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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think I have lost the queen in a hive. It is a first year hive from a package. They built three deeps with a lot of honey. Should I wait until the last of the season and extract the honey? Will they find another home? I have 7 other hives. They do not have time to raise a new queen. Any other ideas? Thanks
 

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If the hive doesn't have a queen, buy a mated queen from a queen supplier and introduce her. She should start laying fairly quickly.

Good luck, Richard
 

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If you can't find a queen to buy join the queenless colony with one of your queenright colonies.
 

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It's just now August, you don't think they'll raise another queen? In arkansas I wouldn't even worry about it yet, thinking they would easily raise one just in time for fall.
 

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You seem a bit over-anxious. First, do a thorough exam of all your brood nest. If you find eggs it doesn't matter if you see the queen. Queenless bees give the queenless sign. They fan their wings and hoist their tails in the air. You may have seen it when you set a frame out of the hive for 5-10 minutes. It just means that the "queen" pheramone has disipated. You shouldn't see it within the hive if she is there.
If there are no eggs or uncapped larva, take a frame with eggs in it from another hive. They will start a supersedure queen cell if they are queenless. If you want a "bought" queen go ahead and order one. She may arrive before the "raised" queen hatches. Tear it down and introduce the new queen.
 

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It's just now August, you don't think they'll raise another queen? In arkansas I wouldn't even worry about it yet, thinking they would easily raise one just in time for fall.
Proving once again that all beekeeping is local. I'm going to take a wild guess here and think that you won't be having sub-freezing temperatures in September, before any of the brood emerges from your new queen's first eggs.

Wisconsin is sort of comparable to the climate here in Maine and it is too late for letting a colony raise its own queen. Time has run out.

Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I thought they kicked all of the drones out of the hive soon. That is why I figured I could not just add some eggs. I thought by the time the queen was ready to go there might not be any drones for fertilization.
 

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I'm curious what you are seeing that's leading you to believe the colony is queenless. And a few questions ... How long do you think they have been queenless? Any signs of queen cells - old or new? Is there any brood at all - larvae, capped cells? What is the colony worker population like right now?
 

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As has been posted already, make sure that you can't find any brood in differient stages, or eggs. Make sure that you are queenless. She could have just shut down because of a dearth.
If you find out that you are without a Queen, tear out all queen cells, There shouldn't be any if she hasn't layed in a while as they will only make queens out of new eggs. I think 3 day old eggs are the oldest they can or will use. Order you a mated queen and put her in. You probably will not have time to let them raise one and let her hatch, be mated, and start laying.
 

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Any question about queenlessness can be answered with a frame of eggs form another hive. That way you don't panic and wipe out a queen who is either a virgin who isn't laying yet or a good bred queen who is shut down for a dearth. If they start queen cells you'll know they are queenless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm curious what you are seeing that's leading you to believe the colony is queenless. And a few questions ... How long do you think they have been queenless? Any signs of queen cells - old or new? Is there any brood at all - larvae, capped cells? What is the colony worker population like right now?
Here is what I know about the hive so far. This is one of four hives I started this year from a 2 pound package on drawn comb only on the lower deep. This is one of the three of these hives that became became queen less at some point this summer. I added a frame of eggs for three weeks to each hive and that seemed to do the trick in all hives but this one. This hive I am not sure if the new queen took. I know you can not tell if you have a queen by looking outside the hive at the activity. But the activity does not seem to be "normal" Not much activity, hotter than normal hive, very little pollen being brought in, and the bees do not seem to be moving with much intent in or out. I am going to open the hive today and see what I find. I just wanted to prepare for the worse. All my other hives are doing fine.
I have not had much luck with buying queens and introducing them into my hives. The ONE queen I bought last year to right a hive lived for 3 weeks and for some reason they killed her and made another. That is why my general approach has been to let them make their own so they will be happy with her. Along that thinking in case I do not have a queen I just wanted to know what plan B was. I was afraid it was too late in the season to add a frame and raise a queen and have drones around late enough to fertilize her.
 

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Sounds like you did everything right earlier this summer. It could be that this queen never made it back from a mating flight.

If there are no signs of brood at all you should insert another frame with eggs right away, as you did earlier this summer. Check again in a few days and if they are building queen cells then order a mated queen immediately. You're out of time for them to raise another queen. Make sure all the queen cells are cut out before introducing a new queen.

I'll be curious to hear what you find in today's inspection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sounds like you did everything right earlier this summer. It could be that this queen never made it back from a mating flight.

If there are no signs of brood at all you should insert another frame with eggs right away, as you did earlier this summer. Check again in a few days and if they are building queen cells then order a mated queen immediately. You're out of time for them to raise another queen. Make sure all the queen cells are cut out before introducing a new queen.

I'll be curious to hear what you find in today's inspection.
Say I find eggs then everything is great and I close the hive. If I find no eggs it is too late to raise a queen? If I take a chance and introduce a queen that is taking a chance. How long does it take to get one ordered? I thought you could only get them in the spring? I am probably incorrect. Say I take the chance and lose then they eat all the honey and they will not make it through the winter anyway. I do not think have extracted enough honey this year to make it through the winter. Last year was my first year and I did not extract at all because I wanted them to have it.
With the extra honey I would be guaranteed to make it through the winter. I might have some extra to sell. I am posting to learn so thank for the help. I am going to check in a few hours.
 

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You've ad some good advice so far. Without opening the hive I don't know how you could know for sure what you have going on in there. You should be able to order a mated queen and get her in a couple days. Someone on here will know who has some available for sure. Maybe I'm misunderstanding something but it sounds like your way too worried about getting honey to extract.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well just broke it down. It was kind of a pain because I am running three deeps. I found lots of eggs in the second frame over in the bottom deep so I closed it up to lessen the chance of killing the queen. I observed the hive all morning on this bright sunny day. All morning the hive looked good from the outside. Bringing in lots of pollen and very deliberately coming in and out of the hive. I usually check it after work when they are not flying much. After work the other hives seemed more normal which is why I was worried. This hive gets less sun than my other 7 hives. I love learning about these little critters. Thanks for the help anyway now I have some ideas in case I lose the queen late. Thanks.
 
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