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Hi! One of those infamous 3rd years here. This spring I pulled one of my queens to prevent swarming from a hive.. It requeened successfully but within a 10 day period was back in swarm mode again. I pulled that new queen. I thought I culled all the queen cells but 2 or 3. That was May 30th. Well, I went to inspect this week hoping to find a new queen but find no brood and no queen. I did find about 10 emerged or torn down qc's. So I think I missed quite a few very early ones. The bee population is certainly down, so I figure they swarmed.

I can't find a queen anywhere and have looked 3 times.
There is no brood.

I placed a framed of just emerged brood (and probably eggs, I just can't see them well) in to test. That was 48 hours ago. No queen cells being built.

I have a queen to put in but don't have any queens to waste so I really need to be convinced this hive is queenless.
The way I figure it, a hive wouldn't have made qc's if
a. there is a queen, maybe still not laying if she was a small qc around 5/30
b. the brood was too old when I put it in there.
c. Are there any other possibilities that keep a hive from making queen cells? Do they just ever not do it if they've been queenless for a while?

I will check again this weekend. Thanks, Todd
 

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It might be that the frame you
put in doesn't have eggs.

You may have missed the queen. I'm very good at spotting them, but miss them all the time as well.

I've found them on the third full hive inspection, found them on the side (inside of the box) and found them on my hand when inspecting frames. If she just hatched, she could be on a mating flight.

When I'm really desperate to find her, I'll take a bottom board and boxes that match the configuration of the hive. One by one I take each frame out, and when I'm confident that I've fully inspected the frame, I put it in the box to the side and move to the next. This keeps her from jumping frames.

The only two scenarios I can see where they wouldn't make a queen (and there is definitely no queen present in the hive) -

-No eggs in the transplanted frame
-Laying workers
 

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If the hive did not build a queen cell from the brood supplied then it was too old to do so. The brood MUST be less than 4 day old one day is best as the queen quality declines with each day. (They just do not get enough royal jelly) Although a laying worker may often kill a queen in her cell, or upon emergence. A hive that has one present will generally make a queen cell if given fertilized brood. (the laying worker just dose not produce enough pheromones to stop it.) Try again and make sure the frame has eggs on it, If they do not build a queen then you have one in the hive. You may not have found her but she is there. She may not be laying yet for whatever reason. the problem with hive raised queens is most beekeepers like to give them their space if you do not know how many queen cells are present then you do not know when the last queen emerges, or if one destroyed all the cells, then there is the case of a new queen not laying fast enough. The nurse bees see her as defective. and supersede her. about the time she gets laying good a virgin emerges and kills her.

Were it me I would give her another week to ten days. (if the hive can afford it) do a thorough hive inspection and fine or disprove a queens presence. If at that time I found no queen or evidence of a queen I would introduce a new queen, Just too late in the year in Ohio to mess with the hive building a new queen. IMHO
 

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c. Are there any other possibilities that keep a hive from making queen cells? Do they just ever not do it if they've been queenless for a while? Yes, and sometimes they try and do not do it well.

Hedge your bet. Put a solid divider between bodies and combine only part of the hive with the queen. If there is a queen they will stay down, if not they will drift up to the top hive. You do need to make sure there is not a virgin in the upper hive.
 

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Once it decides to swarm the colony does not give up the idea easily. I kept them queenless.

I made several of my colonies queenless to prevent them from swarming. they on average produced 19.5 queen cells per colony. All of these cells where removed. The bees where not allowed any brood in order to attempt to make a queen. In fact most where broken up and placed in mating compartments to rear queens. That is another story I will just say that this attempt did not go well. Previous ones had gone just fine.

The original queen was given a new hive so she could continue to lay and given enough bees so to build up again. None of those bees attempted to swarm again.

It was my intention to recombine the original colonies once the swarm period had ended but the plan did not hold together that long. We had a massive loss of those cells and virgin queens for as of yet unknown reasons.

Final result is we ended up with a lot of full size colonies that where to weak coming into the flow to produce any honey. and a bunch of mated queens and nucs. We sold some queens as virgins. Some more as mated queens and made up about 16 or so nucs from it all. Not nearly the numbers I had been looking for.

What I did find was an effective way to build up colonies to very strong numbers and still prevent them from swarming. I will not attempt to rear the cells that result in the future. I will allow the to emerge as virgins and sell them for a couple of dollars at most.
 

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> Maybe a dumb question but will the laying worker die just like a regular bee would if they sting?

Worker bees have barbed stingers. If the stinger goes into the victim far enough that the barb gets stuck, then the stinger will remain in the victim when the bee pulls away. As a result the bee will die. Laying workers have stingers just like any other worker bee.

Barbed stingers may remain in victims other than mammals. When bees are fighting other insects, the bee that stings will die if/when their stinger gets into the victim far enough that the barb catches in the victim. However, the barb may not catch in every victim.

Note that the stingers on queens have no barb, so queens can sting multiple times and still live without injuring themselves. Drones have no stingers.
 

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>Maybe a dumb question but will the laying worker die just like a regular bee would if they sting?

Like others have said, that is in mammals with skin. Bees have an exoskeleton. But you also seem to under the misunderstanding that there is only one laying worker. There are thousands...

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm
 

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All female bees have ovaries and are physically capable of laying eggs. just not fertile eggs. My understanding is that pheromones from brood keeps these females ovaries suppressed. Absence of brood and the ovaries become active and the female becomes a laying worker. This of course produces brood that then begins to suppress ovaries again.

Addition of brood on a regular basis to laying workers will do the same. I have done it several times. Keep adding brood to a hive of laying workers and eventually they will rear a queen.
 

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Discussion Starter #11


surprise surprise I found her. Now 9 of ten hives are queen right. I guess that explains why no queen cells were made. I put a frame of eggs in the last hive will check in a few days. Thanks for all your help
 

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I marked her when I finally found her after going through the hive twice tonight. She doesn't seem to be laying yet but she looks good.
 

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I went through the same thing a bout 3 weeks ago. kept adding frames of eggs and finaly told myself she has got to be there. and started a thorough
search frame to frame. AND THERE SHE WAS
 

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I have one hive that refuses to accept or make a new queen. I added many frames of eggs over the past month. I know there is no queen in there since there is no new eggs. That and I inspected every frame one by one and placed them into an empty super. The numbers have dwindled down to maybe a couple of thousand so I couldn't have missed her. Wierd.
 

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The numbers have dwindled down to maybe a couple of thousand so I couldn't have missed her. Wierd.
You may one day be surprised at just how many things that cannot be done you just go right ahead and do anyway. I have missed queens on fraems of no more than a couple hundred bees. Did you look in the bottom of the hive? Virgins and sometimes young queens go there.

That they will not accept a new queen or attempt to rear one begs to differ with your finding on the queen status. My bet is the bees know more than you do.
 

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I've picked out virgin queens that hatched out among 20k of bees that hatched out seconds earlier during cutouts. Finding one among a couple of thousands should (I said should) be a piece of cake. lol This "hive" is only one medium 10 frame super and has been queenless for months.

I am going to go through the hive today and add another frame of eggs and brood. I am also adding trapout bees to boost the population. I will give this hive another shot. Have a great holiday weekend.
 

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I've picked out virgin queens that hatched out among 20k of bees that hatched out seconds earlier during cutouts.
I have done the same. But your comment reminded me of a cut out where I found queen cells. I cut two of them out of the comb and as I looked for a place to put them I noticed one was emerging. So I switched it to my other hand. About that time I noticed the second was was also close to emerging. So I stood there with no hands to use to get either in a cage. My son and daughter where helping me and eventually we got them both in queen cages. Made two nucs from the bees we got off those combs. This was after having already made up two nucs from bees we trapped from it.

Great 4th to you also. And everyone else.
 
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