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Queenless colony - trying to re queen??

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Floss 

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My main hive is sadly depeted with no signs of a queen - no eggs, few drones. I tried to split (on advice due to multiple QC about three weeks ago - this failed - it coincided with the sudden frosts).

I have heard queen/s piping until recently (2 days ago). checked yesterday.

Very depleted - guess they have swarmed/ lost queen/s/died
No signs of queen - no eggs etc few drone - lots of nectar- some stores - they are flying well. I have been feeding them but they are not drawing foundation (contact feeder keeps leaking - pain and I worry about robbing...)

So - They are clearly trying to re queen. There is a capped QC on side of 1 frame and three in middle of frame on undrawn foundation near outside of hive, 2 capped, 1 uncapped. My instinct is to trust them to sort it out so I left them and intend to look again in a couple of weeks and conitue feeding - Question: is this ok?

Sorry about the long post. Any advice would be appreciated!

regards and many thanks

Floss
 

rae 

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8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
It sounds like you are exactly where we were about 10 days ago. We had piping queens and remaining queen cells, and we thought they would sort it out. They did sort it out - by swarming! Sounds like yours have done the same. What we did was go through them and eliminate all but one queen cell. Actually what happened is that the queen hatched during the inspection, was grabbed and caged, then all the other queen cells were pinched out. The first queen found was then released back into the hive.

Hopefully by this weekend, the queen will be mated and laying. We'll see!
 
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you could wait and see. Not sure if this is your only hive but even if it is you could perhaps try and beg a frame of brood from another bee keeper so they can create emergency cells. There's a school of thought which suggests that such a q would be inferior and you might need to requeen anyway but at least this way you could save your colony.

Good luck
 

Floss 

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Thank you both - I am going to see what happens and if no go in a couple of weeks I will put in a frame of brood from my thriving colony.

I don't want to upset their natural state although I appreciate that swarming is'nt always desirable which is what I have been unsuccesful in avoiding! I am reluctant to introduce a queen at this stage because there are queen cells. As regards "inferior" queens there is another school of thought that bees know best and will genetically breed in qualities (such as disease resistance) that may benefit the hive but result in bees that produce less honey...I don't feel "right" with imported queens personally. All good stuff though - thanks again, I appreciate your comments!

Good luck this weekend Rae! Hope all is well.

Kind regards - Floss
 

MJBee 

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Floss, If you wait 2 weeks and then find your hive is queenless you have wasted 14 days. Put a frame of eggs/very young larvae in NOW. Check it in 3 or 4 days - Queencells = colony queenless. No queen cells queen present perhaps not yet mated. Good luck Mike
 

buffalow 

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Floss, If you wait 2 weeks and then find your hive is queenless you have wasted 14 days. Put a frame of eggs/very young larvae in NOW. Check it in 3 or 4 days - Queencells = colony queenless. No queen cells queen present perhaps not yet mated. Good luck Mike
Sound advice
:iagree:
 

Floss 

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Point taken but I do have capped QC's in this hive (2 outside brood area in centre of frame on undrawn foundation). Would you suggest a frame of brood now or wait?
 

buffalow 

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now, if a q hathes she should kill others remaining , if she starts to lay it will be before they raise from young brood added now , add now nothing to loose wait and you could loose more...
 

MJBee 

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Hi Floss (again), A Frame of eggs/ young larvae - often called a test frame - is the beekeepers best friend.

If at any time you cannot see any eggs during an inspection put in a "test frame" (I mark mine with a coloured drawing pin)it will give you a positive answer to the Q+ or Q- question in a few days.

The advice given to newbees that it is better to run 2 colonies is not just to have a comparison or as insurance against the loss of 1 during the winter it is to provide a test frame. I see you have 3 colonies so you're well covered.

Let us know the result:seeya: Mike
 

Floss 

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Many tx Mike. I have been away over the weekend but will have a shufty the first opportunity and pop a frame in from my strongest colony (which is probably getting ready to swarm anyway !).

I have been thinking about it and it will certainly give the bees some time back as others have commented - I am aware that time is ticking....!

Cheers

Floss
 

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