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Queenless again !

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steveselvage 

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I bought a colony a few weeks ago and found it was queenless (actually Admin did) Ive tried putting a frame of brood in but as yet see no eggs although i may still be too early.
After much debate the seller agreed to give me another colony if i paid him for the actual hive as i still wanted to keep the original one to see how they got on.
The new colony was stuffed with brood and it was assumed that there was a Queen present.
This new lot have been stroppy since they arrived (minimum of 2 stings every time i open it) and i have been followed about 40 yards and stung five minutes after closing up the hive.
I checked them today and find no eggs or young brood only a large area of what i assume to be Drone brood as the cells are large and about a dozen queen cells,all capped.
What should i do now?
Will the first queen out destroy all the other queen cells and is there a way of capturing a queen to use on my first hive if i find that they have been unsuccessful in raising a Queen of there own?
 

jimbeekeeper 

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The new colony was stuffed with brood and it was assumed that there was a Queen present.
Sorry to say Steve, but the word assumed should not be used when buying anything!

1st time can be a mistake from the seller, but a second time...:toetap05::spam:
 

Finman 

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Do you have some tight places in your hive where queen will be squeezed?

The queen is fat and it is the first which will be between something when you lift frames and put them back. Over all, the queen will not die by itself.

If the queen is dead, the hve will rear a new hive in 10 days. You need not "nurse queen cells". Let them rear a new queen. Perhaps the first capped is better to take off because they are oldest larvae. But let at leat 5 be in the hive.
 

Poly Hive 

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Well you have here an opportunity.

You can certainly take a frame with one or mroe queen cells on it and put it in your "queenless" hive. I would suspect that there is a virgin in there already but hey putting a cell will confirm it for you. If there is a virgin the cell will be destroyed in short order.

Leave a cell in your donor hive, or two possibly to be on the safe side and then wait for three weeks to see if she mates and lays.

Stroppy with two stings. Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr no. I really don't think as a beginner you are really right to say that. If they are queenless and the operator is inexperienced getting away with two stings and a bit of following is perfectly reasonable.

PH
 

jon 

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As Finman says, it is very easy to kill the queen by squashing her.
I have watched beginners checking through colonies wearing gloves which look like motorcycle gauntlets, pulling frames apart and pushing them back together roughly without knowing where the queen is.
I reckon the queen will be killed within 3 or 4 inspections in these cases.
You need to find the queen and preferably set her on her frame in a nuc while you inspect. You can then go through the frames, even clumsily, and will only squash workers or drones.
The bees will be permanently bad tempered though.
If you can't easily find or identify the queen you need to be extremely careful when you manipulate frames.
 

Poly Hive 

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Just a tad unrealistic Jon, most beginners can't ever find a queen so are you suggesting they rake the colony through and through until they either kill her or find her?

Let's be a wee bit sensible and suggest how they might handle the bees better in the first place.

PH
 

Nopants 

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Just a tad unrealistic Jon, most beginners can't ever find a queen so are you suggesting they rake the colony through and through until they either kill her or find her?

Let's be a wee bit sensible and suggest how they might handle the bees better in the first place.

PH
It took me 3 inspections to find my queen over a period of 3 weeks as she wasnt marked. I think its a case of being patient / not panicking and letting a more experienced bee keeper look through the hive with you. Having said that my Experienced helper couldnt find her either all though we had evidence of new eggs,sealed brood and good brood pattern.
 

planbee 

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Coincidentally, it's taken me 3 inspections in 3 weeks, to find mine!

It was yesterday.

I was going through the hive, having totally given up all idea of finding her.

The cows in the field where the hive is, have a habit of creeping up on me very quietly; how can 22 beast that big, together with a calf, arrive at the other side of the electric fence sooooo quietly?

I was busy talking to them, holding a frame.

Then when I looked back at the frame, I noticed a bee that was a bit different to the rest, this one was a different colour!

I thought, "Oh! that's unusual, I've got a red one here, I wonder where she came from?"

I almost put the frame back when I realised "THAT'S HER"!!!!

Oh! "Deep joy", as the late Stanley Unwin would have said.

I knew there was one in there, but didn't know she was marked, so it's great to have seen her.

John
 

steveselvage 

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I may well have squashed the queen when i looked through the hive,i wasnt actually searching for her but looking for new brood to reassure myself that all was ok.
I think more likely the damage may have been caused when i transported the hive in my van,i had to unload it by myself and stagger down a steep garden and i know i knocked it about a bit in the process.
I wasnt trying to say that this hive is a "stroppy" hive just that it is much more defensive than my first colony and that having found it to be queenless this would explain why.
My concerns are that i have left twelve queen cells in the hive, should i remove any?
Could it cause a swarm if they are left?
Thank you polyhive for the answer regarding trying a frame in the first hive, i think ill wait to see what happens as you are probably right about a virgin being present, ill leave it alone for a couple of weeks.
 

steveselvage 

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Couldnt resist a look at the bees today and to my surprise every queen cell has been torn open at the side. I am hoping this means i have a virgin queen.
A dozen or so dead drones outside the hive though.
Lots of drone brood still capped.
No stings or bumping either today.
I think its time to leave them alone for a fortnight.
 

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