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Author Topic: replace queen?  (Read 3129 times)


  • Joined Sep 2008
replace queen?
« on: March 15, 2011, 02:28:45 pm »
Hi folks, decided it was warm enough to take a look inside and do a spring inspection. Didn't seem to be many bees around but a good number coming on with full pollen sacks. Found the queen who came to me with this swarm last year. No sign of any brood or eggs. Don't want to lose it and have to start again. Should I replace the queen quickly to give this colony a chance?
Is it worth mentioning that a saw a number (maybe 50) of dead bees actually in cells, facing outwards, with no caps. Is this normal?


  • Joined Sep 2009
  • England
Re: replace queen?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2011, 03:52:58 pm »
If you have another hive take a frame with eggs on and put it in, if the Queen is no good the bees will know and they will
replace her, that Queen may not be brilliant because it takes a lot of bees to make a good one and there will be a shortage of drones about to mate with her, if any. So you may need to repeat the exercise in a few month time.
Alternatively unite the colony having removed the duff Queen first and then split it later on in the year when a Queen will be more readily available.

Time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a banana.


  • Joined Aug 2009
  • Crynant Nr Neath
Re: replace queen?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2011, 08:59:10 pm »

If you find dead bees with their butt's sticking out of the cells, it usually means they starved. Keep feeding sugar syrup, they take kilos of the stuff if they have no stores. Its probably because the colony was on the brink that you have no brood.

This winter I lost one hive from starvation even though they had fondant on the frames, looks like it was too hard for them to deal with. My second hive was very weak but is recovering now and taking lots of syrup, but no brood. The third hive is better and there is brood.




  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: replace queen?
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2011, 09:10:40 am »
Unfortunately if your queen has failed and you have no brood or young bees, even if you did manage to requeen. The gap between the new brood hatching and the old bees dying would be too much and they will die out anyway. It would also be impossible to find a young mated queen at this time of the year. The bees in cells heads up. Can only be brood that has died, possibly from cold if as you say there aren't many bees. You need a strong stock to cover the brood sufficiently. I would appear this stock is doomed from what you've written. It does sound strange that there's pollen going in though, are you sure there's no eggs or brood? Again though if there's no brood. The colony is history. If you are confident they haven't died out through disease. Use the empty hive as a bait hive to attract a new swarm. Then concentrate your efforts on making increase. Try to have an absolute minimum of two hives. Then if you ever find yourself in the same position again you can bail one out with the other. 

Sorry not to be more positive



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