Queen and a cup of bees on the ground in front of hive

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Gypsi, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I think she is unmated, and she refuses to go back in that hive, I've caught her with a queen clip twice and tried to put her back unsuccessfully.

    I have zero comb or safe bee stores to offer, evening approaches, and they clearly intend to spend the night on the ground. Which will be much safer after I pen my chickens. I'm not sure there are even enough drones for her to mate with.

    and now I remember why I value this forum, guess i can overlook some ads.

    HELP
     
  2. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I am going to assume that this is the queen of this hive, because she has flown twice, once after I've caught her and tried to put her in, and she continues to return to her loyal maybe a cup of bees on the ground at the base of the hive. I could

    1. Scoop her up and shut her and the minions in a hive with clean foundation. There are not enough bees to start even a nuc with.

    2. scoop her up, shut her in, and split the hive she came from in the morning. This actually sounds pretty good, not how I planned to spend my saturday, although I did intend to open the hive and see if it has EFB anyway. I am afraid of splits now, due to the drone and sperm shortage in the area with less diversity. My neighbor has one healthy hive, I have this one and my sick one.

    3. do nothing, and let her resume her mating flights in the morning. I believe she is partly mated as her minions face her and groom her, so she is starting to give off pheromone. If I interrupt this process she will definitely NOT be a good queen. If I lose her, I have lost a dubious thing, if she successfully mates and returns I guess I'd better be looking to split the hive and put her mother and half the bees in another box.

    I do apologize for being extremely irritable for the last month. Exhaustion, losing 2/3 of my bees due to my not feeding plus European Foul Brood, and more exhaustion are my only excuses. I will never be a commercial beek, I will never have a honey crop to sell unless the weather changes or I move, and I will never be a queen breeder. Kinda takes the fun out of bees. Til I saw that little queen sitting on the ground and fell in love all over again.

    Gypsi
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    It sounds like you have a two queen hive. Lock her in the hive and the bees will decide which will survive.
     
  4. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    aw shucks gypsi we all get a little irritated from time to time it human nature. But helping each other is what we are all here for. Im with Iddee sounds like you got a 2 queen hive. Have you checked the hive to see if you have another laying queen in the hive. Just a question what are you doing with the EFB hives you dont hear of that much.
     
  5. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well I outright lost 3 hives to EFB. Gone, absconded, died, queen too old and fat to fly on at least 2 of them... 3rd one took off 2 weeks ago, with an old queen and fewer bees than this swarm. The big hive that was sick has been on meds for the last 15 days, tomorrow I open it up, remove the meds, remove all their stores and wash their wax (I stole all their comb before the meds came in, so they only have 4 frames and it might have medicine in it but should be clean once I wash out the "honey" sugar water), and they get to be bees and not messed with for a little while, their queen was a laying machine from the word go, she's a this year February/March queen. So I will check on them, with clean gloves and tools, tomorrow.

    My big hive might have been 2 queen, but when I tried to put her back she rejoined her minions. No one answered quick enough and I'm a sucker for lost causes so this little queen and her staunch half a cup of bees, maybe a cup, are in a 5 frame nuc with bare foundation, one drop of lemongrass oil, 2nd nuc on top with a boardman feeder inside it, on the frames of the bottom one. Robberscreen on the front. I'll steal them some healthy nurse bees and newspaper a 3rd nuc on tomorrow, from the hive they came from, when the workers are out.

    I was about over the bee addiction til I saw that little queen on the ground.

    I have one big healthy have, a tiny straggler of a nuc, and a recovering formerly robust hive. Long way down from 5 big hives last fall.

    I will check my neighbor's bees tomorrow as well. I can never raise queens here, or have enough honey to sell, but I will just stay a hobbyist. This is a very expensive little poker game and the odds are not in my favor. I have enough bees to pollinate my garden, and I have a hobby. That will do. I have enough woodware in the shed to last me 10 or 15 years at this rate.
     
  6. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    gypsi,
    i can't offer any advice, just support, and like riverrat said :
    "aw shucks gypsi we all get a little irritated from time to time it human nature. But helping each other is what we are all here for."

    i think most of us do our best to help one another out, and overlook our 'snarliness', i think there are times when we are stumped as to what's going on and can't offer any advice. i think in general, once a beekeeper, you might never get over the 'bee addiction', and i am one to keep going when the odds are against me, sorta doing that myself right now, the dang odds are against me, but not going to let the odds get me down right now. different situation for you. have bees i can't even look in on and take care of, and it is very hard. worked hard to get them where they are, but that's just the way it is for me, and i am doing my best to accept it. theres a lot of situations in beekeeping that most of us have seen or had to deal with, sometimes not, sometimes a twist, and unless we are standing in your shoes or standing right next to ya, we can only offer the best we know from our own experiences. i can tell you this, if i was standing next to ya, i'd do my best at poking around and doing or giving you some 'hail mary' advice and hoping for the best. sometimes flying by the seat of our pants gets us through and we learn something. seems you have done plenty of that, and really makes us better keeps.
    i also give you credit for hanging in there and not giving up with the efb. i have never had to deal with this.
    know you are going through a hard time right now, even though i have nothing in the way of 'advice', my support, and thoughts are with you, just thought i would say so.
    :grin:
     
  7. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Ahh Riverbee, thank you. Forgot to mention that when I discovered the little cluster I was not wearing gloves, veil, suit, nothing. Then I got brilliant and decided to check on the big hive via the screened feed hole. But when I tipped the jar up to look for absence or presence of how many bees, the lid tipped. should have seen me sliding into home under the vitex to try to dodge the last of the bees, that had come through the fence with me.. Sprained a ring finger but I didn't get stung...
     
  8. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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  9. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I read it. By the time I knew I had EFB 2 hives were gone and the third was close. So close the inspector thought they were gone, I found a queen when I started cleaning the hive out, but she left before the meds came in.

    I have done the prudent things. All the comb here being melted down, frames burned, plastic discarded after sterilization.. A lot of mine were foundationless wood frames. It's just all over. The medicated hive was stripped bare to just foundation before meds showed up. The strong hive will have its comb rotated out and I am about to rob them of honey soon, just in case. They may abscond, probably won't, not much to eat in my neck of the woods.