Failing Queen?

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MJBee 

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I have a colony that overwintered well as a 5 frame nuc. It was transferred to a Commercial brood late April and gradually increased to 11 frames using a dummy board. With bees on all frames it was given a super 10 days ago.

An inspection today showed bees on 7 frames only, masses of open honey (the acacia is in full flow) very little brood - an area about the size of a saucer on both sides of 2 frames. The queen (2009) was seen and eggs and larvae are present BUT the ratio of sealed drone:worker is about 40:60:( The super is completely empty.

It looks as if the queen is running out of steam but why is this colony quite happily heading for extinction without trying to supercede? Comments and potential solutions welcome:cheers2: Mike
 

oliver90owner 

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Potential solution looks to be 'requeen at the earliest opportunity' or the potential outcome will likely be drone brood = 100% and no 'house bees'. As you say, they would be doomed, and probably are already, if all the present eggs/young brood are drone. Sorry, but only comment is 'they do what bees do, and not necessarily what we expect them to'.

Regards, RAB
 

Stiffy 

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I have had the same (see thread) http://www.beekeepingforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=4751
Queen overwintererd really well and was building fine but hadnt laid for a week at least. I have now squished (I felt awfull) and re-queened.
Not sure what was wrong but maybe the hard winter was just too much?
Cheers
Steve
 

Haughton Honey 

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I'm with RAB on this.

Re-queen at your earliest opportunity.

Contact 'gandalfwhitewizard' on here. He has some good queens and may well be able to supply you about now.
 

MJBee 

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Thanks all, you all confirm my decision to requeen.

Fortunately I have queens in Apideas and eggs present, just waiting to confirm they are laying worker eggs. I also have other colonies with the same frame (I run a mix of National and Commercial hives) so I can boost with a frame of brood if necessary so I should be able to save this colony.
 

MJBee 

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Update - all is well - they have sorted the problem themselves:)

Time line as follows.
25 May - noticed the bad drone/worker ratio - the first hint that the marked (green) queen was failing.
3 June - went to requeen. Marked queen was not found but an unmarked (virgin?) queen was found. Supercedure? Left alone for new queen to mate.
21 June - Bees and brood on 6 frames. eggs larvae and sealed worker brood present. Unmarked queen seen laying. no more drone brood has been produced.
25 June Eggs larvae and sealed worker brood on 7 frames unmarked AND marked queens found 2 frames apart, both alive and well.

ps The queen I was going to use in this colony is now doing well in a 5 frame Nuc:)
 

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