Queenless hive with varroa

Hi Honeyflow friends! — I’ve been out of touch for a while, but last week I finally moved my bees from their original Langstroth hive into their beautiful new Flow Hive home. While I was at it, I sent a few photos to Beescanning in Sweden to do an AI-enhanced photo scan that identifies pests and diseases. They return the photos marked up with anything found. As it turns out, my hive has both veroa and some sketchy brood. The upper box has at least 5 full frames full of beautiful honey, and lots of worker bees, but no sign of eggs or a queen anywhere. There are also no queen cells. Also, there is larvae in the lower brood box (with all the drones). I didn’t inspect that one closely today because I wanted to get in and out as quickly as possible.

Today I treated the hive with Apivar strips. I also have Formic Pro and Oxalic acid (a little overkill, but I wanted to be prepared). I thought that Apivar might be more gentle on this weak colony.

So should I wait until after the 42-day treatment to introduce a new queen? What are the chances of finding a mated queen around the holidays in SoCal? If there are nucs available, I could also start a second colony in their old Langstroth.

There’s going to be a serious honey flow here soon after the new year, and I don’t want to miss it!

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That would be too late. There will be very few nurse bees at that point, and many of the bees will have died off. I would probably take the strips out, introduce a new queen, give her a couple of weeks to start laying, then put the strips back in.

If you call the number for www.ohbees.com, they can probably get you a queen. They have breeders in Hawaii who help them with a year-round supply. Their Italian queens are gorgeous, and do very well in our climate.

I would make sure that you really are queenless first though. I am out of town right now, but what you really need is a frame of eggs and young brood to see what they do with it. If they start making queen cells, you know you are queenless. If they don’t, she is in there somewhere, and they are happy with her, even if you aren’t! :wink:


Thanks, Dawn. I’ll give them a call today.

I called ohbees and they have plenty of queens.

I’m pretty sure my hive is queenless, because a week ago when I moved them into the Flow Hive, I carefully inspected each frame — especially in the lower box. This time when I added the Apivar, I carefully inspected each frame in the upper box. There is capped drone brood in the lower box, and only honey in the upper.

I’ll contact the SD Beekeepers and try to rustle up a frame of brood to see what they do.

Oh no! I’m sure they’ll be fine. Beek to the rescue. You got this. :raised_hands: wishing you and the ladies all the best. :hugs:

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Thank you, Freddie! :honeybee:

Here’s some good news…my queen is alive and well! Jorge from the San Diego Beekeeping Society came by today and helped me inspect my hive. She was in the middle of the top box, which is full of honey and worker bees. She’s small and golden, and really beautiful. She’s laying eggs and everything looks good! The lower box is full of drones and I’m treating the whole hive with the Apivar strips. When that treatment is done, I’ll remove any frames from the lower box that look suspect.

I also got my first bee sting today… at least the first in recent memory. When I was cleaning up, I picked something up off the table (without my gloves) and didn’t realize there was a bee attached. So she got me!



I am so glad that you got Jorge to look at things with you. He is a very experienced beekeeper, and a really nice guy too. You chose well!

I am happy that you don’t need to re-queen. That is why I suggested the frame of BIAS (brood in all stages). Queens are very elusive, but queenless hives are usually pretty quick to use a BIAS frame to make a new queen while they can. If they make a load of queen cells on that frame, you can be sure that you are queenless.

Just to reassure you, we probably only see our queens about 50% of the time, and they are marked! That is pretty common, even for experienced and commercial beekeepers. As long as you see eggs and young larvae, you have a queen. If the general temperament of the hive is good, there is no need to find the queen and replace her

Jorge was surprised how gentle they were, and suggested that I do a split in the spring when things start cookin’. I am so relieved! I was feeling like a bad beekeeper!

Je crois que vous essayez de recruter des visites sur votre lien pour gagner de l’argent en utilisant Internet. Je ne crois pas que ce soit une vraie question. Très peu de personnes vivant à Beverley Hills, aux États-Unis, poseraient une question en français sur ce forum. Je m’excuse si je me trompe, mais je ne vais pas cliquer sur votre lien hypertexte html, et je ne vais pas répondre à votre question. Veuillez rejoindre un club apicole local et y poser votre question. Merci!

In English:
I believe you are trying to get hits to your link to make money using the internet. I don’t think that’s a real question. Very few people living in Beverley Hills, USA would ask a question in French on this forum. I apologize if I’m wrong, but I’m not going to click on your html hyperlink, and I’m not going to answer your question. Please join a local bee club and ask your question there. Thank you!

Hmm. Still reads like French… and spam.


Je suis d’accord! :wink:

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