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No eggs or brood in hive split mid July

 
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Heartstone
Guard Bee


Joined: 02 Sep 2012
Posts: 65
Location: CO Sligo, Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:39 pm    Post subject: No eggs or brood in hive split mid July Reply with quote

I have a small nuc I made from a strong hive back on the 14th July. Two weeks ago there were 1 or 2 eggs and a very small amount of larvae appearing. Last week there were still only 1 or 2 eggs and also some larvae but only about half a dozen. The frame had been in another hive and had chalkbrood. So given the size of the brood I removed it as the brood was only dying of chalkbrood anyway. I assumed that there was a queen but not laying a lot, maybe just starting out. The eggs were at the bottom of the worker cells not on the sides.

I had a look in this morning (26 August) six weeks after the initial split and no sign of any eggs or brood. Hive is quiet and appears to be carrying on as normal bringing in honey and pollen.

Currently I have 7 hives with known laying queens. This would nuc would make it 8.

Would I be better off waiting for something to happen, re-combine the hive with another one or give them some eggs/brood for another go at making a queen. The really important question is: is it too late for them to produce another mated queen and when do drones stop flying in the Ireland and the UK.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1567
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If there was a tiny amount of brood 2 weeks ago and now there is none, then it sounds like the queen has not successfully mated. The only other reason I can think of for lack of brood at this time would be lack of food and from what you say, that's not the problem.

It is possible that a queen could still be raised from an egg and mated at this time of year but the workers will be dying off rapidly by the time she starts laying. Workers only live about 6 weeks in the summer and by the sound of it, you have had no new bees in that hive since the original brood hatched out in July. New brood will get chilled without enough workers to look after it and be likely to succumb to chalk brood and other diseases as a result.

Time is rapidly running out for this colony in my opinion and I would probably reunite them with the colony they came from or another small sister nuc, if you made more than one.

Good luck

Barbara
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rmcpb
Scout Bee


Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 447
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Autumn, small colony, not viable, winter coming, need to build up for winter. Not a good outlook for this nuc. I would find the queen, squish her and recombine with another hive that needs some boosting.

Try for another split in spring.

Cheers
Rob.
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Heartstone
Guard Bee


Joined: 02 Sep 2012
Posts: 65
Location: CO Sligo, Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice.

I will probably combine them with another stronger nuc. As a matter of interest has anyone done this with a top bar hive? I have entrances at both ends and on the sides but only one end is open at the moment. I assume that the newspaper method will work by replacing the follower board with the newspaper. Would one of the side or end entrances need to be opened or do you just put the bees in the back of the hive and let them move through the newspaper to the main hive and existing entrance?.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1567
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Put the queenless colony behind the newspaper with no means of entrance/exit, except through the paper barrier and main colony.
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rmcpb
Scout Bee


Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 447
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Make sure you put a small cut in the paper to give them the idea that it is a way out.

Cheers
Rob.
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Heartstone
Guard Bee


Joined: 02 Sep 2012
Posts: 65
Location: CO Sligo, Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. Will try it out and see what happens.

As an aside, what is the proportion of honey to bees required for winter survival? Mine did survive last year but it was my first year without losses and I left possibly much more than needed.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1567
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are too many variables to give a definitive answer to that question.

Until you have more experience of your bees and your local conditions I would suggest you continue to do what you did last year and err on the side of caution. You can always harvest in Spring if there is still a surplus.
It's much easier to feed them in Spring if you take too much or the weather turns bad, than in the depths of winter if they run out.
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trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1123
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my opinion, you cannot leave too much honey in a hive for winter. We never know how mild/severe or long/short a winter will be.

I only harvest in spring, if at all!
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