Saturday, November 13, 2010

Duchess Queenless?

Not good.  Going into Duchess to add the Apistan treatment I could find no brood or eggs.  The bees were more defensive than normal.  There were many queen cell looking structures that were being torn down by the bees.  Only one of which had an exit hole out the bottom.

 Chewed up Queen Cell

There was plenty of brood last time i was in the hive.  I cant know what happened but my guess is I accidentally mashed the queen during the last inspection.  It looks like they tried to create several emergency queens.  Which may have produced a Queen.  Unfortunately there really isn't any drones left for her to mate with.  Which leaves her a virgin queen, unable to lay eggs to help the colony

Now, maybe she did find a drone and has come back to the hive but hasn't started to lay eggs yet.  I need to check one more time next week to be sure.  If not she's been handed a death sentence.

In the Beemaster forum Michael Bush said that bees from a queenless hive can drift to a queen right hive if it is nearby.  Duchess sits next to Mary.  He also said a queenless hive in Fall can face major robing pressure.

If it turns out she is queenless I plan to combine her with Mary using the newspaper method.   Duchess's top Deep box which is filled with honey will be placed on top of Mary.  All Duchess's bees will be shaken into that one box.  If the combination works Mary will be a very strong colony with more supplies than she can use.  Duchess's bottom Deep box will go into the freezer to be utilized for a different hive in the future.

I will talk to people in the bee club at the meeting next Thursday.  I'll figure out what I'm going to do then.

aun Aprendo


immwia said...

I will keep my fingers crossed for you and hive. I hope you don't end up with the virgin queen. I will keep my eyes on the blog to find out what happens next.

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Hemlock said...


Thanks. It's upsetting to lose a new colony. I've not had the best luck with the bees.