Beside the hives that have dwindled to a couple hundred bees with a queen, i found eight hives today that were running over with bees from top to bottom, the prblem is there was no sign of a queen? No capped brood no eggs or larva, and they are back filling from top to bottom, which i have seen many times that tells me the hive is dying. One of the hives had two supersedure cells, so maybe the others have superseded and the queens haven't strated laying yet, but i wouldn't think they would be back filling. Any idea's. Jack
PS. i got hit two more times in the same ear.
I haven't yet had a superseded hive completely backfill, I have had a queenless with no eggs or brood do that. 8 seems to be a lot to be in the same situation was my first impression. Not sure when they will start cleaning cells for a new queen, probably not until mated.
Rast, these were not in the same bee yard? I worked three bee yards today, one of my hives that was dwindling two weeks ago was a deadout and was being robbed out also. What is hard to beleive, is the amount of worker bees in all these hives, and their was several drones in these hives also. If they have been queenless very long, you would think there would be signs of laying workers? These hives wasn't loud,running on the frames, or aggressive, like queenless hives are? Hope i get my queens from Larry Tate next week. Jack
I have had hives working with purpose but no brood. They usually contain a mated queen that has not started to lay. I find that the more bees there are in a hive, the slower the queen starting to lay. One dodge that sometimes works --- weaken the hive by moving it to a new position in the apiary.
I am willing to accept that I may be way off with this problem.
a beehive with out brood can for some short spell collect and store more nectar than a hive with a queen. this is fairly simple economics working here in that the hive is not consuming nectar resources by rearing brood <a very commercial bee keeper pointed this out to me decades ago... later reconfirmed any number of times.
if at this point in the season you have pollen and nectar coming in with no brood (or any age) I would highly suspect that there is something wrong in regards to the queen. if broodless long enough acceptance of a queen almost requires one frame of unsealed brood.
I kinda took it for granted that there are some empty supers on top of some or most of these. "top to bottom" made me wonder, didn't shut the queens down with no place to lay?
Tec, that reminded me. I read or heard one time about somebody making their hives queenless before the flow to produce more honey.
An oldtime beekeeper told me the same thimg rast, he said if you want a good honey harvest, take the queen from a strong hive and put her in a nuc when a big flow is on. That they would raise a new queen, and it would be close to two months before she had new bees coming on to feed, and in the meantime they wouldn't have nothing to do but make honey.I had a hive go queenless during a flow in one of my northern beeyards (5 or 6 yrs. ago) and they made one deep and two med. supers of honey by mid July, and made another deep for winter stores. I posted it on BS and got alot of yea's and nay's about doing this. Jack
I went through the hives yesterday that had dwindled to almost nothing, (i wouldn't of gave $.15 for) They had 4 to 5 full frames of brood? (deeps) The ones that were running over with bees and no queen, had supersedure cells or queen cells that were open on the bottom of the cell. I had gave frames of brood to some of them and some of the really weak ones i was going to just let them die out. I haven't lost any of them and they are building up. How do you figure??? Jack