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Monday, April 05, 2010

Aristaeus2 is a Queenless Hive

On March 10 I took this picture of the apparently lovely queen in Aristaeus2. I was so pleased to see her and to see that she was starting to build up the hive.

I've noticed very little activity in this hive over the past week. I'm not seeing pollen flying in with the bees and it's a quiet hive. This morning I decided to open it up. It's generally a quiet hive, so I didn't light my smoker and didn't wear gloves.

I was inspired to open it because this little clump of bees was on the landing, looking as if they were having a rather serious conference.

I opened the hive and a "queenless roar" went up. I was stung three times on my bare hands. I went indoors, got gloves, came out and lit the smoker. When I returned and opened the hive, there was not any capped brood - all empty cells. There was one frame with a saucer sized group of drone brood.

In despair (this was the hive I planned to take to the mountains), I opened Mellona and found a frame of brood and eggs. I shook all the bees off into the Mellona hive and brushed any clinging bees. Then I put this frame into Aristaeus2. This gives the queenless hive the resources to make a new queen, if they can. We'll see. I marked the frame so I could check and see if they have created a queen cell.

Meanwhile I think I'll try to find a queen to buy.

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  1. Wow, that is so interesting to me. I've been wondering if I also have a queenless hive as I couldn't find her majesty the last two times I checked the hive and also they have been rather aggressive. I haven't looked inside for a couple of weeks but the girls have been really active, bringing in pollen so I think I must have a queen in there. Anyway, I ordered a new queen because I'm hoping she'll be mellower and make a more gentle brood. I'll let you know.

  2. She was very pretty. What do you think happened to her?

  3. I've been worried that I killed her putting the frames back in the hive box when I inspected on 3/11. There was some capped brood in there then. All that is there now is drone brood and since it takes 24 days to emerge, longer than workers, it makes sense that she must have died on my inspection day. I'm heartsick about it - I've never killed a queen accidentally before, if I did this time.

  4. We did our first inspection last weekend, and we only pulled out 2 brood combs, but She was on one of them. We didn't see her until looking at pictures later. The hive is calm and behaving as usual, so we hope everything is OK. She was a replacement queen last June, and it was really cool witnessing the whole process. I hope your girls make you a new queen that is super pretty like the one you lost, and promiscuous as well ;)

  5. Also when I look at that brood pattern, it's really poor, but I wouldn't think the bees would do away with her without making a supercedure cell, so I probably killed her in the putting back together of the hive at the inspection.


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