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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Thanks for taking the time to look over my question. (I did Google things, but it became easier to ask it directly.)

I currently have three hives. One that was a five frame Nuc that I just bought this year; one was a cut-out from some stairs, and the other was a cut-out from a BBQ cover, all from this year as well. The purchased Nuc and the stairs cut-out are doing great, but the third (BBQ cover) is very weak and not growing at all. It has always been weak and we never saw a queen.

I do have a frame feeder with 1:1 in there now, but there's no evidence they are using it. I had an entrance feeder inside on the inner cover before that, and there was no evidence they were using that either. I did try two different batches of 1:1 just in case that was an issue.

On 6-11-20 I am pretty sure I saw eggs on the BBQ hive, via using a magnifying glass, however I never saw the queen. However, I am new. I did pull a frame of capped brood and honey from a different hive to add as a resource.

On 6-21-20 I checked the hive again, and I saw no signs of a queen at all. No brood, no eggs, but more bees than before.

My question is this:

If I am able to find a frame with newly laid eggs (under three days old) from a strong hive and add that frame to the weak hive, do I have a decent chance of having them raise a new queen? I'd rather not try and locate a queen yet, and I'm wondering if there's a decent chance this will work?

I should add that honey production is not a goal.



Thanks again,
b1rd

Edit: I am aware that adding frame of brood might stress an already weak hive due to the lack of bees to tend to it, or so I thought I read, but I'm wondering if it's still a viable option or am I missing something?
 

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Yup, a frame of eggs is perfect insurance. Take the frame from a colony you like because potentially you're propagating those genetics. I shake the bees off the frame first but I don't know if it really matters.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Adding a frame with eggs can rarely hurt. You should have young nurse bees from the previous frame of brood and honey. I would not give them a frame that was all eggs but one that was mostly emerging brood with eggs in the empty cells.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies.

I'm really glad to know there's a chance for the hive to rebound, as well as being able to experience helping a colony. Whether it makes it or not, it's a great learning experience for sure.

A frame of BIAS (Brood In All Stages)
Great acronym.


Thanks again,
b1rd
 

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Just a friendly piece of advice here. Take the time to learn to spot the queen. It's not as difficult as you might think. It's much easier to do with smaller hives. Take heart in this: Once you have seen a queen, you can't "unsee" her. The image sticks in your head, much like seeing eggs or varroa on a sticky board for the first time. Once you've seen it, viola, you know how to recognize it. Of my 10 hives, seven of the queens are easy to spot because they are Italians. The other three are a bit more difficult (Carni's), but you get used to it. With a little practice, you will be picking her out in seconds on even the most crowded frames.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Take the time to learn to spot the queen...
Yes, thanks, and I do practice doing that when possible, and I have been able to spot her on occasion with a different hive and she does stand out. I also do those "queen spotting" challenges as well, and it is getting easier. Much easier if it's a still image.

Thanks again.
b1rd
 

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On the topic of queen spotting- I had a hard time last week in one of the hives and eventually when I found her she was actually laying eggs so I would not see her abdomen at all, it does take quite some time for her to la an egg- longer than it takes her to get to the next cell, so if she is laying when you are looking, it is almost impossible to spot her. BTW I also marked her while she was in the cell, she did not even blink :)
 

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Buy the book Queenspotting by Hilary Kearney. Amazon $14. Over 45 good images of queens in hives and a good read for a newer beekeeper.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Queen spotting is both a matter of a trained eye and a good bit of luck. Carni and Caucasian queens are even tougher since they are dark. I look for the distinctive thorax and then see if there is an elongated abdomen to go with it. In a densely populated hive, learn to identify the frames she is most likely to be on. No point intently searching a frame that is entirely capped brood or honey. Give it a once over and move on. Look for frames that contain eggs and young larvae or emerging brood with a large center section already emerged. Also keep in mind that a queen can jump frames and drop off of the frame you are pulling and back onto one you have already searched.
 

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If available, spend a little time watching an observation hive. The queen’s movement is more readily observed, and learned. When doing the initial gross examination of a frame, I look for any “straight-line scurrying” and/or “parting of the seas” (worker bees giving way) first, especially the first few frames of any inspection.
 
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