Failed queen ?

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

thedozzer 

House Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 5, 2018
Messages
475
Reaction score
9
Location
Essex
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
just 2 Hives again
We had two relatively healthy hives through most of the winter, both had plenty of stores.
During the very cold snap with the snow, one of the hives got water/moisture inside.
when we first inspected it, there was the smell of fermenting honey, mold and a lot of dead bees, but we found the queen and there were still enough bees to be viable. and there were plenty of stores that were OK

So we swapped them into a nuc, down to 2 frames of stores, two of the best laying frames, and insulated either side.
since then they have just slowly dwindled away!
they are now down to about 20 bees and a very sad looking queen, first time we have had this and not sure what to do next?
We have though about taking a few frames of brood from the other hive and try the queen in cage, but not sure if she is a dud or just doesn't have enough attendants & nurse bees to lay.
Can queens get damaged if they get to cold or are in a wet moldy hive?

It was a 2020 late introduction buckfast queen from a well know supplier so a few £ down the drain if we cannot save her.

Any thoughts gratefully received as we are at a bit of a loss!
 

Boston Bees 

Bumblebee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
897
Reaction score
796
Location
West Yorkshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10-20
Tell us

a) did you treat for varroa, and if so how/when?
b) what type of hive are they in - is it obvious how water got in, or was it condensation?
c) is there any young brood at all?

Ta
 

thedozzer 

House Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 5, 2018
Messages
475
Reaction score
9
Location
Essex
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
just 2 Hives again
Yes treated for Varroa in late Autum = Appivar for 6 weeks until zero mite drop.

maisemore polyhive, the water got in between the QE and miller feeder, we use the galvanized QE and it showed signs of rust in one corner.

there has been no brood or eggs for 4/5 weeks now, but because of the very cold temps. our inspections have been a bit sporadic, there are a few bees that look like they died in the cell.
 

Boston Bees 

Bumblebee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
897
Reaction score
796
Location
West Yorkshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10-20
Yes treated for Varroa in late Autum = Appivar for 6 weeks until zero mite drop.

maisemore polyhive, the water got in between the QE and miller feeder, we use the galvanized QE and it showed signs of rust in one corner.

there has been no brood or eggs for 4/5 weeks now, but because of the very cold temps. our inspections have been a bit sporadic, there are a few bees that look like they died in the cell.
And they have food to eat, right?
 

thedozzer 

House Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 5, 2018
Messages
475
Reaction score
9
Location
Essex
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
just 2 Hives again
Both hives were given barrel and half of thymolated syrup, the dud hive had 4 full 12 x 14 frames of stores left, and when we moved them into the nuc, we gave them 2 full frames of caped stores, so not fermented, and we scored them so they would know it was there. one of the frames have a good amount of pollen on the bottom to.
 

Boston Bees 

Bumblebee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
897
Reaction score
796
Location
West Yorkshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10-20
It's just really hard to say without seeing the actual frames. Queen would go off lay anyway if there were only a handful of bees left.

You could take resources from your other hive and make a strong split with the queen in a cage, as you say. As long as there are eggs in the split then they will supercede the queen if there is something wrong with her.
 

madasafish 

Queen Bee
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
9,838
Reaction score
1,116
Location
Stoke on Trent
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
6 to 8 Langstroth jumbos, a few Langstroth and National nucs.
I have seen a number of hives like this.
I dummy them down to 3 frames and place fondant on top of the bars - AFTER spraying gently with thymolised sugar water...

Basically it tries to induce the Q to lay and gives food close to the few bees left so they don't have to go into a cold feeder or drink cold solution.

Seems to work.

Did one this am.. down to bees on three frames - maybe 500. They should survive.
 

drex 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
2,962
Reaction score
419
Location
N.E. Essex
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10
Despite the thymol syrup feed, I would test a few bees for Nosema. That can severely impact a queen. I think madasafish has taken that into account in his advice as thymol spray ( repeated) can help inhibit Nosema
 

thedozzer 

House Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 5, 2018
Messages
475
Reaction score
9
Location
Essex
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
just 2 Hives again
I have seen a number of hives like this.
I dummy them down to 3 frames and place fondant on top of the bars - AFTER spraying gently with thymolised sugar water...

Basically it tries to induce the Q to lay and gives food close to the few bees left so they don't have to go into a cold feeder or drink cold solution.

Seems to work.

Did one this am.. down to bees on three frames - maybe 500. They should survive.
Hi MAAF There are only about 50 bees left!! we are going to try the re caging her in a nuc with a few frames of BIAS/bees from the other hive.

Despite the thymol syrup feed, I would test a few bees for Nosema. That can severely impact a queen. I think madasafish has taken that into account in his advice as thymol spray ( repeated) can help inhibit Nosema
Hi Drex We have thought about that,we have plenty of Thymol ready mixed to go in syrup, whats the best to use? just a heavy mix sprayed in the top?
 

madasafish 

Queen Bee
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
9,838
Reaction score
1,116
Location
Stoke on Trent
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
6 to 8 Langstroth jumbos, a few Langstroth and National nucs.
Hi MAAF There are only about 50 bees left!! we are going to try the re caging her in a nuc with a few frames of BIAS/bees from the other hive.


Hi Drex We have thought about that,we have plenty of Thymol ready mixed to go in syrup, whats the best to use? just a heavy mix sprayed in the top?
Thymolated syrup is not an approved treatment, I use thymol to prevent the syrup going mouldy. spray a 1:1 mix : heavy syrup is too strong for my sprayer..
 

Malcolm Stamp 

New Bee
Joined
May 25, 2018
Messages
37
Reaction score
27
Location
Norton
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
18
May I tentatively suggest that now would be a good time to cut your losses put this hive down and sterilise the whole lot and look to start again with a new swarm or split. this is what I would be inclined to do as the easiest way to eradicate any potential disease and prevents breeding from what is possibly a poor source.
 

Arfermo 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Messages
2,562
Reaction score
246
Location
Midlands
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Enough
Despite the thymol syrup feed, I would test a few bees for Nosema. That can severely impact a queen. I think madasafish has taken that into account in his advice as thymol spray ( repeated) can help inhibit Nosema
Was about to post but changed my mind. Sorreeeee but have a nice day. Bit of sun today for a change.
 

janetbee 

New Bee
Joined
Jul 2, 2010
Messages
45
Reaction score
27
Location
uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
20
I would try introducing the queen to a newly made up nuc. She may be OK but hasn't been laying with so few workers- and they are very old by now. If it doesn't work you can reunite the nuc with a colony again. Worth a try. 🐝
 

thedozzer 

House Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 5, 2018
Messages
475
Reaction score
9
Location
Essex
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
just 2 Hives again
May I tentatively suggest that now would be a good time to cut your losses put this hive down and sterilise the whole lot and look to start again with a new swarm or split. this is what I would be inclined to do as the easiest way to eradicate any potential disease and prevents breeding from what is possibly a poor source.
Hi, If the little nuc we have made up fails, that's what we will do, but i don't think its a poor queen, think it was poor beekeeping by allowing water to get in the hive that killed a lot of the bees, they were the stronger hive going into winter, and were looking good until the snow!
have been offered some swarms from friends so have back up plan.

I would try introducing the queen to a newly made up nuc. She may be OK but hasn't been laying with so few workers- and they are very old by now. If it doesn't work you can reunite the nuc with a colony again. Worth a try. 🐝
Hi, that is what we did last Sunday, took two frames of capped brood from the very strong hive with plenty of nurse bees, 1 full frame of stores.
Put a few of the old bees and the queen in an introduction cage, next time weather is OK will go in and she how its gone.
Fingers crossed.
 

Latest posts

Top