Queenles Hive!?
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Thread: Queenles Hive!?

  1. #1

    Default Queenles Hive!?

    I am fairly certain my one hive is queenless and that's its been that way for a few weeks... (put details below if interested). This is a new hive that was started April 9th this year. I have since moved a frame of eggs, larvae and capped brood from my other hive in hopes they create a new queen. I will be checking in the next couple days to see if they started queen cells. I promise an update regardless of outcome!

    Windsor, California in case it matters (nor cal)



    DO YOU THINK I DID THE RIGHT THING? ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD BE DOING?

    Story as to why I believe it's been about 3 weeks
    I had done an inspection around July 14th (maybe slightly before) and I didn't see any queen cells and I also found eggs/larvae, so I know there was a queen in the last 3ish weeks at least. However, Two weeks ago, the hive swarmed into the closest tree next to it. (I have an extra set up, so I captured the swarm and moved them to their new spot. They have already started laying on their established comb - for a tiny swarm, they're quick!). I did an inspection a couple days later on the mentioned queenless hive later that afternoon, and I did find multiple empty queen cells. I still found capped brood during this inspection, however I did not find any eggs or larvae. When I opened my hive on Friday, I didn't find any eggs, larvae or even capped brood... which leads me to believe I've been queenless for at least 20+ days.

    Thanks in advance for any input/advice.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,110

    Default Re: Queenles Hive!?

    No eggs or brood means the queen stopped laying 20 days ago in preparation for swarming. Swarmed two weeks ago means the virgin queen had most likely just been capped and has only been emerged for maybe 6 days. Just now getting ready for mating flights. I would give it another two weeks before hitting the panic button. If you moved a frame of eggs and young larvae in on friday and don't see queen cells started already, you probably have a queen. Whether or not she makes it back from mating is another story.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Queenles Hive!?

    Thanks for the response.

    I read it was hard for even experienced beekeepers to find a virgin queen, so I didn't put too much time into looking for her, but more of looking for the signs of eggs/larva.

    For clarification - The brood frame was added Saturday.

    So between now and Monday/Tuesday (when I check to see if queen cells are developing), anything else I should do beside practice patience?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,110

    Default Re: Queenles Hive!?

    Not really anything to do but wait. Maybe read a good book? I think you will be fine. If no qcs started on that one frame you pull, button it up and put a "do not disturb" sign on it for the next two weeks. If there a cells started, it is up to you and your climate as to whether not to purchase a mated queen or wait another month for eggs.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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