Being proactive on queenless hive that is loaded with honey (SHB worries)
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    East-Central Flroida
    Posts
    76

    Default Being proactive on queenless hive that is loaded with honey (SHB worries)

    I was doing a split on 3/30/2019 and my biggest hive needed some heavy handed work (frames were bridged) due to my ignorance on managing hives during Florida "winter". I tried to minimize loss of life when scraping the frames, but it is likely that I injured or killed the queen during the cleanup. I started to notice that my supers were not building up honey on this hive, but actually less and less each day. The bee population is still strong, but was noticeably less. Worried about what was going on I did a full frame by frame inspection and I found a hatched supercedure cell and zero capped brood or eggs. As a result, the double brood box is probably 30% capped and 50% uncapped honey (they moved the super honey down).

    I'm hoping that a queen will come back any moment now. If she doesn't and population starts to shrink more, then SHB will take over in a hurry. I have a brand new mated queen in the split from 3/30, but I don't want introduce her into a hive where a queen might be on her way back.

    My current plan is to wait until this weekend and inspect the hive again. If I don't find eggs or a queen by then, I'm considering adding that newly mated queen. Thoughts?


    Thanks as always!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bunker Hill, IL
    Posts
    891

    Default Re: Being proactive on queenless hive that is loaded with honey (SHB worries)

    how many other hives do you have?

    I would just spread the frames out between 3-4 other hives. you can always rob them back for your "split" if you need them. Or round up 10 frames of capped honey and fire up the 2 frame extractor and take some early spring honey (which always taste different than summer honey)

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    East-Central Flroida
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Being proactive on queenless hive that is loaded with honey (SHB worries)

    Quote Originally Posted by schmism View Post
    how many other hives do you have?

    I would just spread the frames out between 3-4 other hives. you can always rob them back for your "split" if you need them. Or round up 10 frames of capped honey and fire up the 2 frame extractor and take some early spring honey (which always taste different than summer honey)
    I have 3 other double deep hives and one fresh split. I am really focusing on expanding my apiary over honey production. So I would definitely prefer to see if a queen makes it back. It's just a fine line to walk, its incredible how fast SHB can take over down here. Nearly all of my failed splits are a result of absconding due to SHB stress (even with beetle traps in it from day one).

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Ocala, Florida, USA
    Posts
    622

    Default Re: Being proactive on queenless hive that is loaded with honey (SHB worries)

    This weekend is to early to expect a mated queen to be back if you did indeed kill your queen on 3/30. Usually at least 28 days but sometimes a little faster. But sometimes a little longer also.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    East-Central Flroida
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Being proactive on queenless hive that is loaded with honey (SHB worries)

    Quote Originally Posted by Barhopper View Post
    This weekend is to early to expect a mated queen to be back if you did indeed kill your queen on 3/30. Usually at least 28 days but sometimes a little faster. But sometimes a little longer also.
    Hmmm, the split I thought I did on 3/30 just got its mated queen back a day or so ago. I'm starting to wonder if I did the split on 3/23 at this point... I should really start writing these things down.

    Closing on a home, 1.5 year old son, school, and work. I somehow think I am going to remember this stuff lol.

    Thanks for the timing check.

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