Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, I have 2 problems I am trying to work out, both involve a hive that I believe to be queenless. I will post the information I have about the two hives and am wondering about when I should worry about them not having a mated queen and If I should re-queen or wait a bit more. I have done my own math and It seems like I'm sitting on a fence trying to decide what to do and could use a push to one side or the other.

HIVE#1: This was a good hive and building up good in 2 medium boxes. On 3/18/14 during my inspection I found 6 or so emergency cells. my prior inspection was 3/11/14 and everything was just fine. The emergency cells were just started maybe a day or two along but NOT capped. On the 3/24 inspection the cells were capped. On 4/2 inspection the cells were hatched out. I think the queen just died. Yesterday 4/10 there is no sign of a queen. Do I wait? Requeen with a mated queen? I do not want laying worker problem.

Hive #2: This hive was doing very good and I had plans to split it, it was in 4 medium boxes. On 3/18 I did an inspection, there was no sign of the queen, or fresh eggs and there was some back filling of the brood nest. I found 5 or so capped swarm cells and didn't notice a loss of bees but since I could not find the queen and the queen cells were capped I figured she might have left with a small swarm so I left it alone and didnt do the split. On 3/24 all the cells were hatched and/or torn down. Yesterday 4/10 I still could not find a queen or any sign of her. Do I wait? Requeen with a mated queen? This hive is very large still and do not want a laying worker problem.

I can get a few queens delivered by tuesday 4/15, and have one already ordered for delivery on 4/19. I also started a few grafts and they can be transplanted on 4/15. I also have one or 2 small hives that I could do a combine, but they are smaller then the queenless hives. So as you can see I have many options and I think I am on the cusp of being queenless for too long already and do not want to have a laying worker problem, or a poorly mated queen. The weather here has been seasonally nice, my hives have been producing drones since 2/20/14 but it never really gets in the mid 60's this time of the year. There are many other hives swarming so the drone issue might not be an issue, maybe the birds got the queens, maybe they got lost, maybe I am impatient? Please offer your thoughts, thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Hive #1: Probably it is a little early to say that the queen is not there. At this point the queen is still smallish and it is hard to spot her. I would give it another week. Are the bees calm ? Hopefully there are enough drones and she gets mated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,653 Posts
Queens should be laying eggs 14 days after emerging, sometimes it takes up to 21 days. If after 21 days, I call it a failure. I like it best when they are laying 14 to 16 days after emerging, they seem to do better.
 

·
Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
54,108 Posts
>HIVE#1: This was a good hive and building up good in 2 medium boxes. On 3/18/14 during my inspection I found 6 or so emergency cells. my prior inspection was 3/11/14 and everything was just fine. The emergency cells were just started maybe a day or two along but NOT capped. On the 3/24 inspection the cells were capped. On 4/2 inspection the cells were hatched out. I think the queen just died. Yesterday 4/10 there is no sign of a queen. Do I wait? Requeen with a mated queen? I do not want laying worker problem.

6 cells on 3/18 with larvae in them (I don't know if they had eggs, but I assume you wouldn't call it a queen cell without larvae) would be capped at the latest by Mar 22. They were, at least by March 24th. They would emerge sometime between the 26th and the 28th of Mar. The queen would most likely be mated by the 11th of April and at the latest the 18th of April. It's worth a look today. A frame of eggs and open brood will stave off laying workers (it's not the lack of a queen that directly causes laying workers, but a lack of worker brood pheromones) and it will answer whether they are queenless (they will start cells if they are) and it will give them the resources to resolve things if they are queenless. Or you can bide your time until the 18th and look for eggs.

Hive #2: This hive was doing very good and I had plans to split it, it was in 4 medium boxes. On 3/18 I did an inspection, there was no sign of the queen, or fresh eggs and there was some back filling of the brood nest. I found 5 or so capped swarm cells and didn't notice a loss of bees but since I could not find the queen and the queen cells were capped I figured she might have left with a small swarm so I left it alone and didnt do the split. On 3/24 all the cells were hatched and/or torn down. Yesterday 4/10 I still could not find a queen or any sign of her. Do I wait?

3/18 you had capped cells. They would emerge at the lastest 8 days later on the 26th. Since they had emerged by the 24th, they emerged somewhere between 1 day later and 6 days later. Assuming it was 6 days later, then I would expect the queen to most likely be laying two weeks later (April 7th) and at the latest three weeks later (April 14th, which is today). I'd go look today.

>Requeen with a mated queen? This hive is very large still and do not want a laying worker problem.

A frame of open brood and eggs will avoid your laying worker problem, answer the question of whether there is a queen or not, and give them the resources to raise a queen if they need one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the responses. I went with my gut and added a few frames of open brood/eggs on Friday. I also happened to see what I think was a virgin queen running around in hive #1 but no eggs yet. I have plans to check the hives tomorrow and will find out what happened to the frames of brood/eggs in hive#2, I suspect its queenless with their attitude lately but tomorrow will tell.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top