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Is my queen dead, d'you think?

1312 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  tanksbees
I am going to try and give the short version of past events.

2 months ago (Bees installed end of March) I had my large and small brood boxes on, and I checked them, and they had pulled comb on about 3/4 of the frames.
So I decided to add the first super on, so they could start pulling comb (Not thinking they would get any farther). Well, don't ask me how, I forgot the frames on the super, and not thinking it would be necessary, I didn't put my queen excluder on either.

So 2 weeks ago, I opened the box, and low and behold...wild, unrestrained comb...everywhere. The super is 100% full of frame-less comb, and not just empty comb either.
A beautiful mix of brood and honey. All the comb was utilized.
Well, in an attempt to rectify this situation, I removed all the comb from the super, checking as best I could for the queen, hoping she was back in the bottom in the brood boxes.
So After removing all the comb, and removing the bees as well as could be, I cut away the brood and honey and rang out the comb to extract the honey (Not the correct moisture content I know, but it won't be wasted).

Now, 2 weeks later (Today, July 6th) I went out to see if they started pulling comb on the super frames, and to add the queen excluder. But I open it up, and there hasn't been a sliver of comb placed on the super frames. Thinking I might have just missed my opportunity I go on with my check. I pull off the super and look into the brood box, and the population looks much smaller, the activity around the hive is mentionably less than before, and most importantly, I couldn't find any brood.

Is it safe to say the queen perished? If so, and there were no queen eggs to raise, am I looking at the last generation of bees before my hive is gone? Is there anyway to check for the queen besides sighting her? Because I did not see her on the frames, but I have a 75% success rate so far (Just started beekeeping in March).

And my final question, when I looked into the brood, and all the honeycomb that was there, it was all inter connected to the frames, and they made paths through it. Like 6" pieces of 2" wide comb, solid between the frames. And when I separated the frames to pull them out, the comb broke and spilled honey everywhere.
What is to be done for that?

Sorry for all the questions, and thank you in advance.

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Welcome to Beesource!

One way to check for the presence of a queen is to give the hive a frame of eggs/young larva and see what the bees do with it. If they build queen cell(s), the odds are good that the hive is queenless.

This highlights the value of having at least two hives, so you can borrow resources from one hive to diagnose problems with the other hive. Do you have another hive available?
I don't have access to another hive. I started with one hive this year, and will be doing at least 2 more next year. But not yet...

Any other ideas? If the queen is in fact dead, is there nothing to do but wait for the inevitable? Or are there steps to take?

I dont suppose you can get a bred queen this time of year can you?
Okay, update.

In an attempt to not disrupt the hive too extensively, I took photos of each side of each of the 16 frames of the brood chamber. On the very loast one, I discovered what looks like queen cells. Here is the photo. If they were able to rear a queen as a replacement, what methods should I take to discover her presence?

Here is the link to the photo. It is too large to post here, sorry.
Something is a little odd. If you lost your queen 14 days ago and they built queen cells where they did, that frame would likely still have capped worker brood. Presumably it had young brood on that day that was turned into emergency cells.

Do you have any capped brood at all in your hive? Upload the rest of those pics.

If you had worker brood 14 days ago and now none, they must have lost their queen 21-35 days ago. Any drone brood left?
The frames are empty except the queen cells and this one with 3 capped cells: Honeycomb Bee Beehive Honeybee Pattern

The event that I removed all unframed comb was on 06/22, that is when I think she died
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I think what happened is that your queen moved up to the 2nd box a week or so before you cut it all out. Then she started laying in that box. When you cut out all the comb you killed the queen and all her recent brood, so no way for them to make a queen cell.

Call your local beekeepers guild and get someone to help you out, you either need some frames of brood or a queen.

If you can find a nuc for sale, that would be your best bet, it's a little late to be trying to raise queens in a weak hive.
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