New Queen, NO brood, plenty of honey and pollen
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Greenville, SC, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default New Queen, NO brood, plenty of honey and pollen

    This may be a little long (I apologize for that) but wanted to supply as many details as possible.
    5/5/18: received 2 package bees (SC and FL colonies) SC is thriving but FL is struggling
    6/12/18: located the FL queen but no brood was detected, productive, pollen and honey noted. Called bee supplier. She recommended requeening the colony.
    6/14/18: killed the old queen and put in the new queen on 6/15 along with 2 frames of brood from a friend.
    6/19: removed the queen cage (I'd never used the plastic cages but...) bees were congregated on the empty cage. The colony was a little aggressive - would seek you out anywhere in the yard and follow you around.
    6/29: Very little brood on this inspection (may be left over from the frames given to us from another hive) - mostly drone cells / most of inner frames were drawn. nothing on the outer 3 or 4 frames. I started researching queenless and laying workers
    7/2: few in numbers but they were active and have become less aggressive, not going through as much sugar water as SC but could be because of fewer numbers?
    7/8: Immediately located the queen on the top of one of the frames of FL colony, plenty of honey capped and uncapped but absolutely NO brood.
    We picked up a nuc (GA colony) from a friend yesterday and he sent a few extra frames of brood to go into the FL colony but we couldn't locate that queen and decided not to transfer the brood frames until we located her.
    Do we have an unmated queen, slow starter? I'm not sure what's going on with this colony. Any suggestions, advice, help is greatly appreciated. I have many photos and video if any is helpful.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Geauga, Ohio
    Posts
    470

    Default Re: New Queen, NO brood, plenty of honey and pollen

    Timing thoughts here...
    Are you absolutely sure than the new queen survived the introduction? If so, she should have started laying on like 6/21. If not, I wonder if the new frames of brood were the source for a new queen instead. Bees can move eggs to a queen cell on another frame, and they can tear queen cells down pretty quickly after the queen has emerged. If you did have a new queen started by the brood frames from your friend, then from 6/14-6/28 she was developing, and by 7/10 or so she should be laying. This may explain why there is a visible queen but no brood.

    Couple thoughts.... first, I have found that when a queen is ready to start laying, but before she starts, the bees will start removing nectar from the brood nest and move it upwards. Are you seeing most brood cells fully of nectar (it's clear)? But if this is a dearth, then this might not be something you can observe.

    second, is there pollen coming in? Or are they being fed a pollen patty, if not? And are you still feeding? Workers won't feed the queen if there aren't enough resources, and then she won't lay. ;/.

    Also, if the queen should have started laying on 6/21, and no capped brood by now - then she's a dud. Like I suggested tho, she may have been killed and a queen cell drawn up from the frames of brood. If there is no way that happened, like if capped brood was provided, then you can either get another queen OR combine this hive with your others.

    If there is a chance this queen is actually from the frames of brood, then she should be laying by now, and it is time to think about plan b. But she will start in a smallish patch and you can miss it.

    Either way, INSERT A FRAME OF OPEN BROOD NOW!!!! this will prevent laying workers from developing.

    Good luck! Update us!

    If there is NO WAY the queen

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Massac County, Illinois
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: New Queen, NO brood, plenty of honey and pollen

    Sounds like a honey bound situation to me. During heavy nectar flow bees will fill up the broodnest and the queen has no cells to lay eggs. Without beekeeper intervention, the hive will be lost. Pull some frames of capped honey and nectar and replace with open drawn comb or fresh foundation. This will provide the queen space for eggs.

    If the queen cannot be located, purchase a replacement.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Greenville, SC, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: New Queen, NO brood, plenty of honey and pollen

    Update:
    7/18: There were several frames of partially capped and open honey. No brood in the hive. We are sure we are queen less. No sign of the queen and no evidence of laying. She was the 2nd queen we tried. We added 2 frames of brood from a stronger hive.
    7/21: We checked the hive and found an open queen cell on the brood frame we inserted. Husband saw larvae in the queen cell. No comb has been pulled in the medium box and had 3 empty frames in the deep brood box.
    We plan to open the hive and checked to see if the cell is capped Wednesday morning. We also plan to add another frame of brood from a different hive when we check.
    Question: according to a "queen calendar" mentioned in another post - if all goes well, she should hatch around 7/30 and have her mating flight in early August.
    Are we too late in the season for the hive to catch up for winter?
    Should we add a the excluder? Is it too late to find a mated queen if this doesn't work? We are in upstate South Carolina.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    789

    Default Re: New Queen, NO brood, plenty of honey and pollen

    I would not add the excluder. At this point I would not count on getting any honey from this hive this year, and be prepared to feed them in the fall to get their weight up. I am not sure if it is to late for the hive to catch up in your area.

    Are you still seeing drones and drone cells in your other hives? If not you may have trouble getting a new queen to mate.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Greenville, SC, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: New Queen, NO brood, plenty of honey and pollen

    Thank you for replying. We will hold off on the excluder. If we can get enough honey for this hive to make it through the winter, I will be more than happy. Our bees come way before my honey addiction .
    We have seen drones on frames in all 3 hives so I'm hoping one of them will help out our (hopefully) new queen.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Greenville, SC, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: New Queen, NO brood, plenty of honey and pollen

    I went into the hive today and found several capped queen cells (I think). I had to go in without my husband so my daughter was doing the camera work. He is more the "expert" than I am. I'm the camera "expert". The weather wasn't great so I didn't spend a lot of time in there and didn't go into the other hive to get extra brood. We did, however, notice that there are more bees so the brood we put in earlier has been hatching.
    I have a couple questions about what we did see on the frames today. There seems to be something white (larvae from laying worker? moved larvae?) near the bottom with the queen cells. Any thoughts on this?
    On frame 6 we found 1 capped cell and on frame 7 we found 3-4 capped cells near the bottom and possibly a couple more in the center of the frame?. I'm attaching photos.
    The close up is of frame 7. The other is frame 6. I believe there is one at the bottom of that frame.
    VideoCapture_20180725-173247.jpgVideoCapture_20180725-163203.jpg
    20180725_161548.jpg

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