin gets a chance to lay enough for the winter(if she gets mated) and then split the hive into two again.

    3. I can buy a new mated queen and introduce her to the hive tomorrow, making sure i kill the virgin and queen elizabeth.

    4. I can buy a new mated queen and imtroduce her to the hive without killing elizabeth and the virgin making it a two queen hive.

    5. I can wait it out and see if the virgin get mated and starts to lay.

    I dont have any experience with two queen hives and as most of you know Im a newbie. Its getting really late in the season also as most of the commercial beekeepers around here like to get feeding done by first of october and brood-break is expected by middle of december. I would like to keep all my hives for next year (got 6).... But i can see that this starts to look unlikely...

    Any good advice?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Joliet, il
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    1,875

    Default Re: Found queen on ground, thrown out of the hive

    If it were me I would put the virgin queen in a nuc with a few frames from that hive to see if she can mate successfully. Then get a mated queen in the hive ASAP. If the virgin mates, well you got a nuc going if she doesn't then recombine those frames into the hive. Try and Keep Elizabeth alive till one or both attempts are successfully done. This is my second year but that us what I'd try. If you don't want a nuc then just requeen time is against you.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Keene, NH, USA
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    254

    Default Re: Found queen on ground, thrown out of the hive

    You do not have time to create a nuc at this late date and tho' I live in New Hampshire, not Norway, I imagine your hives are like mine and have a decreasing drone population, reducing the chance your virgin will be well mated. As for requeening the hive, you are doing so when queens are getting ready to shut down. Even assuming your queen wants to keep going, you can do the math. If you put the queen in tomorrow and it takes approx 3 days for her to be released, your first bees will not start hatching until around 6 October. The 2nd round will start around 27 October. The 3rd (big maybe) around 17 November. Personally, I expect my hives to be broodless sometime between then and early December when I do my OAV treatments. This also assumes you have sufficient pollen and honey stores for them to raise brood plus keep the hive alive until spring.

    Rather than taking a chance and buying a queen now, I think I would follow the old adage, "take your losses in the fall". I would find and kill the virgin and paper combine the hive with another queen right hive. Assuming they make it through winter, you then have the options of letting it build up or splitting it and adding a mated queen (or letting them raise their own) and starting fresh. Best of luck.
    11 yrs, TF 6 yrs, moved to OAV in 2014, MAQS 2016. 6 hives and 5 nucs Zone 4B
    www.nhbees.wordpress.com

  5. #4
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    Jul 2008
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    Aberdeen, Idaho
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    Default Re: Found queen on ground, thrown out of the hive

    I agree with Eyeshooter.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Oslo Norway
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    Default Re: Found queen on ground, thrown out of the hive

    Thanks for replies:-) The hive has started to bring in large ammount of pollen, as they usually do when queenless, and i feed sugar. Feeding pollen patty is also an option so they got alot of stores. Also, there will be good weather and high day-temperature a while longer... But as you point out eyeshooter, first brood to emerge in october? Thats late, and to make it worse, i dont know how many nursing bees there are in this hive now as the broodnest is so small.

    This is why i thought it might be smart to try and combine with another hive and let both queens lay..

    Is it an option to wait it out a little? I dont know when the virgin emerged so if i am lucky they might rear at least some brood before i combine it with another hive. Maybe they will tolerate queen elizabeth for a while longer.. Or should I just do this at once?

  7. #6
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    Jun 2008
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    Yuba County, California, USA
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    Default Re: Found queen on ground, thrown out of the hive

    I have a question for you.
    Why did you try to force the hive to take back a queen that they kicked out, and did not like it when you tried to put her back in? We are not bees, so we will never know all the reasons why they do some of the things they do, but trying to force hives to do something they don't want to do is not usually very successful. I can't say just what you should do now, you do have an option or two, but I know if it was me, I would have pinched queen Elizabeth instead of trying to force her to be accepted back into the hive she was kicked out of.

    Maybe I'm totally wrong in my thinking and off base here, but those are my thoughts at this time. I wish you the best outcome with whatever you choose to do.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Default Re: Found queen on ground, thrown out of the hive

    RayMarler: thats an easy question to answer. I was quite baffled to see the queen on the ground and I was afraid I dropped her the day before when I did a semi-inspection and fed this hive. Then I thought of the small chance this hive had to survive the winter without a laying queen in fall and the small broodnest it already had. I then hoped I could coax them to accept her again as I know that a virgin and her mother often occupy the same hive. I did not find the virgin but they had not started to make new queen cells.

    In essence - I did not know what to do so I did what I at the time thought would do the least damage. In afterthought see that you are right and I do agree with you totaly.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Found queen on ground, thrown out of the hive

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    I have a question for you.
    Why did you try to force the hive to take back a queen that they kicked out, and did not like it when you tried to put her back in? .
    People are tied up emotionally with their bees.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Found queen on ground, thrown out of the hive

    Ray speaks well.
    I will add that I would combine weak hives with stronger hives sooner rather than later this fall as per Eyeshooter.
    The way I see it there is no other choice.

    and this: Long cold winters are a good time to study up on the ways of the bees to better manage them.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Found queen on ground, thrown out of the hive

    Build Queen Elizabeth a coffin and give her a proper burial.

    Find someone willing to sell you three frames of emerging brood and a mated queen, combine them with your colony.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Found queen on ground, thrown out of the hive

    Quote Originally Posted by jwcarlson View Post
    Build Queen Elizabeth a coffin and give her a proper burial.

    Find someone willing to sell you three frames of emerging brood and a mated queen, combine them with your colony.
    Seems highly unlikely in the middle of September in Norway.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Found queen on ground, thrown out of the hive

    Quote Originally Posted by clyderoad View Post
    Seems highly unlikely in the middle of September in Norway.
    Nah, I could whip up a queen coffin in minutes.

    The rest of it, I agree... highly unlikely... which is why I wrote it... basically that he needs an entirely new colony. Sometimes you just don't win with the bees. Sometimes you do. The hope lies fully with the deposed Queen Elizabeth's recovery.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Found queen on ground, thrown out of the hive

    I can manage to get a mated queen but no one will sell brood now.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Found queen on ground, thrown out of the hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Pondulinus View Post
    I can manage to get a mated queen but no one will sell brood now.
    You've got six colonies now. Pare it down to five and call it a season. There's no point in throwing good money, queens, and brood into a lost cause. Not in mid-September.

  16. #15
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Found queen on ground, thrown out of the hive

    Out of hundreds of queens, I only named one.

    Fang.

    DSC08814.JPG
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Found queen on ground, thrown out of the hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Pondulinus View Post
    RayMarler: thats an easy question to answer. I was quite baffled to see the queen on the ground and I was afraid I dropped her the day before when I did a semi-inspection and fed this hive. Then I thought of the small chance this hive had to survive the winter without a laying queen in fall and the small broodnest it already had. I then hoped I could coax them to accept her again as I know that a virgin and her mother often occupy the same hive. I did not find the virgin but they had not started to make new queen cells.
    I'm sorry I sounded so harsh, especially since back when I was a newbee myself, I did the very same thing as you. I'd found a queen all by herself on the ground, and tried to put her back in the hive. They rejected her and made a queen of their own. So, I do understand exactly, or close to exactly, what you are going through. One tip the bees give us is that if she's alone, then they don't want her. If she has a small group of bees clustered around her then they still want her and it may be possible to re-introduce her.

    I agree with others here, not all hives make it no matter what we do. Pinch her highness and the princess and join them with another hive that could use added resources. This is not the time of year in your area to be trying to save a problem hive. Spend your energy on getting the rest of your hives in top shape for the winter that is almost here, don't waste time and resources on a dink or problem hive, especially not just as winter is about to arrive.

  18. #17
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    Jun 2015
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    Default Re: Found queen on ground, thrown out of the hive

    Thaks alot guys, this helps alot. I will inspect my hives on friday or saturday and combine this hive with my weakest hive. Hopefully, all my hives will survive the winter. I want to start grafting next spring so maybe I will get a few splits out of the hives I've got and still be able to produce a little honey. I also look forward to the day i can keep a few queens in nucs/queen castles to remedy situations like this.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Found queen on ground, thrown out of the hive

    Lauri: hehe, nice. Everyone likes an early riser :-)

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Oslo Norway
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    Default Re: Found queen on ground, thrown out of the hive

    Hi, my boss and co-owner of the beeyard (my father) decided that there would be no combining as we need six hives to get sugar-tax refund.. Arguing would make the situation tense so Im now trying to save the hive. The hive has quite alot of bees - I would consider it medium in strength but i would think most of the bees are old. My dad has also filled the hive with sugar syrup so the new queen does not have much room to lay (one frame with eggs/larvae).
    What i have done is to remove three syrup filled frames and provided three empty, drawn frames containing some pollen. I also gave a few litres of syrup to simulate flow.The queen has been laying for about one week i think, maybe a little less. Weather is good - summer temp still(!?) - really uncommon.

    So, if anyone got a suggestion I would appreciate it. Need to keep the queen laying as long as possible.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Found queen on ground, thrown out of the hive

    With the needed number of hives, you've done great so far. It sounds like you have the situation going along nicely. You may need to put a sugar brick on top for over winter, if needed, if they don't get enough stores in place for your winter.

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