Too late to re-queen?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Mercer, NJ, USA
    Posts
    88

    Default Too late to re-queen?

    I found a hive today without any brood (and stage).
    The population was was decent, so I took a frame with eggs from another hive. I also gave the hive a frame that had both sides full of capped brood (to give them a population boost in a few days).

    Driving home I did the math in my head and now think that the hive won't have time to make another queen and get up to strength for winter.

    I'm in NJ and it feels like fall already and trees are turning.
    Was this a futile act on my part? Should I undo what I did and move the assets (honey/nectar frames and drawn frames) to another hive?
    Is there another option?

    The only thing I can think of is that I squished the queen by accident last time I was in the hive, 25 days ago, and they were unsuccessful in making a new queen.

    Thanks
    Moe
    "Half a bee, philosophically, must ipso facto, half not be." -- Monty Python

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Tallapoosa, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    616

    Default Re: Too late to re-queen?

    25 days ago is close for them to have finished making a queen. Bee math is 28 days +-5. How did they act? You may have a virgin queen running around.

    Give them another week and combine if no queen...
    Working to propagate my survivors and staying treatment free USDA Zone 7b

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Mercer, NJ, USA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Too late to re-queen?

    Good point about the virgin queen. I didn't think about that.
    As soon as I opened the hive I saw drones. I even commented out loud about the drones, even though I was alone. I tend to talk to my bees while I work them.
    "Half a bee, philosophically, must ipso facto, half not be." -- Monty Python

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    1,694

    Default Re: Too late to re-queen?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoeC View Post
    I found a hive today without any brood (and stage).
    The population was was decent, so I took a frame with eggs from another hive. I also gave the hive a frame that had both sides full of capped brood (to give them a population boost in a few days).

    Driving home I did the math in my head and now think that the hive won't have time to make another queen and get up to strength for winter.

    I'm in NJ and it feels like fall already and trees are turning.
    Was this a futile act on my part? Should I undo what I did and move the assets (honey/nectar frames and drawn frames) to another hive?
    Is there another option?

    The only thing I can think of is that I squished the queen by accident last time I was in the hive, 25 days ago, and they were unsuccessful in making a new queen.

    Thanks
    Moe
    At this time of year bees often brood down. Be absolutely sure you don't have a queen before you try adding one. The young brood is probably a good bet still. The storm is cooling things down but even in Jersey we should have some good weather yet. Check for drones and drone brood. If the bees make a queen, she needs to get bred.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Bergen County, NJ
    Posts
    904

    Default Re: Too late to re-queen?

    Give them a frame (or two) of OPEN brood including some fresh eggs. Do this immediately. Mark that frame. Then check back after a week.

    Couple of different things could have happened.

    1. You will see a queen cell on the marked frame - they dont have queen and they are making one now
    2. You will NOT see a queen cell on the marked frame, but will see eggs on other frames with cells being polished - You have young mated queen
    3. No eggs anywhere, no empty polished cells and your marked frame is almost capped - Give them another marked frame of fresh eggs and open brood.

    If #3, check back again a week later. If you still end up with #3, combine.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Gilbert, Az
    Posts
    154

    Default Re: Too late to re-queen?

    Why not just purchase a mated queen?

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Bergen County, NJ
    Posts
    904

    Default Re: Too late to re-queen?

    Quote Originally Posted by gruntworker View Post
    Why not just purchase a mated queen?
    a) If OP already got a queen thats about to lay, why waste money ?
    b) Too many people introduce a purchased queen, without first being sure of queen-less, then lose the good queen they paid money for.
    c) Lot of queen producers in the area are done for the season. In fact, I know someone who is looking for a queen but cannot find one local.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Too late to re-queen?

    Check for cells from the brood you just put in. If cells are pulled you were queenless. If you want to see if she gets mated. You can combine later if not. That far north it is probably iffy on a good mating. Worth a shot.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: Too late to re-queen?

    It is too late now to get a decent mating flight for the new virgin. All hives should be in the
    winter prep mode by now. So if it is queen less now I would either buy them a mated queen or do a
    combine. If you wait any longer this hive will turn into a LWs after a month. Don't like to deal with LWs either.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

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