Quantcast

What to do with a queenless colony

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

bignikki 

New Bee
Joined
Aug 29, 2010
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
Location
Carmarthenshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10
One of my colonies is queenless and has been for at least 5 weeks. On the record it says that it was queenless and I put in a frame with eggs in ,for them to make a new Q, on the first of August. Obviously this didn't work.
I was going to unite it with another colony the other day there , then I thought "What's the point?"
They are by now old bees, there is very little nectar about for them to help get in and it's probably too late for them to raise a new Q themselves.
Should I just let them die out?
 

Moggs 

Field Bee
Joined
Mar 5, 2010
Messages
946
Reaction score
0
Location
Worcestershire
Hive Type
14x12
Why not just give them to a beek who can at least try to do something for them? To be fair, your post is lacking in detail but my initial reaction to it was quite depressing.
 
Last edited:

bignikki 

New Bee
Joined
Aug 29, 2010
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
Location
Carmarthenshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10
Mabe I'll post a question on what to do with them on the beekeeping forum.
Oh!
I just did!
 

bignikki 

New Bee
Joined
Aug 29, 2010
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
Location
Carmarthenshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10
Sorry Moggs I shouldn't be cheeky.
Do not old bees in the winter cluster encourage nosema Finman?
 

Moggs 

Field Bee
Joined
Mar 5, 2010
Messages
946
Reaction score
0
Location
Worcestershire
Hive Type
14x12
Hi BN - not cheeky. I was a bit miffed when I read the words 'let them die out' which I read to be synonymous with 'neglect' as a first reaction. However, if it is a very weak and a colony with older bees.... as you suggest any combining may not be productive. Difficult call.
 
Last edited:

Mike a 

Drone Bee
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
1,789
Reaction score
0
Location
Hampshire
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
Between 17-20
They are by now old bees, there is very little nectar about for them to help get in and it's probably too late for them to raise a new Q themselves.
Should I just let them die out?
Welcome to the forums BigNikki
Still plenty of work for them to do over the next 4-6 weeks or longer if the weather holds with all the Autumn pollen and nectar plants, I would combine the brood chambers using 2 sheets of newspaper between them to give a slower combine time then in a week or so's time once they have combined reduce them down to one brood chamber and keep only the best frames with stores.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
2,433
Reaction score
0
Location
Kingsbridge, South Devon
Hive Type
none
Number of Hives
0 - Now in beeless retirement!
Just make absolutely sure there isn't queen in there or you could end up with two dying colonies. If you only have the two and your queen-right colony is doing OK then don't bother. They may yet spring a surprise.
 

bignikki 

New Bee
Joined
Aug 29, 2010
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
Location
Carmarthenshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10
Ok I'll have a good look for a Q again tommorow then if I can't see one I,ll unite them with another smaller colony.
Thanks!
 

Roy S 

House Bee
Joined
Mar 12, 2009
Messages
212
Reaction score
1
Location
uk, Huyton, Liverpool
Hive Type
national
Have you tried another test frame recently?, I'd do that rather than just look for the queen. Chances are you may miss her and assume they are queenless only to get a nasty surprise when you combine them :blush5:
 

bignikki 

New Bee
Joined
Aug 29, 2010
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
Location
Carmarthenshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10
Try a test frame? Hmmm
If they make Qc's would there be time for them to raise a new Q?
 

Hivemaker. 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
14,310
Reaction score
8
Location
Exmoor.
Hive Type
national
If they make Qc's would there be time for them to raise a new Q?

Yes they would raise a queen no problem....but doubt that queen would get mated.
 

winmag270 

House Bee
Joined
Dec 17, 2009
Messages
382
Reaction score
0
Location
lichfield, staffs
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
not saying anymore in case SWMBO reads this... ;o)
Try a test frame? Hmmm
If they make Qc's would there be time for them to raise a new Q?
she probably wouldn't get mated at this time of year, however a test frame would show if they are definately queenless or not.

once you know this for certain you can then decide whether thay can be combined as they are, or you have a queen to find....
 

Roy S 

House Bee
Joined
Mar 12, 2009
Messages
212
Reaction score
1
Location
uk, Huyton, Liverpool
Hive Type
national
Chances are there wont be good enough weather or enough drones by the time they raise a new queen, but it will give you a definate answer to is there a queen in there. If there isnt a queen, leaves you two options. one...combine...or two..try to get a mated queen from elsewhere to introduce.
You may have problems with drone laying workers by then if they've been left queenless for a while though. If it was me I'd just find out if there was a queen or not then when sure there isn't, combine them with a colony that might need a bit of a boost.
 

drex 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
2,675
Reaction score
128
Location
N.E. Essex
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10
In the first post you say:

and I put in a frame with eggs in ,for them to make a new Q, on the first of August. Obviously this didn't work.

By did not work, do you mean they did not produce queen cells? If so then that indicates that you have a queen in there somewhere. My virgin hatched on 2/8/10 and I am still eggless, but two test frames tell me she is still in there, even if I cannot find her.
 

beebreeder 

Field Bee
Joined
Aug 17, 2009
Messages
787
Reaction score
0
Location
Wilts
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Lots
Even if she is mated she will have to get on with it to raise any winter bees, or at least enough to let them survive the winter, but then as all on the forum we do not know the colonies strengh
 

rae 

Field Bee
Joined
Aug 5, 2009
Messages
826
Reaction score
0
Location
Berkshire
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
We had exactly the same, in our case it was a large swarm that seemed totally incapable of raising a queen. It had been bolstered with brood from a strong colony, given a test frame, and make a couple of queen cells that were later torn down.

They got tipped out on the ground (just in case there was a queen in there), and once the flyers (pretty much all of them) were back in the hive they got combined with the strong colony. The front of the hive is awash with spat out newspaper, which looks positive.

Not much chance of them raising a queen, getting her mated and then laying up for winter bees at this stage.
 

Polyanwood 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
Messages
2,203
Reaction score
1
Location
London
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
45
What is people's advice if trying to combine nucs and one of them is drone laying workers (DLWs)?

If you combine DLWs with a queenright colony that is small, does this put the queen at risk???
 

bignikki 

New Bee
Joined
Aug 29, 2010
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
Location
Carmarthenshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10
Hello again,
To update you all on my Q- hive -- well I united them with a small colony after checking again for a Q and now they are doing well with all of the best frames from the BB,s .
Thanks for the advice everyone.
Nikki.
 

Latest posts

Top