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tkwinston4 

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Right here is my situation; we have looked on three separate occasions now and still cant find the queen. Have found plenty of drone cells capped, hatching or with grubs in them. No empty queen cells and no queen cells being formed. Bees are diminished and they haven't got any honey. I would say they have enough stores for themselves so they aren't going to go hungry. They are bringing in plenty of pollen too.

Is my only option to purchase a new queen? What do i do with the drone cells that keep being made?

We also found some wax moth larvae which we got rid of asap. No damage to the foundation tho.

All advice welcome. :confused: :(
 

andypigeon 

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sounds like laying workers you have is they more than one egg in a cell and eggs layed on the side of the cell if not you have a drone laying queen
 

andypigeon 

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no if you put a new queen in the old one could kill her you will need to find the old queen or what ever is laying the eggs and get rid of them
 

tkwinston4 

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Well i have looked for the queen three times and cant find her. I have also had another beekeeper look and she cant see anything either. Granted we are both newbees.

The bees arent exactly packed three high so i would have thought i would have seen her.

Also there is drone brood about the QE.
 

andypigeon 

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its laying workers then you need to move the bees and empty them all on a cloth away from the hive and requeen the hive, the flying bees will go back and the laying workers wont
 

andypigeon 

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if you could get a test frame of eggs and put in they will rear there own queen other wise it could be weeks to get one
 

victor meldrew 

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if you could get a test frame of eggs and put in they will rear there own queen other wise it could be weeks to get one
This is also a good test whether queenless or not .
I agree that you seem to have laying workers and should be dealt with as advised :).
After getting shut of the laying workers cadge a frame containing eggs from your friend , look in three or four days to check if queen cells are being drawn out ! if so check again in another 4/5 days . once queens cell are sealed ,pick the best two, knock the rest down and leave well alone for 3 weeks .
Hope this makes sense ?

john Wilkison
 

tkwinston4 

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This is also a good test whether queenless or not .
I agree that you seem to have laying workers and should be dealt with as advised :).
After getting shut of the laying workers cadge a frame containing eggs from your friend , look in three or four days to check if queen cells are being drawn out ! if so check again in another 4/5 days . once queens cell are sealed ,pick the best two, knock the rest down and leave well alone for 3 weeks .
Hope this makes sense ?

john Wilkison
John, that makes total sense and thanks. Been really busy over the weekend and weather is too crap today to do anything but will hopefully get something done tomorrow. Cheers again :)
 

tkwinston4 

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This is also a good test whether queenless or not .
I agree that you seem to have laying workers and should be dealt with as advised :).
After getting shut of the laying workers cadge a frame containing eggs from your friend , look in three or four days to check if queen cells are being drawn out ! if so check again in another 4/5 days . once queens cell are sealed ,pick the best two, knock the rest down and leave well alone for 3 weeks .
Hope this makes sense ?

john Wilkison
Hi John and others

Right i have looked tonight (first descent weather day) after day 4 and NO queen cells being made whatsoever. The larva are hatching and nothing new is replacing them.
Oh and i have found some wax moth larva tracks to top it all off.

The drone layer has defo gone tho and they are still happily bringing in stores to fill the empty drawn comb so it aint all bad :( Oh and the extra hatched bees seem to have given them a small boost.

What now?

If i get a swarm can i unite them, would that even be sensible considering they are clearly not on top form?

What's the best option to get rid of the wax moth? They are in a new hive but some of the foundation is last years so do i need to get rid of all the foundation? If i do this it will leave them with nothing and they arent drawing out any of the fresh foundation i have given them. I dont want the poor little buggers to starve on top of everything else.

All advice gratefully received.:banghead:

I feel rather guilty that it must be something i have done :(
 

Eyeman 

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Right i have looked tonight (first descent weather day) after day 4 and NO queen cells being made whatsoever.
If you have or have had laying workers then a test frame doesn't help. The colony feels content with the laying workers which have taken over the job of the old queen so wont want to build queen cells. Laying workers take on average 33 days or 4-5 weeks to develop so has the colony been queenless for that long? If there are no eggs, did you do the shook swarm as suggested. If you did then you probably go rid of the present group of laying workers.
The other reason they don't build QC's if because they have a queen.
What now?

If i get a swarm can i unite them, would that even be sensible considering they are clearly not on top form?
Despie what a lot of people say there is some good research which suggests colonies with laying workers will accept queen-cells which are protected. That would be your best bet at the moment- should be lots of queen cells around this time of year- but you need one that is close to emerging unless you have a means of keeping it warm as the bees may ignore it.
What's the best option to get rid of the wax moth?
Wouldn't worry about a bit of wax moth- just squash any moths and larvae when you seen them and the bees should sort things out when they build up their strength.

Let us know how you get on.
 

tkwinston4 

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Hi eyeman and thanks for the reply.

I have got rid of the laying worker and they are defo queenless. Fingers crossed for a swarm or a free queen cell from someone then. I presume i could also buy a queen and introduce her?

And cheers for the comforting words about the wax moth. :)
 

oliver90owner 

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You have 2 colonies? Get the bees to develop a queen cell, or a few, in the other one. Fairly standard (basic) procedure.

Simple solution, will take time, of course, dependent on the condition of the other hive; but that is why some of us always recommend 2 colonies as a minimum.

A colony which has had laying workers may need brood adding more than once, to get a queen cell drawn in the hive.

Regards, RAB
 

tkwinston4 

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My other colony is 23 miles away and i am rather reluctant to travel the 23 miles with a queen cell on board. I have asked a friend who is more local if i can have a frame of hers when her bees cap over a couple of queen cells.
Unfortunately hers are rather swarmy but i guess if i can at least get my colony built up and then by the time they think about swarming the season for that should hopefully be over.
Sound sensible?
 

Poly Hive 

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I have taken ripe queen cells over 120 miles with no problems that I know of.

Just letting you know what is possible.

PH
 

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