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I have a non laying queen

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In an out apiary I have a hive of Italian bees that were a swarm I was given last year as a friend had no space for them.
I took a look a couple of days ago and noticed there were no eggs or brood.
The queen is present but no pollen is going in.

They are down to 2 frames of bees,I have tested for Nosema and Acarine and they are negative.

My thoughts are that being Italian they are lazy buggers and waiting for warmer weather.

Not sure what to do here,do I put them in a Nuc box to warm them up a little?

Take a frame of emerging brood from another apiary?

Place them ontop of another colony for warmth?
Tip them out/let them die out as I dont plan letting the drones anywere near my main stocks due to them being Italian.

My thoughts are that the queen thinks she does not have enough bees to forage and keep any brood warm enough.
 

Haughton Honey 

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Lots of Commercial hives.......
If you don't want the drones anywhere near your stock and the queen is 'iffy' what about moving them in to a nuc box and re-queening admin?

Edit:......or kill the queen and combine the rest with one of your weaker colonies?
 

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I was keen to try and get some eggs off the queen for grafting to see what they mated like with local drones in the area.

I have never really bothered with Italians before so was keen to experiment with them.
 

Mike a 

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My thoughts are that being Italian they are lazy buggers and waiting for warmer weather.
I thought Italian queens were the most prolific at the start of each season and started to lay massive amounts of eggs and its not until April Carni colonies match and then over take them in size.

I've also read and heard several southern UK beeks say we are running about 4-6 weeks behind this year due to the extreme winter we've just had.

I took a quick peek into my hive a week or so ago across the top of the frames and could only see 50 odd bees on top of the frames, waiting for 15-16'C before I even think of opening them up properly and checking some of the brood frames for eggs and stores.
 

Onge 

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I was keen to try and get some eggs off the queen for grafting to see what they mated like with local drones in the area.

I have never really bothered with Italians before so was keen to experiment with them.
I'm no expert but 2 frames at this time of year !!! and you want to graft from her?

Does not sound remotely good to me.
 

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I'm no expert but 2 frames at this time of year !!! and you want to graft from her?

Does not sound remotely good to me.
That was the plan last winter yes.
This year no chance!!
I new they would give me problems,hence why I isolated them from my other stocks.
I am just interested now to see all the ideas that members come up with.
Yes Hivemaker its the queen from the original swarm(Prime).

Mike A: a few of my hives(my own mongrel queens) are on second brood box's already so I dont think its the weather as they are only 8 miles away.
Regards weather I understand what you are saying,I opened these up because I had zero pollen going in and wanted to see if I had a queen/many bees present.
 

admin 

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Are you saying the queen could be Nosemic?
I checked a few of the bees last night and they were clear.

If thats the case then god know's what people could be importing with Queens..
 

Bcrazy 

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Admin,
Don't get rid of the queen post her to me please.

Regards;
 

admin 

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Promise you she is your's Bcrazy..
 

Finman 

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I suppose that nosema has spoiled a queen. That has happened to me many times.

Once I had a big hive. It has a large brood area in April and then it stopped laying. I took from another hive a laying queen and it stopped too. A third queen succeed to continue. That has have happened to me even in the middle of summer.


But your hive No queen. 2 frames bees. It is not much. If you give a new brood frame from another hive, you just loose on frame of bees and you do not know what happens. That small colony is not able to rear new normal queen.

You may try a new trick. Loan a laying queen from anther hive and return it ater one week. But does it get sick - who knows?
 

oliver90owner 

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If you are going to do anything with them, a smaller box and more bees must be the way to go. Any eggs eventually from her would be good enough for grafting, but offspring will be mixed race anyway. Imported queens - hmph!

History has shown that most importations are generally for economic reasons, not necessarily for the improvement of the gene pool. Same for plants, stock and people!

Regards, RAB
 

Finman 

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2 occupied frames of bees. Their living time is not long.

It is easier to start a new colony later when you get a laying queen.


I have spare hives 20%. Their duty is to compensate lost hives after winter and the most common reason is that queen's laying ability is dropped under acceptable level. I do not cry after them. Loosing queens are more common than loosing hives.
 

m100 

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It's pointless moving them to a nuc if the queen won't start laying. and far too early to get a well mated queen, so maybe try a pint of 1:1 stimulative feed in a contact feeder to see if things spring to life. If they really are disease free and not already in worker laying mode, then dispatch the queen (matchbox in the freezer is probably the most humane) and combine them with another colony using a sheet of newspaper. The extra foragers should help another colony along. Tipping them in front of another hive, especially if they have no 'gift' of nectar will probably condemn most of them, and the guards of the recipient colony to death.

An Italian like colony, a swarm I picked up in a bait hive last year has until now been by far the most active earlier in the day and bringing in masses of pollen, the other, darker coloured bees have on the whole, significantly smaller pollen loads and much less activity, but they are also much more active than the Italians later in the day (although this is almost certainly be due to the sunlight and shading that the hives receive at this time of year) It's not been warm enough to look at any frames yet, so who knows what's going on inside :)
 

Ely 

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Bcrazy. You're not the guy from 'The silence of the lambs' are you?:laughing-smiley-014:laughing-smiley-004
 

thurrock bees 

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ive got the same problem, they raised a new queen over the christmas period after being attcked and the old queen being killed.ive seen her and there are no eggs. however the hive is 5-6 frames of workers, so ive put in a frame of mixed brood ( eggs,unsealed and sealed brood) an see what happens, tired getting the queen but missed her.
 

Poly Hive 

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They raised a queen over Christmas and you are surprised there is no brood?

I hope you realise she is a stale virgin and useless?

PH
 

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