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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Checked several of my hives today. I noticed that one wasn't bringing in much pollen. When I opened it up I couldn't find a queen and there was no brood. However, there were a lot of bees and they all seemed healthy. All other hives had brood in various stages except one hive that only had eggs. Question is, what do I do with this hive that didn't have anything except a lot of bees? Wait for a while and see if there really is a queen and she is just a late starter, or merge with another hive? I could probably keep it alive by feeding and there seems to be plenty of bees for now so I could order a queen perhaps? However, I have been trying to just keep local survivor colonies and although I could add a frame of eggs and young brood from another hive, I question whether there would be any drones to mate a new queen any time soon. What do you recommend?
 

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I would add a frame with eggs and young larva. Wouldn't hurt. There in Tx I bet there'll be enough drones around by the time she's ready to mate. Add the frame, and check back in three days to see if any queen cells are started. If there are, they were queenless. If there aren't, they've got a queen. Wait two to three weeks and check back again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You're right, it won't hurt to add a frame of brood and eggs. If I do it this weekend, the queen should emerge by the end of March and the peaches and pears should be in full bloom. Might be some drones around?? I'll give it a try. The hive in question also had an entrance at the top of the second hive body ( I overwinter in three mediums) and the screened bottom board was covered with lots of dead bees. The bottom hive body was totally empty, but I wonder why they hadn't taken out the dead? Does this indicate anything about being queenright or not? Maybe just very non-hygenic?
 

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I don't know if you have drones yet. You could look and see. It wouldn't hurt to add a frame of green brood and see what they do. I've had this happen now and again. Most of the time, the bees do just fine until they become queenright again in some way or another. Foraging for food isn't affected and, in fact, some queenless colonies do better bringing in nectar. If they don't bring in food and are queenless, I've often found them to be sick in some way. It's still early so you can be patient. If it were me, I'd be giving them a frame, making real sure I wasn't giving them the donor hives queen as well!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I appreciate all the comments and suggestions. As I've mentioned before, this forum is my only mentor and it is so helpful to have a place to get answers to rookie questions.
 

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I have a hive that I picked up that is running the same way, no eggs, no brood and a patch of bees facing one one side of 2 frames facing each other. I added a frame of bees along with some brood/eggs, along with bees and a feeder. The hive I stole the frame from had some capped drone cells so I've got to believe that the drones are just about out and about by now if there are any hives in the area. However when I checked the hive a week later, there were still bees in there, but no queen cells, was a bit bummed by this, and was actually shocked by the lack of sound coming from the hive...could have heard a pin drop in that hive. It was kinda of cold that day, so I will try and move a frame over again when I go visit this hive again sometime in the next week or so. I guess the good thing is, the longer it takes to get them right, the more drones that will be out and about.

Craig
 
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