Help! Queenless Hive?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by cougarnyc, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. cougarnyc

    cougarnyc New Member

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    We bought a package of Italian Honey Bees from TN and installed them on May 8th. Less than half of the hive has drawn comb and no frame is entirely complete, brood pattern appears to be spotty (SEE PICTURES) and with Drone cells. We noticed yesterday that some eggs were positioned on the side of the comb wall which leads us to believe there's a worker laying eggs. One of the pictures has what appears to be an odd looking cell (swarm cell?) towards the bottom of the frame.

    The hive overall seems to be busy and indifferent to our presence. The slow production and the brood pattern are causing us concern.

    Based on this information and the pictures, do you think we have a queenless hive?

    Columbia County Novice Beekeepers
     

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  2. rast

    rast New Member

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    From what I see I agree with you. Drone brood in worker cells. Eggs on the cell walls is a bad sign also. Unfortunately there is usually more than 1 laying worker and difficult to remedy. Is this your only hive?
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Ditto Rast. If this is your only hive, find a local beekeeper and try to buy a frame of eggs and brood for 3 weeks in a row. It is about the only way to save them. Otherwise, buy a full hive locally and shake this one out 50 feet away and hide the woodenware from them. They will take up with the new hive.
     
  4. cougarnyc

    cougarnyc New Member

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    This is the only hive we have. If the hive is queenless, how long does one have before it is impossible to requeen? I'm thinking about ordering a queen tomorrow but I'm wondering if it's too late to save the hive. Since I installed the hive a month ago, I wonder if it's too late to save.

    Any advice or thoughts are appreciated.
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    It is too late when you see eggs on the walls of cells. A laying worker hive won't accept a new queen.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    as Iddee suggest your options are few:

    The cells at the bottom of the picture are indeed queen cells which are highly likely to never produce a laying queen. The queen cells may have been pulled from either unfertilized eggs or pollen. The unit appears to be hopelessly queenless. As such these cells are NOT swarm cells.

    I would likely suggest you go find another hive or a nuc and start again. Are you anywhere near sqkcrk?
     
  7. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

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    Another reason Bee Keepers recommend a second hive to NEW BEES.

    If you belong to a club ask for help, some one will rescue you.

    :mrgreen: Al
     
  8. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    You are cetianly hopelessly queenless--in first picture can see emerging drone from worker cells, coupled with spotty brood pattern. As previously stated if laying workers have become established then you can not requeen as they think already have a queen, unfornately you will have to in all probability need to combine with another colony or get another nuc and fed the heck out of them. I know that you know that the clock is running and the honey flows while can be predigious in the fall--by mid-October the cold will start to shut down the colony and they had better have winter stores in place and enough bees for winter cluster.
    I suppose you could try to shake out the bees totally vacate the colony in a different place atleast 100 feet away return the equipment to it's place and have a queen available to re-queen with, introduce in conventional method. wonder if it would help to freeze the brood frames to eliminate all those dwarf deformed drones and start with good brood.
    Good Luck keep us posted
    Barry
     
  9. BeeSpit

    BeeSpit New Member

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    Re: Help! Queenless Hive? YES

    we also have a laying worker colony, and 5 queenright colonies. wondering about shaking them off and combining with one of the strong colonies. any suggestions? need to know pretty quick.
     
  10. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Don't try to combine them with an individual hive. Shake them out on the ground 20 to 50 feet from the other hives and let them find a home. They will split up among the other hives and none will fight. Put their hive away for a while, until you catch a swarm or make a split.

    PS. Where is NW? Please be more explicit and we can give better answers according to where you are. Beekeeping is very localized. What works in one area won't work in others.
     
  11. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    BeeSpit, It depends on what your goals are... if you shake them out and let them integrate into your queenright colonies then you'll be down a colony for the rest of the year... but you might only want 5 colonies.

    But if you want a 6th colony, then if it were me I would find and pinch the worker that's laying, then give them 1 or 2 frames of eggs and brood from your other hives. They can make a queen from that and there's still enough time left this year for them to build up in time for winter.

    If your goal this year is honey production, I think you'd be better off shaking them out. If your goal is to build up, then try to save them.
     
  12. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Ben, bad info there. There is never a laying worker. There are laying workers. Could be 5, 10, or 50. You don't ever know. When the queen pheromone is gone, the ovaries in the workers start to develop.

    If another hive is wanted, take a frame of brood from each of the other 5 hives, and maybe a frame of pollen/honey and start another hive.
     
  13. cougarnyc

    cougarnyc New Member

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    Question:
    After determining that our queen is dead and that we have laying workers, we've decided to purchase another package of bees with a queen and "rehive." We're thinking of removing the existing frames, shaking them out to rid the hive of the laying workers and replacing frames back into the hive without a single bee on them. Then we would place the new package of bees with queen (following standard procedure) into the existing hive.
    Does anybody see a problem with this approach? Will there be a problem when the old workers return to the hive to find new bees? Will there be a battle? What's the best approach?
     
  14. larry tate

    larry tate New Member

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    Had several this year in cell starter nucs. If you have a source for queens try putting some honey on the queens legs and underside and let her walk into the entrance. Might work. Did twice for us but lost many queens trying to introduce them in push in and benton cages. Good luck.
     
  15. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I don't know how that would work. Never tried it. Never had only one hive. :D
    It should work, but I would leave the cork in the queen cage for 3 or 4 days, then remove it and let them eat the candy out. Thus, taking 5 to 8 days to release her. By then, her pheromones should be well distributed through the hive.
     
  16. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

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    If I had 6 colonies and Number 6 had laying workers in it and I still wanted 6 colonies I would buy a queen some place have her shipped over night UPS.
    Take the laying worker colony and shake them out well away from all the other colonies, I like 50 yards the night befor the new queen arrives. Those shook out bees will have found a home. Slide a strong colony where the laying worker one was. Set up a new number six hive, pull frames (4) at least with brood and eggs along with workers place them in the new number 6 along with the new queen in the normal method. Place the rest of the frames from the shook out laying worker colony in the new number six and the remained where you got the 4 frames of brood from all. You can pick the drone cells with a every day table fork to remove them from the frames.

    :mrgreen: Al