Hello all, new to the forum, new to bee keeping, let me get to the point…have my first hive since April, up until a week ago everything was looking great!..hive is strong, lots of bees, tons of brood, honey, larva, etc…I haven’t seen my queen in a few weeks but wasn’t concerned because I’ve seen brood…last week I noticed what I thought were queen cells, unsure on what to do with them, I left them. They were supercedure as well. As of this past Saturday, the 3rd, I have no brood, nothing…the brood box is has only honey, bee bread and pollen, lots of empty cells, and on top of that, I couldn’t find the queen…what the hell do I do now?
It is very unlikely the colony has swarmed but if there is no brood at all it is likely the hive is queen-less so what I would do is buy a queen and introduce her to the colony. Ask the queen supplier if you can have her marked with a paint dot, green is the color for this year.
Introduce the queen in her cage into the colony and she should be accepted and released in a couple of days and you should see new larvae within a week of her being released.
Colonies will often make supercedure cells but that doesn’t mean they will be used, I leave them there, I used to knock them down but the bees remade them in a couple of days, I call them ‘play cells’, just to tell us they can make them if they need them.
Thanks for the advice…is it a possibility that a new queen has emerged and killed the old queen and I just didn’t see her? My concern would be if I ordered a new queen, it would take a few days to get to me, then I go to put her in and there was a queen all along…which if I had a frame of brood I could just start a nuc, but I have no brood…
So something similar happened to me this year.
Lots of bees, I saw some queen cells, but I thought I would take down some myself (big mistake).
Anyway, had bees and no brood or eggs or larvae, was super concerned so I went and bought a marked queen. Got her in the hive checked a few days later and took the cage out. All is good right? Well, I inspected the hive only to find an unmarked queen laying. So, I think she left and mated while i was putting in the expensive queen that my colony ended up killing. Anyway, that is what happened to me, I think every single episode is different with each hive.
Anything is possible I guess, but you are saying there is no sign of brood at any stage so you should assume that there is no queen in the hive. What normally happens is that when a colony is making a new queen in a queen-right hive the old queen leaves the hive as part of a swarm to make a new hive elsewhere.
As you have a hive with no brood you really should order a new queen pronto.
As there is no brood in the hive the colony can’t make another queen so doing nothing is not an option, your idea of a new queen already in the hive simply doesn’t stand up, if there is a new queen you would see larvae in the brood section.
You are not the first to have assumed the colony was queen-less when you don’t see her on an inspection. A queen on a mating flight can be away for a few days till she has mated with several drones, I have read she can mate with up to eight drones before returning to the hive where she flew from.
So don’t get overly stressed if you don’t see a queen, just look again after a few days in the brood area.
I used to knock down queen cells but after a few days the bees have made new ones that may not get used. Now I don’t bother in knocking them down but keep an eye on them and when they have a larvae in it I then decide what to do, maybe make a split with the queen in one hive and the queen cell in the other.
Once the new queen has mated and laying and the colony has built up the complete hive is a very salable item.
Perhaps they just superseded and the queens out? Not sure of the timeline.
Where on the frame were the queen cells?
Pretty late to be swarming. Is there a Flow on?
Thanks a lot, this is helpful, I was last in there on Saturday, so I will give it another day, then take a look, if I don’t see eggs, I will order a new queen…just concerned and confused on why this would have happened. The hive looks really good, they have plenty of room, I don’t see anything many hive beetles, I haven’t done a mite check yet, but I was planning on doing it soon…but thank you, I’ll let you know what happens
Yes, queen cells were in the middle of the frame…I believe there was a flow…I have a good amount of capped honey in the honey super, as well as capped honey in the brood box.