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Queenless or not ?

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darrenperrett 

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During an inspection at the beginning of July i found that
one of my hives had no eggs/larvae.
I have popped in three test frames over the last 6 weeks and had no Q cells built and the temperament of the bees is still very good.
They have plenty of stores / pollen.
It would be easier if i had a drone laying Q or laying workers so i could make a diagnosis.
Would a non laying Q keep the hive happy enough to not
supercede her ?

:confused::confused::confused::confused::confused:

Any advice welcome.
 

justme 

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Hi Darren, sorry cannot answer all your question but it did take just over 4 weeks for my last queen to start laying, then a drone layer:((((( just unlucky I guess. 6 weeks does seem a bit long though. Hope fully someone more helpful will be along soon. Di;.)
 

Heather 

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Was this hive previously ok with laying queen?
I suspect they have a queen and she has stopped laying- hopefully temporarily. I had this and bunged in a frame of capped brood - seemed to remind her and she kicked off again. Sorry not more helpful.
 

darrenperrett 

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Thanks for the replies.

They`ve had 3 frames of 14x12 brood over the last few weeks so they`re not dwindling away.
I`m not sure whether to treat them like a laying worker colony and then try a frame of brood or to risk uniting them with another colony as they are.
It would be so much easier if they just built a few Q cells :)
 

oliver90owner 

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I would temporarily split into two boxes and see if there is a difference between the two parts after, say, 20 minutes.

Queenless half should let you know, unless both are Q-.

If there I would then be replacing her PDQ. If there she is just the sort of queen you don't want!

Regards, RAB
 

darrenperrett 

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I would temporarily split into two boxes and see if there is a difference between the two parts after, say, 20 minutes.

Queenless half should let you know, unless both are Q-.

If there I would then be replacing her PDQ. If there she is just the sort of queen you don't want!

Regards, RAB
Thanks RAB.
I`m taking the supers off tomorrow so i`ll have a look on Wednesday if the weather`s ok.

Darren
 

MJBee 

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I have the same problem except mine has turned into the hive from hell.

I split the frames into 2 brood boxes 6 & 5, left them for 20 mins - BOTH boxes were the same:toetap05: At least the foragers had gone home so the 6 frame box was easy to inspect - definitely no queen. Conversely the 5 frame box was heaving with bees looked hard but no queen found - difficult with 50+ bees glued to me veil trying to get to my eyes:(.

I gave them another frame of eggs/young larvae and retired hurt - 20 plus pings through beesuit and trousers and ankles down wellies - I finished putting the hive back together like a demented morris dancer.:eek:

Like Darren any further advice would be welcome
 

darrenperrett 

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I`ve just been through my problem hive and found the non laying Q.
She looked ok to me and the bees must have been happy with her for a few weeks but there are still no eggs.
I`ve popped in another test frame which i`ll check in a few days and hopefully i`ll have some QC`s.

Darren.

Darren.
 

Finman 

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When you lift the test frame in the evening, you may find the queen walking on brood frame. On days the queen may be flying out.
 

darrenperrett 

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Hi Finman.
I just had to find her and remove her as she`s 10 weeks old and not started laying.
I`ve got a Q in nuc to replace her with but just wanted to make sure that the colony knew they were Q- before risking her.

Darren.
 

Finman 

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Hi Finman.
I just had to find her and remove her as she`s 10 weeks old and not started laying.
I`ve got a Q in nuc to replace her with but just wanted to make sure that the colony knew they were Q- before risking her.

Darren.
OK then.

Move the old hive to another place and seal it with excluder. Put the nuc into old hive site.

Bees fly to the old site and queen stays inside the box.

It is better to protect the queen with cage that arrived bees do not attack on the queen.
 

darrenperrett 

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Thanks for that Finman.
I was going to do something like that but the weather has been wet for quite a while here now so i just went out in the drizzle to get it sorted out.

Does anyone know if Bcrazy is still collecting Queens ?

Darren.
 

drstitson 

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queenless hive - stupid question

ok we know that in normal life cycle workers spend 3 weeks in hive and 3 weeks foraging.

so a hive that has been queenless for less than 6 weeks (ie upto 3 weeks post last capped brood hatched) may still have potential nurse bees. After that aren't they all foragers for next 3 weeks until they die.

In order to requeen after 5 weeks or so do you therefore need to add some new young nurse bees (a frame each from 2 other hives) or do the remaining workers reset themselves somehow in a last desperate attempt to secure future of colony as both Queen and larvae will need feeding.
 

oliver90owner 

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No. It's not normal (the colony). Think about it, no more (or less) normal than the workers surviving months on end during the winter and nursing brood in the spring.

RAB
 

Hivemaker. 

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Bee's don't live by some strict fixed time scale like that....depends on conditions within the colony and enviroment outside.....
 

darrenperrett 

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I checked the test frame today and still no Q cells started after squashing the Q on friday. :toetap05:
I split the hive temporarily to get an idea which half was queenless - no difference, both sides were lovely and calm.:banghead:
I went through every frame 3 times but no Q to be seen this time.
So i`ve now put a 5 frame nuc into a full hive and swapped places with this Q-? hive to boost the nuc. On a nice day next week i`m going to treat the remaining bees as a laying worker colony and dump them up the field to sort themselves out.

Why can`t i just have a drone laying queen or laying worker colony like everyone else, lol.

Darren.
 

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