queenless but I don' think laying worker. need some advice

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Yankee11, May 30, 2013.

  1. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    I have a very big hive. 2 deeps and 3 supers. a lot of mean bees.

    the ran me out Saturday before I could get through brood boxes. I was thinking I may have a laying woker,
    but I out in on BIG BOY PANTS today and went back in. I did not see any eggs or drones brood at all. So,
    I think they are just queenless. Not sure how long they have been queenless, but no capped brood at all in either deep.

    I cant find any local queens to buy at the moment.

    My options,

    A. I have a couple of nucs with newly mated queens. I could cage one of them and introduce her.
    B. Insert a frame of eggs from another hive and see if they start to draw queen cells, if they do,
    then I will know I don't have a laying worker. ( I would hate to turn a new queen loose to have her killed)
    C. News paper combine with one of the nucs.
    D. I have a call in about a swarm. I might can get it tomorrow and just dump the swarm in this hive and
    see what happens.

    Never a dull moment.
     
  2. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    I think I would try option B. first.
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Option B = success

    Option D = dead queen and many dead bees.

    I would go with B, and/or A.
     
  4. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    Just of another. Call it option B on steroids.

    I have a medium that has queenless BUT they have a frame with several capped queen cells on a frame. Supersedure cells from
    a split that didn't take. I could just do a newspaper combine with this medium and let the new queen hatch out in the big hive.

    Would speed things up a lot. And maybe fix both problems.

    Only problem would be if they tore down the queen cells.
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Cut two cells out and install in the large hive.
     
  6. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    That's it. I'll cut out 2 cells tomorrow.

    This is why I like this forum so much.

    Thanks.
     
  7. The Bee Guy

    The Bee Guy New Member

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    Yep I'd cut out a queen cell and make an indentation with my finger on the upper part of a foundation in the cluster or brood area.
    gently place the cell in the indented foundation and ease it back down in the hive.
    The nurse bees will repair the area around the queen cell and then when the queen emerges she'll be part of the hive.
    Do not take all the queen cells from the nuc.
    They could be an emergency queen they are making.
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip...
    but no capped brood at all in either deep.

    tecumseh..
    I should point out here that at about the time the last drones hatch out is also the time when you should expect a new queen to begin laying.

    I would also thing B is preferrable to almost any other option. sometime this will encourage the new queen to lay... and generally approximate to the location of the inserted frame.

    C might have possibilities if you added a queen excluder above the paper when you did the combine. in this way if in a day or so a laying queen suddenly appeared in the bottom half of the hive you could still remove the nuc in the top with this added queen. or if in a week or so no eggs or brood appeared in the bottom part of the hive you could simply remove the queen excluder... although at some point you would still likely need to reverse the entire stack to move the brood nest back down to the bottom of the hive.
     
  9. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    Went down this morning to cut a couple of those queen cells from that frame and guess what?

    I am quessing a couple had hatched. A couple were open at the bottom and all the others that I know where capped last night had big holes in the sides of them. EXCEPT for 2. 2 were still there and still capped. So I very gently brushed the bees off the frame and moved the frame to the big hive.

    I assume that a queen or two has hatched out.

    Man they work fast. Those cells were fine last night. I remember looking at 3 cells, right next to each other, all capped yesterday. 2 of the 3 had big holes in the side of them this morning.

    Wonder how long I should give it before checking and see if they tore them down, accepted them, or they hatched?
     
  10. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    yankee, queen cell open from the bottom, emerged queen, queen cell big hole in the side = dead queen.
     
  11. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Wait 7 days minimum. 14 days preferably.
     
  12. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    Do you think I should wait that long? They have been queenless for a while it looks like. No brood in either deep.

    If I wait another week or 2 before checking and these 2 queen cells didn't work, will I be running the risk of
    developing a laying queen? If I'm not already.

    I did not see any multiple eggs in one cell, or drone brood yesterday so I don't think I have a laying worker, yet.
     
  13. pturley

    pturley New Member

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    If you are worried about "laying worker", just give them a frame of brood to tend.

    Unless you are really good at spotting a young agile queen among the bees, 7-14 days will allow time for the queen to mature, start laying and the brood to grow large enough to be easily viewed with a minimum of disruption.
     
  14. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    If the queen is there, wait.

    If the queen was killed, you already had laying workers, so another week won't matter.

    If you don't wait, you could cause them to kill the queen or you could accidentally do it yourself.

    I still say WAIT.
     
  15. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    Well Well Well,

    I just home from work and I had some old queen cells I just removed from incubator this morning. Been in there for almost 2 weeks.
    But I had one I had cut out Monday night from an out yard hive that had several supersedure cells. I had cut one out and left the rest. I had this one sitting on top also not even in a cage. I was walking through the garage and glanced over and saw a bee sitting on top of this queen cell. I thought it was just a regular bee that had flown in the garage. Nope, it was a stinkin queen. She had hatched out and was walking around on the cell. She walked right in a cage.

    I think I just solved my big hive queen problem. :thumbsup: Unreal.

    Now watch me go down there and the queen cells I installed this morning be open at the bottom.

    Gotta luv this stuff. Never ever a dull moment. Do bees always act this way? They never stick to the plan.
     
  16. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    They stick to the plan Yankee, their plan. I've tried providing each of my hives with their own copy of "Beekeeping for Dummies," and even went so far as reading them selected passages from the book. Didn't do a bit of good. :lol:
     
  17. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    Lol Gunsmith.
    My wife is always asking how bees ever made it all these years without me.

    Update, I cant make this stuff up.

    I went down and put the queen that hatched to in the big hive in a queen cage. Will release her probably Sunday.
    The 2 queen cells I installed this morning were not torn down or not opened yet. I removed them and put them in the incubator. I am almost certain they will accept her.

    But get this, we went and checked our top bar have that we put a swarm in about 3 weeks ago. They have drawn about 4 frames half way down. The were the calmest bees I have ever seen. I was inspection the new comb and it had a small amount of larva on each frame. I noticed it was all capped drone. Then I got to seeing eggs, I noticed they were not in the middle of the cell. Over to the side. Then i got to seeing 2, 3 4 eggs in the same cells. Yep, you guessed it, a laying worker.

    They are not big enough to try and save. I guess I will just let them continue drawing comb in the top bar and hopefully I get a swarm call in the next little bit. I could use the drawn comb to help give a swarm a head start in the top bar.
     
  18. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    How long do you think I should leave this virgin queen caged before releasing her in this big hive. With her
    not being mated yet, is it as big of a deal getting accepted.

    She hatched yesterday and we put her in the hive yesterday afternoon. Storms coming through AR tonight (if this matters) I keep reading that they do bad things to queen cells during storms.