Queenless in september
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    NYC/Westchester NY
    Posts
    2

    Default Queenless in september

    Hey folks, in my second year as a returning bee keeper and I have a stubborn hive I need some advice on.

    One of my stronger hives going into mid summer, looks to have swarmed in late July and then failed at Re-Queening itself.

    July inspections showed hatched Queen cells but no new eggs/brood. Waited until early August,still no evidence of a laying Queen - added some frames of Egg/Brood, bees did not try to raise any queens at that time. Waited another week, still no signs of laying - ordered and installed a mated queen 3rd week of Aug.

    Bees seemed receptive to the mated Queen, uneventful candy release. Yesterday on first inspection since checking for release I find almost a dozen emergency queen cells and some small scattered patches of brood, and no sign of the new mated queen. Wondering if they let her lay a bit then killed her ?

    This is a big, well stocked hive with a large # of bees still, but I am thinking of cutting my losses and and breaking it down for resources for some of my other colonies. This particular hive is in an urban area with 2 others right on Long Island Sound ( usually a much later first frost ), so not the best candidate for shaking out the bees and letting them head to the other hives.

    Playing With the idea of putting together a 5/5 nuc with the bees, queen cells, and some ( smaller amount of ) resources. 1 of my other hives still has some capped drone brood and there is usually a good goldenrod/Aster flow well into Oct, so there is a slight chance they could recover for the winter.

    I'd hate to have to shake them out into a bucket of soapy water, but I'd rather not have so many resources tied up in a hive that's most likely going to be queen less going into the winter. Considered a newspaper combine, but worried they'll hassle one of my good queens.

    Anyhow, any thoughts or advice would be welcome

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,908

    Default Re: Queenless in september

    Welcome to Beesource. Since you stated your options included soapy water, I would go ahead and split the cells and bees up into nucs and see what you get. Recombine any that fail to get a mated queen. You may be able to get a round of brood out of them before the new queen shuts down. What do you have to lose?

    I added Long Island Sound to your profile so others will know where you are located.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,849

    Default Re: Queenless in september

    From the time frame I would be suspect about the viability of the apparent queen cells. Is the scattered capped brood drones? I am thinking onset of laying worker and cells may be started on their unfertilized eggs. Such cells are often somewhat longer than viable queen cells.

    JWP's advice would be worth a go if they are indeed from eggs laid by the introduced and now missing queen.
    Frank

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,908

    Default Re: Queenless in september

    Frank, you bring up a very good point. I was assuming they made e cells from eggs laid by the new queen. Small patches of brood could also very easily be laying worker. As soon as those cells are capped we will have an answer. So banjer, if the surrounding brood turns out to be drones in worker cells, the e cells you see will not produce queens. If they are capped as normal worker brood, you are probably ok. All the cells will be capped before you need to move the frames and e cells for the potential nucs. Good luck. Late season splits are possible, they just need a little more care to get them through our milder winters.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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