Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have 2 hives. Both are from nucs from different people. One is doing well.

The other is not ! The first queen died, from accidental injury I think. I replaced her and now the queen has died and I see spotty brood like there must be drones in the comb. No other brood. Pollen has been seen and some watery nectar. There are virually no bees leaving the hive foraging, though when I look inside, the bees are pretty much just standing there since there is no girl brood to take care of. Everyone has lsot their function.

I did notice some queen cells on the bototms of the foundation. here are my questions:

1) Do I assume that there will be a queen that will come out of the queen cell ? What if the queen thta was in there never laid eggs and dies first...could the bees have put a drone in the queen cell ?

2) Should I go buy another queen ?

3) Is this hive going to die out first ?

4) Should I bee feeding them since they are not foraging ?

Please REPLY ASAP.

I don't have ready access to a mentor. You are my mentor :)

Nancy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
It is always good to feed bees, especially in the heat of summer.
Easy access to food in dead of Summer is good. As to what to do mostly I let the bees take care of themselves, sometimes less action is more effective, a weak hive will get stronger of die out then begin again.

I am sending this to calm you down a bit and trust the bees: also I know how frustrating it is when no one replies. in a few days you will have lots of responses.

I hope this helps.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,000 Posts
It is always good to feed bees, especially in the heat of summer.
To be more specific, it's a safe practice to feed new colonies (nucs), no matter what time of year it is. With this practice, we assume you do not have honey supers on. Here in the midwest, I don't find it necessary to feed new colonies, unless I'm trying to get a honey crop off the hive the same year. Location, location, location.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
447 Posts
Sorry to hear about your luck!! I try to give you a few pieces of novice advise.

Before I try to give you an answer let me ask a few questions

When you say queen cells do you mean fully formed and capped queen cells, not queen cups?

It sounds like you have started down the road to having what is called a "laying worker", it can be a real pain to deal with. If all you see is drone brood, then I'd say that is what it is.

A friend of mine is dealing with it right now. A swarm, that lost its queen, was hived 4 weeks ago, they made a fully capped queen cell that did not produce a queen. It is not too bad at this point, only a few scattered eggs and drone brood, not several eggs in one cell all over the place.

My solution to this problem was to build a shim with two layers of screen and its own 3" entrance, then place the queenless hive above the queenright hive and let it perk for several weeks.

Hopefully the brood and queen pheromones will suppress the laying worker, and she will go back to normal. Then we can combine the hive. I got this advice from this site using the search button, search for "laying worker" there are other methods to solve this problem. Take a look at MB's website (bushfarms.com) for more info and possible solutions.

To answer your questions:

1) Do I assume that there will be a queen that will come out of the queen cell ? What if the queen that was in there never laid eggs and dies first...could the bees have put a drone in the queen cell ?


No, I would not, I would treat it as a laying worker hive. If a queen emerges above the screen, gets bred and get the hive queen right, then great. If not then you are ahead of the curve.


2) Should I go buy another queen ?


That would likely be a waste of money, time, and effort at this point, not to mention a good queen.


3) Is this hive going to die out first ?


It may not die out, but it may need to be combined with another this late in the season and split next spring.


4) Should I bee feeding them since they are not foraging ?


If they have a reasonable amount of stores, maybe. It can't hurt, and will help them draw out comb. It depends on your nectar flow right now.


Hope this helps and the search for "laying workers" get your ball rolling!!

RKR

I am going to make a better double screened shim today, the first one was made on the fly. I'll try to post a picture or two of it later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,239 Posts
1.there will be a queen if they had access to a new egg to put in the queen cell. they wont move a drone in there.
2.depends on the state of this hive. how many frames of bees do you have?2-3 frames,time is of the essence before they fall below criticl mass. if thats the case a purchased, laying, queen would be best. hard to find sometimes,though.
3.see answer #2. if you have 5-6 frames of bees, put a frame of newly laid eggs in from the other hive and let them raise a queen.
4.yes
good luck,mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow, thanks so far !

There is a capped queen cell, but who knows what's in there ?

I do have 5 foundations of bees to take some brood from another hive to put in theer anbd let them raise a queen.

Is that going to suppress the worker that is laying eggs ?

Nancy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
447 Posts
I do have 5 foundations of bees to take some brood from another hive to put in there and let them raise a queen.

Is that going to suppress the worker that is laying eggs ?

Nancy
Nancy, I may have misread your original post. Are the cells with drone brood open or closed? Are their any other eggs to be seen?

If they are closed, and there are no eggs, then my laying worker theory is not correct, and not in play yet. It's just the last of the drones that have not emerged, they take longer as you know. Disregard that advise for now, if this is the case!!

:scratch:I wondered what I was missing from the other posters advice.:scratch:

Yes, trading an drawn frame with open cells (no, bees), for a frame of fresh open brood/eggs will help suppress a laying worker if done every 7 days or so and it will give them some eggs/young brood to raise a queen from. You must be mindfull not to draw to much away from the hive that is doing well, or you might end up with two messes!!

Bee-have may be absolutely correct on this one. You should see an open cell where the queen emerged in 7-9 days, if it is going to happen. Nothing "bad" is likely going to happen in that time period.

To have her up and laying from an egg can take up to 28 days or more. Hopefully one of your queen cells will emerge in the next week, get bred the next week and be laying up a storm by the 20th of July!!

Sorry if I confused the issue.

RKR

WillH, I am going to go up to the shop and build another one directly. I'll post a picture later and describe how I build it. Probable in the hardware section, but I will make note on this thread when its done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The queen cell is located hanging off the bottom of a foundation. Sealed over, shaped large enough for a queen to be in there. Shaped like a long fez (the hat). Any more characteristics ?

Nancy
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,016 Posts
Am I mistaken - If there are capped queen cells you don't have laying workers?
If they accept a queen you do not have laying workers?

If you have a capped queen cell there is a queen in there (alive or dead I do not know).

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
447 Posts
Am I mistaken - If there are capped queen cells you don't have laying workers?
If they accept a queen you do not have laying workers?
Yes, you are mostly correct in your statements; but not for the sake of a queen or queen cell.

Sorry for the confusion I caused!!

Laying worker are caused by not having open brood for a long period of time. No brood is generally caused by being queenless.

It took 4 weeks for the hive I am helping a friend with now to start having a problem. They will not generally start the laying worker problem in the time it takes to raise a new queen. It is only 20 days (+/- a few) from capping the queen cell to her beginning to lay. So that's only 20 days with no brood pheromone, assuming they capped the very last egg that was laid.

20 day is not enough time for workers to start laying (in general).

Whether you get laying workers is more about not having open brood in a hive for a long time than whether you have a queen cell or not.

If they produce their own queen (or accept an introduced queen) and she starts to lay you will not get laying workers.

If the workers have stared to lay, they very often will reject the new queen because they believe they already have a queen.

Does that make sense?

RKR
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
The final posting for this, I think.

I called Draper's Apiary and asked my trusted bee seller what to do.

I also looked inside the supers again yesterday. There was a closed queen cell, with only a fluffier royal jelly in it (no queen).

Draper's thought there was a laying worker, too. They suggested taking the hive and shaking all the bees out a bit away from the location of the hive now. They said all the bees will fly back to the hive, EXCEPT the laying worker. He says the laying worker can't fly. Then install a new queen.

I was going to steal eggs from my other hive to put in the problem hive, but discovered the hive to be honey bound as this hive is doing amazingly well. So that is whya I called Draper's.

I will give it a whirl. So many variables to this stuff. But I like this solution.

Thank you ROYAL !

Nancy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Please let us know how this works for you. I had laying workers in one of my hives this year (first year beek). I chose to shake the hive and do a split next spring. I thought about doing as you are, but the hive had not even drawn out one deep of comb yet.

Good luck Nancy!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Hi All:

I had a laying worker last year on my new (and only) hive. I did the walk and shake, waited three days to be sure there was no laying activity (confirms that the laying worker did not make it back) and introduced a new queen. I had practically no bees and no brood, so I had to purchase a frame of brood from the supplier, along with the new queen. I fed syrup and dry sugar, and thought I had lost the hive several times this winter. However, this spring the hive "exploded" with new bees and brood, and I have had a nice crop of honey. Probably more work than many large beeks would be willing to invest, but for the hobbyist it (for me) is worth it.

Good luck!

Debbie
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top