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Honey, no brood


#1

Ok I’m pretty new to this, my second year. I was going to do a split today and popped open the two brood boxes to discover lots of honey, no brood, just a handful of drone brood. I saw some supersedere cells (not sure if I’m correct) I think. There were built out cells on the sides of a couple of frames and hanging queen cells on the bottom of a couple of frames. All were open (empty) except for one. I didn’t see a queen but I have never seen the queen. I’m colour blind so I think I’m a little challenged that way.
Anyway, I couldn’t do a split because I couldn’t find any brood cells but I did find a couple of frames with pollen. So I added another brood box (now have three) because most of the frames seemed full. I also put the flow super on top with a queen separator because obviously the bees are bringing in honey but the queen is either gone or I don’t know what…?
My question is should I buy another queen or two and do a split with two different queens. I bought a second flow box expecting to be able to do that this year. The hive seems strong with lots of bees, lots of drones but no queen.


#2

Hi Ron…I wonder if there were any eggs?


#3

I actually wasn’t looking for eggs but I did look at a lot of cells and didn’t see any eggs. Did see pollen and honey, capped and uncapped.


#4

Ron- I wonder if the hive has made a new queen but she is yet to lay eggs? Perhaps you were inadvertently inspecting between the old queen being active, and before the new queen has had a chance to lay?


#5

Could use a picture but if you had queen cells like this : It looks like a peanut still in the shell; I’ll say they swarmed and close up the hive and check back in 2 weeks.


#6

Couldn’t there be a recently hatched queen - spending time out of the hive on mating flights?


#7

Could be. Many times she goes around and kills rival queens in their cells but not always like in afterswarms.


#8

Your colony has swarmed and chilli 's advice is spot on.
Just as an aside, there are a lot of posts on the forum about having identified supersedure cells in a colony when they obviously are not. What makes you think they are supersedure cells? I’m not dissing you just trying to get to the bottom of what folk are learning. As a rule swarm cells are generally more than two, anywhere on the comb and of differing ages. Supersedure cells are usually one or two, often together on the same comb and at the edge of the brood nest. Emergency cells are multiple and being extended on worker cells are buried in the comb and are again usually the same age


#9

I had one cell that looks like that and it was still closed. I was scraping off the burr comb and scraped that one off but thinking afterwards that maybe it was a queen cell and I had no queen I put it back in the hive wedged between two frames. Probably a dumb thing to do. The other ones I saw were built on the side rather than bottom and were built out from the frames. Have to do some more reading, having a little trouble understanding the diff. between these different structures as there are three or four stories for every type.


#10

For a swarmed colony it has a lot of bees. But I’ve never experienced a swarmed colony so don’t know what it should look like. I’ll do some more reading, thanks Dee


#11

The comment wasn’t particularly aimed at you, apologies.
To answer your question a swarmed colony has no queen and has queen cells, usually capped as that is the trigger for the bees to push the queen out.
Unless you are in that hive on the day they swarmed you will not notice that there are fewer bees because brood is emerging all the time.
If the bees have swarmed at least three days before you look in there will be no eggs. If 8 days after then there will be no open brood and you will probably see queen cells that are open, i.e. where the new queens have emerged


#12

Ok here’s some photos of the bits I scraped off the frames. There are at least three cells that could be queen cells and one capped one that I put back in. Should I have? Do you think the hive has swarmed and because of the evidence of these cells do you think there should be one or more queens in the hive?


#13

The 3rd picture looks like a queen emerged from it. Many times the “lid” is still attached and flipped backward. Some of those appear to just be queen cups, not cells.

The last picture looks like a queen was removed “forcibly”, and before she was ready.


#14

I agree completely with Chilli


#15

Why would a queen be removed forcibly…? Some palace intrigue? Is this what happens when there are too many queens or already a queen. What do you think is going on in this hive? If there is a new queen then is she too new to be laying do you suppose – should I just do as you previously advised, leave the hive for a couple of weeks and check again?
I was trying to do a split when I discovered all this. I have the new hive all set up ready to go but I’m guessing this is not a good time to go ahead with that given that there are no eggs or brood apparent.


#16

I’m sticking with the hive swarmed and will re-queen itself or it would have had you not killed them all. Hopefully the one you tried to save emerges and saves the day.


#17

That’s a little harsh chili I didn’t kill any of them except possibly the one that was still capped and I put it back in. What makes you think that there aren’t already queen(s) in the hive given that there were several open cells!?


#18

Oops, I never read that the cells were empty; my bad and I accept that you accept my apology lol.

I’m just recommending that you cover your bases. Do you have another queen-rite hive as a contingency?


#19

considering the hive is full of bees still- with lots of honey- is there a chance at least it was supercedure and not swarming? When my friends hive swarmed last year there were not many bees left in the hive and the swarm took almost all the honey with them…

@solareagle assuming you have one or more virgin queens running around in your hive: apparently it’s a good idea to leave them alone for the next week or so as the queens ‘dry out’ and head off on mating flights. They are vulnerable at this stage. If the weather is good the queens will mate around 4 to 6 days after emerging- and start laying maybe 10 days or so after that. So you probably won’t see eggs for a few weeks still.


#20

Maybe: he stated hanging queen-cells on the bottom and given the season I went with swarm.