Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! New here and 1st time beekeeper this spring. It appears I have emergency cells in my hive and no sign of queen or larvae. I'm going to let the bees do their thing and hatch another queen, but I'm wondering if I should bother the hive at all for several weeks while they are trying to reestablish a queen? Or should I continue to check it weekly? I read all the bee books initially but it seems some of these things with bees are just a mystery:)
TIA!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
If you are not planning on making more than one hive out of that one, I would not go back in the hive for 21 days or so... Were the emergency cells capped?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No, I'm not splitting the hive. It is a new package that is just over a month old. The few frames I got to had larvae but were not yet capped. I stopped after a few frames because they were acting defensive. So I decided to close it up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,943 Posts
They'll get testy when they have queen cells going. Some people think supercedure cells don't produce good queens. I've found that not to be so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,064 Posts
You may want to go back in and check to make sure that you didn't end up with laying workers as well. Visually check the frames and make sure you don't see more then one egg / larva in a cell. If you do, you may want to give them a frame from another hive with some eggs in it. I had a package with the same symptoms as yours and ended up with laying workers. Had to shake out the hive and start a new one from scratch with brood frames from other hives (my choice, not the only way to fix laying workers). If your hive is ok in that department, the emergency queen cell should produce a good queen for you. There are some queen breeders out there that use only that method to obtain queens, and some that use that method combined with the swarm affect to make their queens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,208 Posts
When one shakes out a hive with a laying why does the laying worker not fly back with the others?
How far should goe from the affected hive when the frames have the bees shaken off them?
Do you then give them eggs and larvae the same day or wI a bit?
In essence are you getting back most of the bees except the laying worker?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,064 Posts
WBVC - Laying workers are a pain. But I seen and replied to your post on them too. To answer a few questions for you here too.

All the bees in the hive are NOT oriented to that hive location. This is why shaking the hive out keeps the laying workers from returning in theory.

How far away. I did mine in front of other hives. And there's a reason for that too which i will get to in a moment.

When I had to deal with my hive, what I did was made up a nuc with lots of brood and bees and OPEN brood (KEY Component). I removed my laying worker hive from the stand, then placed the NUC in it's place. Walked away with the laying worker hive a short 50 feet. Then one frame at a time shook the bees off the frames which I put back into the hives that donated to the NUC in the beginning.

What you get back in the NUC is mainly the foragers which you NEED. ONLY the bees that have oriented to that hive will return to it.

Now for why laying workers happen. People have thought in the past that it was the queen that kept laying workers from happening. NOT So it would seem. Laying workers are kept at bay by the other workers in a hive. What keeps workers from developing the functional ovaries is simply OPEN Brood pharamones. This is another reason most hives produce small amounts of brood through the winters, other then to keep the population up. Look on Michael Bush's website for way more detail than i gave.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,943 Posts
Supercedure is a common occurrence with package bees. Too many drone cells are a sign of a laying worker. She didn't describe too much drone brood. May have rolled the queen a common occurrence if someone is new to handling a frame full of bees. Don't shake them out not a good idea. Check first to see if there is larvae in the queen cells ,probably are. If there's larvae in them let them hatch out.Don't bump,jar or shake the frame or frames with queen cells on them. Once the queen cells are capped leave them alone for 3 weeks. Bull ants, hornets and wasp are thriving this year. Bull ants will target the queen! If you have seen any around your hives there's a good possibility one had visited your queen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,486 Posts
I usually check around the 1 week mark after I observed capped queencells just to make sure something hatched and maybe identify a virgin queen is present, then I close it up for about two weeks until I check for laying. If you cannot find a queen or eggs/larva by then, it's time to worry.
 

·
Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
54,171 Posts
>Too many drone cells are a sign of a laying worker.

You won't have "too many" drone cells with a laying worker. You will have "nothing but" drone cells with a laying worker. Granted that is "too many", but it is a more specific symptom...
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top