Queen Not Laying Coming Out of Winter - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    May 2011
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    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    5,484

    Default Re: Queen Not Laying Coming Out of Winter

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    Actually, unless I'm mistaken it is brood pheromones that suppress the development of worker ovarian development.
    I thought I had seen discussion that it was the laying state of the queen that prevented LW development but I have often seen it attributed to the lack of the distinctive pheremones of young brood (that which is at least part of swarm preps.)

    In Saltybees #20 post the broodless winter period seems to throw possible shade on some premises. Strange that this is not something more often discussed! We know the results of LW's but dont have a clear answer about the cause (or combinations of causes) necessary to initiate it. Apparently there is always some laying workers in a colony. Enough perhaps to keep the story alive that workers can move eggs!

    It is often said that LWs usually takes three weeks or more after last brood has hatched before it shows up. I have only had a few first hand experiences with it, so take that for what it is worth.
    Frank

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    Default Re: Queen Not Laying Coming Out of Winter

    A bit more at 5.1.1.1.5 but not what I was remembering. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK200983/

    Does not really cover adding brood to queenless hive unless the action is from a developing Queen. That would not be my first thought.
    It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.

  4. #23

    Default Re: Queen Not Laying Coming Out of Winter

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    I thought I had seen discussion that it was the laying state of the queen that prevented LW development but I have often seen it attributed to the lack of the distinctive pheremones of young brood (that which is at least part of swarm preps.).
    I have little doubt that our...or at least my understanding of the process is incomplete. Any number of things may well enter in.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Crown Point, NY, USA
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    678

    Default Re: Queen Not Laying Coming Out of Winter

    Without brood all the bees you are looking at are soon to die as they are old bees, thus the dwindling. Whats going to be left in 21 days even if a queen started laying today? Enough bees to care for the brood? I'd pinch her, put my attention on the strong hives.

  6. #25
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    May 2011
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    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    5,484

    Default Re: Queen Not Laying Coming Out of Winter

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    I have little doubt that our...or at least my understanding of the process is incomplete. Any number of things may well enter in.
    I had a look at some of the content in that link of Saltybee https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK200983/

    What a humbling piece of work. Many different pheremones, different conditions and responses depending on age group and experience. Seems like more than a single mortal could absorb in a lifetime.
    Frank

  7. #26
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    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    Default Re: Queen Not Laying Coming Out of Winter

    more than a single mortal could absorb in a lifetime.
    more than this one will.
    It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Williamsport, PA
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    565

    Default Re: Queen Not Laying Coming Out of Winter

    Just a quick half update on the non-laying queen...that hive seems to be bringing in pollen. Small amounts as they have a reduced workforce but still something. I am hoping it is a good sign but won't know anything until tomrrow after work or Thursday when I can actually get in an check. I will post a full update then.

    I'm hoping FiveJ nailed it with the bear attack and I can use this one as a nurse bee donor in my mini's once grafting season gets started. Pictures coming soon.

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    Default Re: Queen Not Laying Coming Out of Winter

    Steve, I happened to be looking at my journal today and 1 week after my bear attack, there were no eggs or young larvae. In two weeks I saw small patches of 10-12 larvae on outer edges of most frames in the broodnest. A month later, it was more or less normal, but no doubt both hives were set back. I am thinking that even if the queen was not injured, she may slow or shut down due to the lack of nurse bees that may have been lost in the attack. I had some capped brood survive, so maybe after they started hatching, she started laying again. Just a guess. One hive made a supercedure cell which I kept an eye on, but they eventually tore it down. J

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    lamar county, al
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    3

    Default Re: Queen Not Laying Coming Out of Winter

    Over the past years, I have had a couple of hives that were like Steve described. I believe that if the hive does not enough bees to cover and keep brood warm, the queen stops laying and the cluster keeps getting smaller till dead out. I have put capped brood with plenty of nurse bees from other hives to kick start the weak one and within a couple of weeks the non laying queen was back to normal. Also I always fed sugar water and protein patty.

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Albany NY
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    272

    Default

    Steve, how many other colonies do you have? I would not bother with this one. Count it as a loss unless she pulls through. How big is the cluster? If she really has not laid this year all those workers are on their last legs and not worth stringing along. All your resources, including time, will be better allocated to others and leaving them strong will yield more splits later than propping up a dink now....
    Grandpa, I disagree. I have had observation hives that dwindle to not viable but still try to rest brood. I have a swarm I caught last October that I gave 2 or 3 comb to, fed, and added a box of honey to from a dead out over the winter. I went through them last week to find about 2 medium frames of bees with about 2/3 frame brood and 6 frames honey (from dead out). They won't get any more attention until swarm season when I will need their reasources. Either they get shaken out so I can use comb or they get split so new queens can use brood.
    About 10% come out with queen problems. I've never had lw in spring. Only lw I've had are in splits that didn't get a queen mated in time and I was too busy to check them in time. Solution: shake them out and move on. Its a small colony anyway. Box gets used elsewhere.... Total loss: 15 minutes of time to make up a split and them shake it out; a couple frames of brood resource and a queen cell. Value of overwintered nuc next spring $250? (Of course a successful split takes more than 15 minutes by next spring but I try not to give much time to the splits in the beginning as there are too many variables out of my control --eg dragon flies and weather-- before it becomes viable. If I have queen cells I check the splits and correct any issues before lws. If I don't have any queen cells I let them go longer before first inspection so I can see brood pattern and make sure she's not a drone layer.)
    I am interested to hear how it goes for you and the bear attack pause situation. I don't know why she would stop laying for a bit and then resume but would love to hear. I'll try to check bear attacks more frequently 😞
    Happy beekeeping everyone!

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Williamsport, PA
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    565

    Default Re: Queen Not Laying Coming Out of Winter

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve in PA View Post
    Just a quick half update on the non-laying queen...that hive seems to be bringing in pollen. Small amounts as they have a reduced workforce but still something. I am hoping it is a good sign but won't know anything until tomrrow after work or Thursday when I can actually get in an check. I will post a full update then.

    I'm hoping FiveJ nailed it with the bear attack and I can use this one as a nurse bee donor in my mini's once grafting season gets started. Pictures coming soon.
    Life and weather got in the way. Wow, 2 days of extreme wind!

    I would like to check them tomorrow but with it being Easter I don't know if it will happen. Haven't forgotten to post an update, just don't have an update yet.

  13. #32
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    Jan 2015
    Location
    Williamsport, PA
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    565

    Default Re: Queen Not Laying Coming Out of Winter

    Just finished checking my hives. She is laying again. So, besides being ~2 weeks behind everything else looks good. I will assume it was the bear attack that shut her down.

    Thanks for the input.

  14. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    2,495

    Default Re: Queen Not Laying Coming Out of Winter

    That's good news. Keep an eye out for supercedure. You may want to allow it to happen, or decide to re-queen. J

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Williamsport, PA
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    565

    Default Re: Queen Not Laying Coming Out of Winter

    Final update on this situation. I checked on this hive last night. They are currently in a 5-over-5 double nuc setup. She has 3 of the frame in the bottom box laid solid with capped brood. I am going to use this hive as a starter/builder for grafting Sunday.

    I can say with most certainty that the bear incident is what set her back. Thanks for that insight Fivej

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