Requeening a Hive

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Jayme, Jul 3, 2018.

  1. Jayme

    Jayme New Member

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    We have 2 hives (#1 is mine, #2 is his), started from package bees in May. We had clipped and marked queens. We were feeding 1:1 sugar water and progress seemed to be going great. We were up to about 3 frames half drawn out. We check on them every 7-10 days.

    Week 4 (June 15)
    Both hives had larvae and capped brood. Both queens were spotted. Comb was still being drawn out. Everything seemed fine.

    Week 5 (June 23)
    Both queens were gone. Hive 1 had a closed supersedure cell. Hive 2 had 10+ queen cups.
    The population in Hive 1 is very low. Maybe 1/2 of a frame on both sides covered with bees. Hive 2 still has a good amount of bees. Close to 2 frames 2/3 covered with bees and a good bit of capped brood.

    What could have happened to our queens? Other beeks have suggested they could have been viewed as weak because they were clipped. Thoughts? Suggestions?

    I made the choice to purchase a new, mated queen for Hive 1. My BF decided he would "let nature take it's course" with his hive.

    Week 6 (July 2)
    I picked up the new queen and headed to place her into Hive 1. This is what I found - My new queen had emerged from the supersedure cell. There is very little of anything in the hive, other than this new queen and a bunch of new bees. Considering the life span of the workers and the rainy weather we have had, possibly delaying mating flights and the fact there is pretty much no brood left to emerge, I chose to replace the natural queen with the purchased, mated queen. My BF did not spend much time inspecting Hive 2. However, it was still very busy, no new queen spotted. A few queen cups spotted and possibly a supersedure cell.

    :( I'm worried if I've made the right decision to requeen this hive. I'm holding on to a prayer the hive will accept this new queen and she starts laying - SOON!

    I'd love to hear any thoughts and suggestions about this situation.
     
  2. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Active Member

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    I would have left the new queen alone in that have, then took a few frames of bees from the busier hive and made a split and let the queen cells hatch and hopefully end up with 3 hives in the end..bees do a good job of keeping themselves going and since its not for commercial honey production, why kill off a perfectly good queen...I dont think I would clip the queen again, just mark her...keep feeding sugar water to all the hives and see what happens..
     
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  3. Jayme

    Jayme New Member

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    Yes, I really had second thoughts about removing the natural queen. I did not have the new queen clipped, only marked. I'm quickly learning I need to have 1 or 2 more deep supers on hand.
     
  4. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    extra woodware is a good thing. It is July 3rd. What part of the country, or world, are you in? After september 1st in Texas it is hard to get a queen mated and a hive fully populated from a newly hatched queen. But without knowing a location, if you are in Canada - I'd have recommended buying a mated queen. We are past summer solstice
     
  5. Jayme

    Jayme New Member

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    I am located in southeast Georgia.
     
  6. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You have plenty of time to get a queen mated, if the opportunity should arise again.
     
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  7. Jayme

    Jayme New Member

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    I did a full hive check, on both hives, yesterday.

    Hive 1 - NO MARKED QUEEN in hive. No capped brood or signs of larvae. Noticed a spider on the underside of the bottom screen. Turned out to bee a Black Widow. Removed and squashed the spider. No signs of supersedure cells being constructed. Only 3 frames with about a third of each frame has been worked on.

    Hive 2 - Did not see a queen. Some capped brood and a few larvae. 2 open supersedure cells. 3 frames with about half od each being worked on. This hive has a lot more bees than Hive 1.

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed that these hives will make it.

    Any suggestions or advice?
     
  8. Casey Johnson

    Casey Johnson Member

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    How old are the larvae do you think? Do you see any eggs at all?
     
  9. Jayme

    Jayme New Member

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    I didn't see any eggs. But my eyesight isn't the greatest and the sun was pretty bright.

    My guess about the age of the larvae is about a week old, very plump and grub like.
     
  10. Casey Johnson

    Casey Johnson Member

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    I lost a queen in my hive after a swarm. Had 8+ capped queen cells and still ended up queenless. I have heard you can listen to the hive and if you hear a low roar, they are queenless. I found that to be true as my strong hive emits a low roar now. I had to order a queen.
    Sounds like the queen last laid in your hive 7 or 8 days ago. Might be time to requeen if you are certain no eggs are being laid and don't see any larvae in the 3-7 day range.
     
  11. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Get some reading glasses you can manipulate inside your veil, need to see whether eggs or tiny larva. I'd be certain before ordering a queen, or have a spare box on hand in case you have one and a new one comes.
     
  12. Jayme

    Jayme New Member

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    We will be checking on them this coming weekend. Fingers crossed both hives will be queenright. I will update when we do. Fortunately, the apiary we purchased from is very close and we can get a queen within a day or 2.
     
  13. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    that is good. Keep us posted!
     
  14. Jayme

    Jayme New Member

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    Good news for both hives.

    Hive #1 No sign of the marked queen I placed. It has no capped brood and no larvae. BUT there is a queen cell with a larvae in it!!!! It isn't capped yet. I got a great picture. I will try to figure out how to share it with you. It says the format is too large.

    Hive #2 has a QUEEN!!!!!!! A big one too. She is three times the size of the ones bought from the apiary. I only seen 2-5 larvae in this hive, no eggs. I wore my glasses this time, lol. Maybe I'm just not seeing what I should be seeing.

    Keeping my fingers crossed these hives will catch up and make it through the upcoming winter.
     
  15. Jayme

    Jayme New Member

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    Here is the picture I took of Hive 1

    Screenshot_20180717-093745_Gallery.jpg Screenshot_20180717-093745_Gallery.jpg
     
  16. Casey Johnson

    Casey Johnson Member

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    It's hard to see in the picture but they look active around it. Seems like a good sign. I bet you are excited :)
     
  17. Jayme

    Jayme New Member

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    Good things seem to be happening with both hives.

    I am very excited :D
     
  18. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That is wonderful. Nothing more majestic and magical than a queen.