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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I checked one of my 3 hives today and found that there was no queen, no brood, and the 2 hive bodies full of honey/nectar. If I put all the bees together they would fill one of the HBs. And there is also a lot of drone.

What are your suggestions for what to do with this hive?

My other 2 hives started from packages this spring and are doing well. This one was from last year and had mite issues earlier in the year...

Any help is appreciated.

DLee
 

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I would give them a Queen, or you could get a frame of eggs, brood from your other hive to raise one of there own....but let the expert's decide.
Konrad
 

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I'd give them a frame of eggs and see what happens. It may be they lost a queen and have raised one that isn't laying yet. It also may be they have lost a queen. I'd also look for duplicate eggs anywhere. Sometimes you miss eggs. You could have a laying worker. The excess drones would make me suspicious of that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, I will add a frame of eggs but there are very few open cells in the hive. Everything is honey or nectar. Will they make room for a laying queen?
 

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FYI, I had a hive in similar condition and concluded that it was unlikely that it was both honey bound AND queenless (two things wrong)... but a week after opening up the brood nest and providing some room for laying and finding nothing... I concluded that it WAS honey bound AND queenless.

I was wrong. It wasn't queenless (I can see Michael Bush smiling). Of course, I'd already taken remedial action and split the hive and combined the 2 deeps with 2 separate hives, one of which was queenless with a (what I'd thought was a) good queen cell, the other of which had a good queen.

Lo and behold when I was checking the queenless hive the deep from the honey bound hive had a lot of brood... and the queen cell had failed.

So. I ended up with one hive with 2 queens in it, and one hive with NO queens in it. I totally misread the situation!

I've just introduced a new queen into the queenless hive and presumably the hive with 2 queens now has one.....

The moral of the story is that while 2 things CAN go wrong at the same time, it's unusual...

George-
 

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If the hive DOES have a laying worker, adding eggs to it won't produce a queen. The best way to save it would be to make up a nuc, will lots of young bees, and add eggs to it. Then, after the nuc has a laying queen, newspaper the nuc (deep) over top of the honeybound hive.
 

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Did you find any hatched queen cells? The hive very likely may have swarmed. That would explain the low number of bees and no eggs or brood. Do drones leave with a swarm? I could be wrong but I don't think many of them do and this could lead to a disproportionate amount of drones in the hive. After my hive swarmed this year I had a ton of drones left and this led me to think I had a laying worker situation. I didn't and waited it out for a month before the new queen started laying. I agree with the others that it wouldn't hurt to put in a frame of eggs in to see if they start some queen cells. I did this when I thought my hive was queenless and it at least gave me the patients to wait for my new queen to start laying.
 
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