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NZBF Winter inspection - 2 queens and no queen.

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50 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

Maybe I should get a jump start kit , they would be easy to carry and not to heavy .

yep i have one, never thought of using it for this job, should be really great as they are nice and light,

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2 hours ago, kevin moore said:

yep i have one, never thought of using it for this job, should be really great as they are nice and light,

I do have two jump starts here with stuffed batteries.

I took them apart to put new batteries in but the batteries were nearly as expensive as a new jump start.

I have not thrown them out , I can not bring myself to throw out stuff with useable bits .

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1 hour ago, kaihoka said:

I have not thrown them out , I can not bring myself to throw out stuff with useable bits .

You must have a private arm of the harbour to fill in ?

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Well, an interesting afternoon. I thought I would transfer the remains of my queenless hive into a 5 frame nuc. Surprise surprise, I found a secondary, and much larger cluster, including the queen, down in the bottom of the bottom box.  Same queen too as I had marked her in January. They were in between 2 plastic frames. There was not a skerrick of stores present, the remains of the cells were thin and crumbled when I touched them. Going by the state of the frames, used and unused, they started near the middle and moved to the left, then got stuck and for some reason would not go up into the top box, or move back towards the other end. As luck would have it, the two frames that would have been directly above them, were also plastic and had not been fully drawn out or filled.

I have moved them anyway, with a solid frame of stores either side, and 2 frames 50/50 honey and pollen.  They might do better in a small space. I will get the OA on to them again on Sunday.

This is my only hive that I have seen clustered, but all the others have solid bases. this is on one of those fancy plastic jobs. Maybe just a little cooler than the others.

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2 hours ago, yesbut said:

You must have a private arm of the harbour to fill in ?

 There's Still a bit of room in the corner of husbands shed .:6_smile:

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I have a question about missing queens and drone layers over winter that someone may have tried before... Have a decent strength hive but it appears the queen (who is still there) has become a drone layer. In summer this would not be an issue, could just replace her. But, being mid winter, we can't just throw a new queen at this hive, as I don't have spare queens. I realise the obvious answer is to unite this hive with a queen right one, so hopefully I don't get dozens of replies just suggesting this because, it got me wondering... As there are plenty of drones now coming through in this hive, if I put a frame of eggs in there, and whack the old queen, will they raise a new one at this time of year (mid winter)? And then, would she even attempt to leave the hive to go on mating flights in low temperatures? I have read somewhere, that as a last resort, queens will mate within a hive (not sure if this is accurate or not) and these drones would not be her offspring, so that would still be ok. Just wondering if anyone had ever experienced or tried this situation during winter?

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Welcome to the forum @Norm Arnott !  As a last resort you could always uni ....ar shadup...

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1 hour ago, Norm Arnott said:

I have a question about missing queens and drone layers over winter that someone may have tried before... Have a decent strength hive but it appears the queen (who is still there) has become a drone layer. In summer this would not be an issue, could just replace her. But, being mid winter, we can't just throw a new queen at this hive, as I don't have spare queens. I realise the obvious answer is to unite this hive with a queen right one, so hopefully I don't get dozens of replies just suggesting this because, it got me wondering... As there are plenty of drones now coming through in this hive, if I put a frame of eggs in there, and whack the old queen, will they raise a new one at this time of year (mid winter)? And then, would she even attempt to leave the hive to go on mating flights in low temperatures? I have read somewhere, that as a last resort, queens will mate within a hive (not sure if this is accurate or not) and these drones would not be her offspring, so that would still be ok. Just wondering if anyone had ever experienced or tried this situation during winter?

If it was me I  would just leave the drone layer alone till the middle of aug then squash her put a frame of eggs in and put the drone brood in the freezer.

.

She may have a chance to mate in spring .

If you can find a frame with capped brood and standing eggs that would be ideal .

 

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If by drone layer you mean drones in worker cells , then they are useless and will drag the hive down . They are not breeders . The worker Bees will waste food and energy rearing them, then they hang about consuming more food 

 

And no, queens don’t mate in the hive , well, not to my knowledge anyway 

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36 minutes ago, M4tt said:

If by drone layer you mean drones in worker cells , then they are useless and will drag the hive down . They are not breeders . The worker Bees will waste food and energy rearing them, then they hang about consuming more food 

 

And no, queens don’t mate in the hive , well, not to my knowledge anyway 

Yeah, I was skeptical about the in-hive mating thing. The drones are in older frames so could well be in old drone cells. Weather is too crap to open again and look carefully. What I started wondering about though was, that if these drones are viable, would the bees raise a new queen cell in winter, and would she still attempt to fly on a half decent day? Or does the whole 'winter thing' just completely switch them off rearing a new queen? Does their instinct to desperately replace a bad or missing (by my evil hand) queen override the seasonal instinct to just hunker down and hope for the best? I'm thinking I might experiment with this and see what they will do. I can add young bees and feed to make up for the food-guzzling drones. It'll be interesting to see that if in mid winter, you have drones, and IF the bees raise a new queen, and IF she manages to get a nice weather window, they could succeed in this.

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I’ve never managed to get queens mated in winter 

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3 minutes ago, M4tt said:

I’ve never managed to get queens mated in winter 

Nah, everything would have to fall perfectly for it to succeed, but I think I'll give them every chance to try it to see what they will or won't attempt. Mating flight weather will be the thing that I'm pretty sure will bring an end to it all. Will be interesting to see what/how they do.

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