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We've had a nice stretch of warm weather in the high 60's and low 70's for just under a week and we wanted to do quick hive inspections as we did OA treatments 2 weeks ago. Could not find the queen in one of our stronger hives. The hive had a collective pissy attitude, seemed pissier than normal for this time of year as well. So, after looking top to bottom twice in a couple days......no queen....no eggs.....nothing. I had a beek friend suggest shaking out the hive in front of the other ones and letting them fend for themselves, but I really don't feel good about that. We have some normal temps coming (cold) so I don't have a lot of time to fix this...... Looking for constructive suggestions. Thanks.
 

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The only 2 easy options this time of year are to combine it with another one (newspaper combine) or try to find a queen somewhere. I dont think you can raise and mate a queen this late in the year.

If you have a lot of determination you might be able to transfer a frame of brood from other hives every few weeks to keep them alive, but it would be a lot of work, and I am not sure it would work well. You would also be weakening other hives, which might be its own set of problems.
 

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Agree with Mr. Fud. I HIGHLY doubt you could get a queen to mate in your climate this late in the year and adding brood from other colonies all winter would only weaken them - putting all your hives at risk. I don't have anything near your winters where I'm at and we don't have drones flying. I doubt you, or anyone else, would have drones flying in Maine. As such, the colony would be doomed.

A combine is your absolute best bet. You don't need to shake the bees out and let them "fend for themselves". You can condense the queenless hive down to one box, place newspaper on top of a queen right colony, and place the queenless colony on top. Just make sure thy colony on top has some sort of exit. All my lids have a top entrance and that works fine. If you cut a few small slits in the newspaper the bees will chew it all out within a couple days. The idea is you slowly introduce the bees to each other. I've never had problem using this method.

Once you get the colony through winter you now have a super strong hive to split out and let them raise a queen, or source one locally.
 

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did you have brood in your other hives? most queens have been shut down for a while.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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If you have any eggs at all in one of your other hives, try giving them the frame and see if they start queen cells before doing the combine. So hard this time of year to determine if a hive is truly queenless. Another option is to let them ride it out. They are your winter bees, they will be there in the Spring.
 
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We've had a nice stretch of warm weather in the high 60's and low 70's for just under a week and we wanted to do quick hive inspections as we did OA treatments 2 weeks ago. Could not find the queen in one of our stronger hives. The hive had a collective pissy attitude, seemed pissier than normal for this time of year as well. So, after looking top to bottom twice in a couple days......no queen....no eggs.....nothing. I had a beek friend suggest shaking out the hive in front of the other ones and letting them fend for themselves, but I really don't feel good about that. We have some normal temps coming (cold) so I don't have a lot of time to fix this...... Looking for constructive suggestions. Thanks.
BFD45,

I'll offer a different tact so you have some choices....
Are you a "great" queen finder? as in 100% of the time?
I am fair, but I have had several times where in a 1 box hive a very slow and thouro search comes up no queen spotted.
As far as the no brood/eggs that is not "odd" for November.

I would consider that it is possible she is just hiding, and leave them be for the winter.

Adding a pile of bees to another hive could overwhelm the food supply, or if there is a queen they could fight and both die. If your hives are winter ready, consider just letting it ride.
my last hive inspections were in Aug. post then I let them seal up and get ready for winter.
You IMO may be over thinking a presumed outcome from your inspections.

GG

GG
 

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It is November after all, I bet she is in there and has just quit laying. Don't be too hasty may as well just let it go till spring. I noticed in one of my yards as it got late in the year and there wasn't much natural forage coming in through this yard that they stopped rearing brood earlier than the other yards. I was going to start shaking out colonies or combining when I realised that they indeed did have queens.
 

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It is November after all, I bet she is in there and has just quit laying. Don't be too hasty may as well just let it go till spring. I noticed in one of my yards as it got late in the year and there wasn't much natural forage coming in through this yard that they stopped rearing brood earlier than the other yards. I was going to start shaking out colonies or combining when I realised that they indeed did have queens.
 

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This time of year queens will stop laying or slow way down here in Pennsylvania. Then kick back in gear around the end of December. Checked one my hives the other day no eggs or brood. But I did see the queen she was just hanging out with the other bee's. You more then likely have a queen.
 
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