3 of 4 hives crashing

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Bens-Bees, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    Got a call from one of my outyard landowners, he said one of my hives showed almost no entrance activity, so I had better check on them. I checked on them today, found 3 of 4 hives crashing, queenless. No laying worker hives though, so that was good. Again I had one strong hive... super-strong in fact, they had filled 2 mediums wall to wall with brood and eggs... and we're in full-on dearth here. I was able to pull out 5 frames of brood and eggs to give to the other hives.

    Never again will I use that trailer with only one pallet on it... I'm positive that's what nearly did me in again... just bouncing around too much during the move.
     
  2. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    Oh yeah, had my first bee in ear scenario today... I was proud of myself... didn't freak out at all. Bee left on it's own then I put my veil on... no big deal. It went in my ear just as soon as I opened the truck door, so I thought, here we go, they must be in a foul mood. Turned out all were pretty docile, I had forgotten my lighter but it turned out I didn't even need to light the smoker to work 'em. I did move a bit slower than usual though, knowing that I didn't have my smoker, I didn't want to get in a fight with them.
     

  3. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    I find it odd 3 out of 4 are queenless. When it gets hot and dearth is on a queen will sometimes shut down laying. If the ride out got her. I would have thought they would have made an emergency cell. Or maybe they did and the new queen has not yet started to lay. how long has it been since you took them to the out yard
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I'm with the rat on this one. I think you need to dig a bit deeper. No smoke, and still gentle? Sounds like a queen getting ready to lay.
     
  5. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Maybe that bouncy ride just stressed the ol girl into not wanting to lay for a bit or just slowing down from the dearth as rat said.
     
  6. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    It's been about a week and a half since I brought them out there... and I checked each frame and each side carefully looking for a queen because I didn't expect to find any brood at this time of year. You know those 2 hives that were crashing at the other bee yard that didn't have queens were also quite docile, so that part didn't surprise me too much.

    1 of these was not only queenless but from the looks of it had been completely robbed out (most likely from the strong hive sitting next to it, which would explain why it had brood in it during a death, because there was no dearth for them, they were still bringing in stores from the other hive). So that one was no mystery. There were only a couple-hundred bees left in it anyway... if the last hive wasn't so strong I wouldn't have even tried to save this one, but since it was I lent it a full 3 frames of brood, basically it's a July split now. I'm going to return with a robber screen for it asap just in case the girls next door get the idea to try and rob it out again.

    The only one of the 3 that had any chance of me having missed the queen was the first one I checked because I did kinda go through that one rather quickly, but I'm positive that if there were even a young virgin queen in the others I would have spotted her, I was spending 3-5 minutes per frame on the rest just checking them out making sure I wasn't missing anything... whereas I only spent maybe 2 minutes per frame on the first one, which was the one he had called me about.
     
  7. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    a queen can be hard to spot sometimes even for the trained eye. especially if its a virgin queen
     
  8. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    Yeah, but I only had one virgin queen in this bunch and she was in the hive that is now the strongest. The time frame just doesn't fit for replacement of the queens, plus it was pretty obvious to me that the hives were in distress... even though they weren't aggressive. I usually see distress showing itself in how the bees cling to one another (which is to say that if they aren't distressed, they don't cling to one-another, but when they are they do, and the more distressed they get the more they cling).
     
  9. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    It is odd that 3 out of 4 are queenless? Most of the time when i find a queenless hive they are noisy when you open them up and run on the frames, they also tend to be aggressive. If they are queenless,without brood and with no queen cells, and you moved them a week and a half ago,they had to be queenless before you moved them. They can be tricky, i have found hives i just knew were queenless ( noisy and couldn't find the queen) and put a frame of brood with eggs in them, to come back a week later to find capped brood and a laying queen. Time will tell, but don't wait to long. :confused: Jack
     
  10. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

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    I have found virgin queens to be, Runners. They run to darkness or shade as soon as light its them.
    I have found virgin queens to hide on the walls of the hive in a mass of workers.
    I have found virgin queen to be flyers Also.

    Here is a note I got from a fellow bee keeper friend in Tenn this morning.

    On another note, are you feeding your bees yet? I checked mine yesterday and found several hives totally with no honey. I am feeding them now. They are going through about a half gallon of syrup a day.
    Randy

    :mrgreen: Al
     
  11. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    Thing is, I found the queens in all of these hives just prior to moving them, only one had a virgin queen at that time. So I know I don't just have virgin queens in there that I didn't see. I guess we'll just have to see what they do with the eggs I gave them though... I don't think it'll hurt them any to have the extra eggs and brood anyway, even if they did have a queen, you know?