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Beekeeping Questions

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This topic contains 26 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  Maggie Gesco 5 years, 4 months ago.

Viewing 12 posts - 16 through 27 (of 27 total)
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    christie Garrett

    Help! No Queen/No Brood!… and I do mean NO BROOD~ Just honey and nectar.
    Workers are just demoralized.
    I have maybe 12 cells of drone,
    one cell of worker bee.

    I live in Arcadia right behind the Arboretum.
    Think what happened is we switched from a 10 frame hive
    to an 8 frame hive about 4-6 weeks ago.
    Looks like I rolled the Queen 🙁

    I’ve read about this, but (of course) never thought it would happen to me.
    What to do??


    susan rudnicki

    Why do you think you killed the queen? Unless you saw her get smooshed, it is also possible she just failed and they were not prepared with a backup queen—a supercedure. There are gaps in the information in your question.
    You don’t say how many hive bodies in this colony or what size they are—
    You don’t say if you have other hives you could raid for a frame of eggs—
    You don’t say what the current population is of this “queenless” hive—
    These are the things we must know if we are to assess your situation accurately. But I will try to guess. If there are not many workers left in the hive, I would combine them with a stronger hive. They will be accepted as they have been queenless for some time. Just place their stores and the bees down in the receiving hive.
    If you have still a fair number of workers, you could raid another hive for a frame of eggs, a frame of capped brood (to take care of the queen they would be expected to raise) and put the egg frame between honey/bee bread frames in the center of the brood area. This gives them the resources to make a queen.
    You could obtain a swarm and dump it (at night) into the queenless hive to give them the resource they need.
    Please always describe the colony you are questioning when posting according to as many concrete details as possible.
    Hope this helps Sussan


    christie Garrett

    Christie Garrett <>
    11:29 AM (7 minutes ago)

    to wordpress
    Sorry Susan,

    Thanks so much for getting back to me!
    This is my first time asking for information
    OK – I’ll try again… I was pretty upset about this, feel it’s my fault
    for moving the hive into an 8-frame, it was a rough transition

    So, #1 the 8 Frame hive has 2 Deep, 1 Medium hive bodies.

    #2 how to count the bees left? there were a normal amount of bees
    in one deep, not so many in the 2nd deep, and a few in the medium super.

    #3 I am thinking the bees left are probably fairly young, their abdomen are still
    mostly black, (I have observed that the abdomen changes color getting lighter as they age)
    So if they all hatched right after we last inspected they could be as much as 4-6 weeks old.

    #4 I only have this one hive ( I know, I should have two, but working full time, it would be problematic
    to have more than one. ) Now I know why I need two – and since I switched them to an 8 frame I can now work alone
    and not have to wait til my son or daughter is available to help me lift the bodies.

    #5 When we changed out the 10 Frame for the 8 Frame,about 4-6 weeks ago, the Queen had laid eggs in the super. She had a tendency to
    lay eggs upwards, leaving the bottom body only half full of brood. So historically, we would have to switch the middle deep for the bottom one,
    assuming she was in the middle.
    We have only seen her once in the year and a half she’s been with us. She really liked to hide!

    So, when we went back to check on the colony this past weekend, there was absolutely no brood, I guess maybe a dozen drone cells, and
    2 queen cells in the middle of the frames. The Queen cells were not capped, and as far as we looked, it didn’t look like there were any
    larvae in them.
    I have read that the hive sounds really different when the Queen isn’t there. The book was right. The bees were really quiet,
    Only one bee was mad enought to buzz us, the rest were just crawling around the frames, not paying us any attention. We only smoked them
    once when we began our inspection
    I inspected for ant predation, none so far –
    There is a bit of hive beetle problem… we killed 3 during our inspection and 3-6 were in the beetle trap
    No moths and no bad smells

    #6 Yes, I have read that to save the hive I need brood (if the workers are young enough to make a queen), but since I only have the
    one hive I’m out of luck on that.

    #7 If you or anyone knows of a swarm, I can come pick it up. I do have a nuc box, (trying to catch another swarm) the lizards took it
    over last winter 🙂 I can shoo them out.

    #8 I live in Arcadia right behind the Arboretum… you would think I could get a swarm easily.., but haven’t seen any come my way.
    I have a call in to see if there is a swarm over there that I can go get.

    I really appreciate your answering my email, and I will let you know how this turns out. Hear me sigh, the hive was doing so well…

    Christie Garrett
    (626) 222-8544 cell
    (626) 282-8443 ext 14 work
    304 N Old Ranch Rd


    Philip Dunn

    I’m going to be doing a bee rescue of a large colony that is 11 feet up in a tree. In three months they have built a good-sized cluster of comb amid the branches (maybe the size of two basketballs). Any advice or resources for bringing them down safely and re-hiving them in my TBH? I’ve done several standard cutouts, just not sure if I should try to cut all the branches loose, lower the hive and put the comb on my bars all in one evening or if I should bring it down and take it somewhere else. Any advice would be awesome. Thanks!


    susan rudnicki

    Have you hived a cutout in a TBH before? —when you say “standard” I am thinking Langstroth is what you mean. I have NOT had good luck with cutouts and TBH’s or Warre hives, simply because the retention of the comb is so limited with top bars alone. The wax is too fragile and breaks away. The Lang hive frame, being a rectangle, facilitates wrapping the combs with rubber bands to hold them upright till the bees re-attach the combs. The one method I have heard about that allows the TBH to retain the comb is making fabric “slings” that are stapled to the top bar, the comb is inserted under the bar and the sling pulled up snug and stapled to the other side of the bar to hold it.
    I have done 6 or 7 tree/large shrub cut-outs and when possible have cut the branch/branches the hive was attached to, lowered it to a position where I could support the branch so as to avoid crushing the combs, and cut them away one at a time. It all depends on the density of the entanglement with twigs, branches and foliage. I saw a cutout like this displayed in Bee Culture magazine, back East, where the branch was just sequestered in a large box on top of a Lang hive with frames and a hole to offer passage between the two. As the young bees hatched, the colony gradually abandoned the branch structure and moved down into the box/frames, using the typical bottom entrance-way Susan


    Philip Dunn

    Susan, this is very helpful, thank you! I have done several cutouts into TBHs and had success with a method that I found online using hardware cloth ‘hooks’ to attach the comb to the bar. If the comb is really new, soft and heavy, it’s doesn’t work quite as well, but for 90% of the cutouts, it’s made life much easier. I’ve been using 1/2″ hardware cloth and hanging it off the bars, similar to this: The thing I haven’t done, yet, is safely bring a large hive down out of a tree. This one will be tricky because it isn’t attached to one large branch but several small branches that criss-cross through the hive. Thanks again for your tips. Cheers!


    susan rudnicki

    You really need at least one partner—are you doing this alone? If so, why? I never do cutouts alone—just not enough hands to gently manage the framing and cutting and bringing down. The last one I did, in a large Tecoma capensis (Cape honeysuckle) bush, that was 12 ft high, we carefully cut the many small branches with a lopper, so we could carry the whole hive down on the ladder. We suspended the hive in a large trash barrel, supported by the branches, and then did the cutting out. I never frame up combs of honey or nectar—makes a huge mess, dripping in the hive and drowning bees as well as making a ant magnet. These are zip-lock baggied, with slits in the bag, and put in the hive to be fed back to the bees. Very important to have ant barrier controls on the legs of the hive stand—do not neglect this simple, but fundamental protection for your new colony.


    susan rudnicki

    David—just a suggestion, but putting up your question under the “beekeeping questions” subject line that is quite old does not help others looking for specific info. Try to format a new subject title, so as to expand the topics available and more targeted thanks Susan


    Philip Dunn

    I am definitely not doing this cutout alone. It’s so much safer for the bees and beekeepers to have extra hands. Thanks again for the tips. Cheers. – Philip


    Maggie Gesco

    Is there any experienced bee keeper local to Encino that could come out and check if we still have our queen? My boss doesn’t want to lose his hive and is worried that the queen left. Please contact me at


    susan rudnicki

    Maggie and all others seeking help with these technical issues—please understand, beekeeping is not free of expense. Your boss should post directly that he is prepared to pay a “exerienced beekeeper local to Encino” for their expertise and time and fuel to address problems. This forum is being inundated with first time posters having technical issues or aggression issues and wanting help, but the implication is someone else should do this for free. Those of us having done mentoring the longest are getting burned out with responding to these pleas and can not cover them all, either with written responses or site visits.
    Sorry if this is a shock, but this message needs to be articulated as there seems to be a misunderstanding in the club that there are no expenses for teaching/learning/technical problem assessment. Susan Rudnicki


    Maggie Gesco

    Hello Susan,
    I thought it was an assumption that the experienced beekeeper would charge us for their time. I posted a question on here for advice, because I was told this was a great place to get advice and I would get several responses, and got no response. I have been in touch with an experienced beekeeper and he is coming out today, for a charge, which we are happy to pay. Sorry to waste your time.

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