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Queen gone off lay!

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the naked beekeeper 

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Hi all,

I introduced a mated queen to a queenless hive about a month or so ago...she was accepted and layed up 3 frames nicely.

A couple of weeks later and I see two supercedure cells drawn out in the middle of the frames, so I knocked them out....

since then I have not had any eggs for the last 7-10days...what the hell could have happened!! Can a queen just stop laying like that!! She wasn't marked but I did see a queen in there when I inspected yesterday.
 

RayN 

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I had a queen go off lay a couple of weeks ago but I put it down to a side effect of the apiguard treatment.
 

cstroud 

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Hi,
I hav'nt been into my hives for some time now, as I am quite happy with them and have let them get on with preparing for winter. I would'nt expect some of my queens to be laying as it is November! I know its been mild, and although queens of some strain, many don't and they fill up the brood chamber with stores.

Could be what's happened to yours??

Chris
 

the naked beekeeper 

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Indeed they are filling up the brood chamber with stores.
I was just concerned as they're only 6 frames strong.
My other hive, she is laying still a few eggs.
 

cstroud 

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Looks as though you will be wintering a 'nuc' then. If I was you, I would take out the extra frames and place all the frames you are keeping against one side of the hive with a dummy board at the other end of the frames, so that the bees are'nt trying to keep that part warm as well!

I don't think you can expect the colony to fill the remaining 5 frames at this time of year. Concentrate on feeding them, if they seem light on food, otherwise I am afraid you will lose them. Not sure what you can do about your queen except unite them with another colony if they really are queenless. Be careful with opening the hive at this time of year, you may risk 'chilling' the brood if there is any, my beekeeping mentor constantly reminds me of that!

good luck
Chris
 

gavin 

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Yes, reducing the space available in the brood box may help them come through the winter.

I know that you are in Cornwall and I'm in Scotland, but searches for eggs in November will do much more harm than good. There isn't any good it can do now, other than satisfy your curiosity! Much better to leave them alone, confining any lifting of the lid for applying oxalic in December if you are planning to do that, and popping on some fondant if it appears that they are running out of stores.

Colonies of this size will often come through the winter here, as long as they have a good queen, the mice are kept out, they are dry, and they have enough stores (they can make it on 4-5 frames of stores, yours might have access to earlier forage).

all the best

Gavin
 

bobandbec 

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Could it be that you've had a supercedure and the queen you saw was the new queen, either virgin or mated. Either way could have meant you seeing no eggs in the box.
As everyone else has said better now to leave until Spring as there is little or nothing you can do now whatever the circumstances. Just make sure you keep an eye on stores and give fondant if needed, keep fingers crossed and check in the Spring.
Hope it goes well for you.

Peter
 

the naked beekeeper 

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Thanks everyone for your replies.....I will now just keep an eye on them then and leave them well alone until Spring....I'm sure the bees know best....
 
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