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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have 2 of my hives that are queenless and as far as i can tell disease free. I have 2 deeps on each hive with each of 10 frames capped with honey. I have one super on each hive and no drawn comb. What can I do with the total of 40 frames of honey as it will not be used for the small remaining bee population. I would harvest it but I fed sugar water in the early part of the year at least to the lower box. An option I have not considered would deb to add a new queen to each hive and would appreciate your thoughts on this possibility.
Thanks
 

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You have many options, but I would take most of the honey and store it either by placing in a freezer or isolating it in a hive box with a solid top and bottom, or a very fine mesh window screen , best to store in a dry place inside a garage or shed, it can later be fed back to the bees as they need it. I would then place a laying queen in the two hives, and boost their population with brood or nurse bees from other hives if possible, or you could combine the two. JMO
 

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What kind of bees do you have? Carni's and Russians are known to back off of laying toward the end of the season and even earlier if there is a dearth. Are you certain they don't have queens? With both hives full of honey, and many beeks reporting that queens have stopped laying, I wouldn't be too quick to declare them queenless. Harvest a full deep from both, and replace with empties and see if anything changes. If in fact they are queenless, I would certainly get new laying queens in them, since they have proven to be quite successful colonies.

There has been many, including myself, that have lost several queens during the past few years, and have struggled to get new queens created from remaining stock and mated late in the year. Mated queens are also harder to come by late in the year. So your situation, isn't necessarily uncommon. For this reason, my brother and I have began making queens and have resolved to always have some spare's on hand. So we now keep nuc's on hand to be able to react more quickly to missing queens, with less impact to the strong colonies. I've noticed that Michael Bush and others are doing similar practices. Check on his web site, as I believe that he goes into some pretty good detail on this practice, to ensure sustainable operations. I'd be surprised if he doesn't comment for you directly here.

Good luck!
 

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1. No capped brood left? How was the pattern last inspections? How many bees are left?
Do you have any empty brood frames that has had one brood cycle in it? Got pictures of the brood nest?

I would do as stan said.

>I would harvest it but I fed sugar water in the early part of the year at least to the lower box.
They most likely used all the sugar to build up and what’s left is honey.

If you’re going to store frames then freeze all for 24 hour first.

Depending on how many bees are left the SHB will be taking over any time now, so act quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am going to disassemble each hive and go frame by frame to ascertain if there is a queen but I doubt it. From experience I can observe the activity of each hive and determine if there is a problem....... but only from a more careful inspection can I determine if I have a queen. Soon we will enter a slower time of the year for nectar and I may try and combine these hives with a new queen and add some frames of brood but I do not want to disrupt my other hives at this time as they re still very active.
 

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If you have two smaller queenless colonies that haven't started having laying workers yet, I would combine the two and add a new mated queen. Store the extra frames you have for future hives. Feed the new combined hive as much as they will take until the first frost or they build back up to a double deep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ThanksI want to be certain I understand. I have atonal of 4 deeps (2 hives). I can take one deep from one hive and combine with another deep from the other hive and use a mated queen. I then will take the 2 remaining deeps that have capped honey on each frame and properly store them and feed this honey back next year. My question is since both of the boxes on the new hives are packed with capped honey where will there be room for brood or should I remove a few frames and include frames with foundation only?
Thanks
I will also feed the new hive
If you have two smaller queenless colonies that haven't started having laying workers yet, I would combine the two and add a new mated queen. Store the extra frames you have for future hives. Feed the new combined hive as much as they will take until the first frost or they build back up to a double deep.
 

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It really depends on how many bees you have? The way you described it I was thinking of combing both hives down into a single deep. Then you would have three extra deeps to store. If you still have close to 10frames of bees in each hive I would just take off one box from each hive to consolidate it and requeen both hives. Then you would only have two boxes to store.

I would only put enough capped honey in each hive that the bees in that box can cover, so yes if they can't completely cover all ten frames add frames of foundation to make up the difference and feed. Feeding a hive and having frames of capped honey is not quite the same thing. By feeding you will stimulate the queen to lay more eggs and raise more brood. Which is what you need at this point. You can add the capped honey back later as the colony starts to grow. You are still over 21days away from having any new bees if you added new queens today.

Depending on how many bees you have to work with try and get both hives or just one requeened. Then start feeding, slowly add more room back to the hive as needed. I would keep them just a little more crowded this time of year so don't give them too much room too soon. You shouldn't have to worry about swarming this time of year like you would in the spring. I hope this helps I know I rambled some.
 
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