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Queenless hive, what to do now?


Larvae are capped when the grubs are 5 days old so you should see already that the cell walls are being built up and are higher than the surrounding cells that have emerged. A test frame is needed…another good reason to have another colony

And please…I wasn’t having a pop at you at all


All sold out in one day just rang


Thanks Dee, no way was I thinking you were having a go​:slightly_smiling_face: I really appreciate your feedback. Today I have finished making up boxes for another hive. My bee club members have been telling me to get another hive at each meeting. So if my hive turns out to have a queen, I will use the nuc I ordered for my new hive.:wink:


You know you don’t need a whole frame as a test frame. If your nuc arrives in time just cut a few cells out. I have done it for friends who don’t have a second hive. Use a pastry cutter and cut out a pice of comb in the middle of the colony and swap it for a similar cut-out with eggs. Voila! You can tell in three four days time if they are going making queen cells


Heavens I feel sorry for you lot.
Here in the UK…Ok early queens are rare but there are always overwintered nucs up for grabs and as the season progresses we are awash with bees for sale


Wondering why the bees are blocking the entrance completely. It was around 32c today when I had the hive open and is currently 22c at 10pm and will drop to 18c. Any ideas?


Looks like normal bearding. Probably still hot in the hive, and would get hotter if they went back inside. So they are good little girlies and wait until everyone is happy before they go to bed. :slight_smile:


Hi Dawn, I checked the girls this morning and they are all back in side, so they are good girls…well most of the time😉


There is a certain number of bees inside the hive fanning & air conditioning the hive. It’s my guess that the remainder of the bees wait outside otherwise they’d only get in the way of the air flow. I don’t know why they are blocking the entrance. Maybe it’s because of the SBB.


Hi Jeff, yes my hive has a SBB, which I always have in the top slot, so it is sealed off. I only slide it out once a week to see what’s on it. As a matter of interest, I replaced the core flute it came with with white Perspex as I found the core flute a magnet for wax moth. The wax moth grubs were hiding in the flutes and the bees couldn’t get to them. Since changing, no wax moth.:slightly_smiling_face:
Cheers Tim


Hi Tim, I can see that perspex would help that issue. I never have an issue with wax moth. They are present all the time between the perspex & wooden frame of my observation hive. All they do is consume the hive ‘sweepings’, for want of a better word. They will never be an issue in a healthy hive.

I’m a fan of a sold floor that is the same level from front to rear. That way the bees take the debris ‘sweepings’ out the entrance & drop it onto the ground. I believe that a solid floor with no ventilation apart from the entrance is the most efficient way to keep bees. Coupled with a hive that is kept reasonably cool outside on hot days.


Thanks for the reply Jeff I have a spare standard bottom board that your referring to, I think I will make my next hive using this and see how they go.


You’re welcome Tim, my whole air-con/ventilation strategy is based purely from this video.

I’m constantly trying to encourage new beekeepers to watch & learn from this video. One viewing is not enough. Every time you watch it, you pick up something you missed the previous time.


Hi Timbo2

My bees were the same as yours at 10.40pm. It was 23C at that time. The whole entrance was blocked on both hives

Then this morning, all were good. Can’t wait till Sat morning to inspect them. Think I need to do it at 6am before it heats up too much!



Hi Aaron, I hope your bees are all good when you check them on Saturday, mine are still nasty so I’m not sure if they have a queen or not. I have read that when they have a new queen they return to there old calm selves, here’s hoping they’re pretty aggressive at the moment😆 I will check around next Tuesday.
Cheers Tim


Thanks for the video link Jeff, I will be watching
it a few times.


I believe air moves faster through smaller openings vs a large opening. Maybe the bees are trying to compensate for the huge hole in the bottom of the hive by sealing off the front. It would be interesting to see if they are trying to cover the screened bottom in an effort to get some velocity to the air movement.
Kind of like starting a wood-burning stove: If you barely open the door, the fire will get going really fast vs having the door wide open.


Hi Ed, I totally agree with your idea of air velocity, I used to own a pot belly wood stove. With my hive I leave the Perspex slider on the bottom board always in the top slot, it completely seals off the bottom. But I do have a hole in the top inner cover, though I have fly wire over the hole, this could be allowing air to escape.
Cheers Tim


They say 3 out of 4 new beekeepers that think there hive has no queen is wrong! Well I went through my hive today and it appears that I am one of the three.:slightly_smiling_face: We have a small amount of drone brood and and lots of capped worker brood and heaps of larvae at different stages, I can never see eggs, or queen, I looked through twice, then decided to leave Her alone. They have almost drawn out fully two foundation frames I put in brood box last week, they have never drawn out that quick before. I don’t know when but I assume they superceded the old queen. Although they are still being aggressive. Stung my wife yesterday :frowning:️ She was just walking along she said, bad girls!
Anyway happy days!
My ordered nuc will now become my second hive😉

Cheers Tim