I have made two splits from a strong hive 2 months ago, 1 split had a swam cell which now has a laying queen and doing well. The other split was just a few frames of brood and honey /nectar frames. That split didn’t make a queen cell from the frames of brood? so 2 weeks ago I added another frame of brood and nothing?? I have looked right through the split and cant find any sign of a queen or any brood. Could there be a bee in there that is stopping the hive from making a new queen? They are always noisy like a queenless hive sounds when I look through them but i’m not sure how to encourage them the make a queen ?
Several options. You could carefully give queen from strong hive and let them make new queen. They will make several queen cells so you could harvest a few for more splits or to have a queen bank. Buy a queen. You could give up and combine. Keep giving eggs and brood until they finally make queen. I like to have a few queens around in nucs so there is always a queen ready to go. That saves weeks of waiting and gives you the option to pinch a bad queen and replace quickly. If you have enough bees continually make queens so you always have a queen or a queen cell
My idea would be to continue adding frames with eggs and very small larvae to the queenless hive and they should get the message to make a queen, I would add a frame every 10 days or so from the strong hive. If your eyes a re good enough to spot cells with eggs they are the best chance to produce a queen.
I haven’t heard of a bee wanting a hive to remain queenless. I would disregard that idea. Another option is to buy a queen and introduce her, but like me, you probably want the satisfaction of success or the hive producing their own.
Thanks guys, I added another frame of perfect eggs and 1 day old larvae 4 days ago which checked yesterday and still nothing… No other eggs or brood being produced on any other frames so i might have to make a queen or buy one… i have two other strong hives which have only just requeened and started laying so im not keen on upsetting either hive just yet. i am in maryborough queensland and was wondering if there was anyone nearby that i could buy a queen from? It would be good to bring in some other genetics to my hives anyway.
Give Jeff Heriott a call at Buderim on 54454602 he sells nucs of very quiet Italian strain of bees but he may sell you a queen as he continually makes splits. Wilma will usually answer calls. He is a top guy. I have wanted to come up your way to do some photography so may be able to help, discuss it with Jeff.
How about an update on the hive Robert?
Hi Peter, after a few months of giving the hive brood i found a queen that wasnt laying anything!. I even left her for a few weeks after i found her and still no eggs… i have since dispatched her and they have made a new queen which i am now waiting for her to lay… the non laying queen was full sized with the normal sized abdomen but didnt lay anything??
RG Electrical P/L
198 Walker st,
Maryborough, Qld. 4650
That is interesting Robert, and something I hadn’t come across before.
As the colony already had a queen (dud queen) that explains why the colony didn’t make a new queen when you added a frame of fresh brood.
It must have confused you
thanks for the update mate
That is extremely interesting because I have had a queenless hive that has been given several frames of brood to no avail. I was planning to combine them with another colony but now I will be very careful to inspect them again beforehand.
Hi Cathie, I’ve had the same thing. It’s best to keep giving them more brood, especially frames chock-a-block with brood. Keep the colonies numbers up, eventually the critical mass of extra new bees will want to make a new queen. I added 3 full frames of brood to a colony that hasn’t made a queen yesterday. I’ll check it out in a months time.
I came to a conclusion that it’s no big deal if a colony doesn’t make a queen, as long as we keep giving them brood. We just need to avoid a worker becoming a layer. That’s the main thing.
Thanks for answering one of my biggest concerns, Jeff. I was assuming that raising the new brood each time was keeping the laying worker instinct at bay but I was starting to wonder.
I should have queen cells in another split soon and had thought I might share them with this queenless one if they don’t do something on their own this week.
Hi Cathie, that’s an excellent idea, I thought about doing that myself. If they knock the QCs down, there’s nothing lost. Just keep giving them brood until they decide to make one themselves. The continuation of brood will keep the laying worker instinct at bay. That, I believe is the main thing to avoid.
Another thing I thought about doing is adding some bees with a frame of brood containing QCs via the 2 sheets of news paper method.
I think we stress about it more than the bees do. That’s why I started taking a more laid-back approach to the issue.
With the colony I did yesterday, it’s a strong colony. I put the 3 frames of brood below the QX in the middle. The good population will produce honey above the QX in the mean time. As long as I remember to take a look in 4 weeks time, I’ll be right. If no queen, I’ll give them 3 or even 4 new frames of brood.
Hi Jeff, I did try giving the hive some queen cells but they just torn them down as they thought they already had a queen. As i only have 3 other hives i dont have enough brood to keep giving more. The queen was acting like a normal queen but no eggs were ever laid so the colony kept getting weaker. The split was only 3 frames large so i didnt have enough bees to fill it with stacks of bees. Only way i fixed it was when i finally found the dud queen and removed her. It triggered the split to make a new queen straight away.