Problem with last hive

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by PerryBee, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Last nice day here for a while according to the forecast so figured I better go out and finish the last 4 hives.
    Went throught the first 3, no problems, spotted the queens, 2 or 3 frames of brood on the go, lots of stores left. I cleaned the bottom boards and reversed the deeps, no problems.
    Then I get to the last of my hives, lots of traffic, take off the top box, set it aside. Only see a couple hundred bees in the bottom box so I remove it, clean the bottom board and set the top box back on the bottom board. I start going through this box ( there were plenty of bees here, solid 7 frames worth) and notice right away they are a little buzzy. Lots of bees but it didn't take me long to figure out there was a problem. Found a emergency queen cell soon to be capped, middle of a frame. Found another queen cell on the bottom of a frame with an egg in it and a third cell on the side of a frame with a young larvae in it as well. No queen and absolutely no brood, capped or open anywhere to be seen. :(
    Now under normal circumstances I would have given it a frame of open brood from another hive but the 2 other hives next to it could not spare the frame without seriously weakening them. My new queens I have ordered won't be here until May 14th (if all goes well) so what to do?
    :confused:
    My decision?
    I did nothing.
    I left everything alone other than reversing the deeps. I figure they are trying to raise what they consider to be a viable queen and will be OK for the short term. I cannot see how these eggs can possibly be any good as there was absolutely no other egss or larvae to be seen so I am puzzled as to where they came from. There are hardly any drones to be seen and some of my hives are just beginning to raise some so even if these cells hatch out, there won't be any mature drones around anyways.
    I hope that they will fooled by these queen cells long enough to hold off developing laying workers until my queens arrive in 3 weeks and then I will just requeen.
    I know there are plenty of minds greater than mine around here so what say you?
    Do you think I made an alright decision?
    Should I have just combined it with another hive?
    I could go to another yard and swipe a frame but I have just gone through all my hives the last 3 days and don't really want to disrupt them anymore than I have to.


    All feedback will be appreciated. :)
     
  2. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    Personally, I'd go nab a frame with some eggs from anywhere I could, and put it in, just in case. I'd keep letting them raise whatever queen cells they had going though. But I'm no expert, maybe someone has better advice...
     

  3. rast

    rast New Member

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    Just my random thoughts.
    Plenty of bees, probably still in somewhat of a winter mode (just starting to lay drones) so that means longer bee life.
    Unless your queens are delayed (that's a biggie this year), you should have them (your expected date) before anything your bees are raising now will begin to lay, if they are found by drones and that's a maybe. Poorly mated if they are.
    To delay laying workers the only option I see is adding brood frames to try to salvage them if your queens arrive on time.
    If the queens on order are for splits, combining would work well, just combine with one of the hives you are planning to split. If its one of your strongest you could possibly get a three way split out of it with the combine. Also gets rid of worrying about that hive. If this was happening to me in say Jan. here, I'd combine and then split.
     
  4. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Hey rast:
    I may combine this with another hive I have that has a queen but isn't real strong. I'll give it a week, I figure I've got at least that long (probably a couple weeks) before anything happens with those cells. The biggest problem with this idea is they are in different yards (again).
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Perrybee writes...
    I did nothing.

    tecumseh...
    on many occasions a wise move is to do nothing at all. This gives you time to consider alternatives and collect more pertinent information.

    Combining with the idea of splitting later when you have queens in hand sounds like the reasonable route if you have any doubt about the availability of mature drones. I assume it is a little early in the season for drones in Nova Scotia? On most occasions I would give the native cells a chance, but without drones they are very unlikely to amount to little.
     
  6. rast

    rast New Member

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    My experience FYI. Combining with a hive with a sorry laying queen is a waste of time and bees. Only postponing the inevitable. I know it is written that sometimes it will kick start a queen into laying well again. Just hasn't worked for me.