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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can a queenless colony raise a fertile queen with no drones present? (original queen dies in winter).

The real question is if the colony raises a queen with no drones available, will she mate when they become available?

Say the queen dies on day 1. There are fresh eggs available to raise a queen.
Day 25 queen emerges and takes her maiden flight - no drones.
Day 27 queen begins laying unfertilized eggs (Drones)
Day 51 Drones begin hatching
Day 53 Queen mates with her own drones, now available
Day 54 Queen begins laying workers (fertilized dggs)
Day 75 workers emerge
Day 97 newer workers now begin foraging.

Winter lifespan of a worker bee can bee up to 140 days, so with stores available, can they raise a queen and her lay her own drones to mate with? Is this why evolution may have favored laying workers?

(hope for a colony that loses their queen during winter)
 

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Absolutes with living things are hard to pin down - most of the time the answer to your question would be no. Generally there is a small window, when the queen is a certain age, where she ventures forth to find mates and mate. If she doesn't find suitable mates, she will not regress back to the age when she will search for mates. Once that age passes, it is gone for good.

If it happens otherwise for you, let us know, please.
 

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If this happened in someones hive, would the bee's be satisfied with this sterile queen? IE- laying workers don't start.

It might buy someone a little time to locate a fertile queen.
 

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If the hive is worth saving it's worth spending 20 bucks on a good queen. 30 Days this time of year for a queen to develop and mate would very likey mean a failed hive later since much of your population with your temps this winter mean overwintered and aging bees.
 

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I would just requeen,or combine with another.I see your in fla so that being said there will be available drones for mating near you.if you have another put in frame of eggs and brood that would the cheaper way.but you will lose about 3 weeks till they start to lay.
Don
 

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A queen prefers to mate with drones from a different hive. (prevents inbreeding) Just because there are no drones in a hive doesn't mean there aren't other drones available locally that a virgin queen can mate with.
 

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As Don (fat/beeman) has said, you are in Florida. Like our climate here, you may likely have drones available to do their duty. You would just need to have the resources necessary for your bees to raise themselves a queen.
 

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Can a queenless colony raise a fertile queen with no drones present? (original queen dies in winter).


The colony does not raise a fertile queen, it raises a virgin queen that get matted outside with drones from other colonies (hopefully).
There is a short window of time for the virgin queen to get matted (2-3 weeks), and if she misses that window she will be a drone layer.

Inbreeding, through artificial insemination of drone layer queen (that was prevented from matting) with the semen of her own drones, was achieved in advanced queen breading in order to speed up the purity of the line.
In nature I think that does not happen because there is no need for it.



Gilman
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think my hives are okay. With all the recent talk of the overwintering losses from members here, I was wondering if a strong hive could raise a queen if they lost one during the winter even if they had to wait for drones. I would think they would like to keep some around, just for that contengincy.
 

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Here in the great white north I have drones flying right now. Weather they are ready willing to mate I don't know. So if there is a bit of warmth they will fly from other hives and quite possibly mate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I just finished inspecting my weaker hive this afternoon. Not a whole lot of bees, but hopefully enough as they are rearing brood. Found the queen and also saw a nice active drone. I did not see eggs, but did see some larva, probably 4 or 5 days old and some capped brood.

Temps are around 55 degrees.
 

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Are oranges blooming down there yet?
I bet the eucalyptus is, ours has started here. Our oranges have buds.
You're bees should start booming soon.

Make sure you have the entrance of the week one reduced until it gets more population.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am in Northern Florida. Our citrus is not yet blooming and we have very little eucalyptus. The citrus around here should start blooming within hte next month. I changed the entrance on the weak hive to an upper entrance, which should reduce the robbing. Plus it is reduced to about 1 inch.

The stronger hive has actually added about 2 frames worth of bees over winter. They are doing well. Mites knocked the weak one back, but they hopefully are recovering after treatment. Looked okay, just short of bees. Plenty of stores and some stored pollen to boot. I plan on adding pollen patties this weak to stimulate more brood building.
 

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Can a queenless colony raise a fertile queen with no drones present? (original queen dies in winter).

The real question is if the colony raises a queen with no drones available, will she mate when they become available?

Say the queen dies on day 1. There are fresh eggs available to raise a queen.
Day 25 queen emerges and takes her maiden flight - no drones.
Day 27 queen begins laying unfertilized eggs (Drones)
Day 51 Drones begin hatching
Day 53 Queen mates with her own drones, now available
Day 54 Queen begins laying workers (fertilized dggs)
Day 75 workers emerge
Day 97 newer workers now begin foraging.

Winter lifespan of a worker bee can bee up to 140 days, so with stores available, can they raise a queen and her lay her own drones to mate with? Is this why evolution may have favored laying workers?

(hope for a colony that loses their queen during winter)
That would never happen
The queen, emerging from here cell on the 16th day after it was layed doesnt fly right away. typically a queen will make her first flight around day four after emergence but it is weather dependant too.
She has about a 2-3 week period where she could make several flights to get mated with 8-12 drones or so.
The real flaw though is that once a queen becomes a drone layer she will always be a drone layer and that colony is cosidered hoplessly queenless and will die with out intervention from the beekeeper. to fix a colony like that just simply remove the drone laying queen and introduce a new queen.

Something I have done was carry a hive over from early spring by giving it a frame of brood at intervals from stronger colonies. I pinch the queen out and let them rear a new queen but it was still to early for her to get mated and that was all right and i pinched her out later as well and cull cells as i seen them on the brood frames. At the begining of april i gave them 2 frames of brood and a good frame of eggs and they reared a good queen that eventually was successfully mated. I might add that the only reason I did do this was that the colony had a large population because, as you can imagine, this was a lot of work and time. I don't think i'd ever do that again. Most colonies i find now wether they are big or small and are drone layers, i just pinch her out and distribute the bees to hives that could use the extra boost of bees.
 
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