I’m just back from visiting my TBH at Ourganics, a 5 acre permaculture project a couple of miles upstream from the one I visited yesterday, hoping to harvest some more honey.  They have plenty of honey but scattered among lots of combs so I decided to leave it be for the time being.

When I got to the combs with the bees on them I was surprised that there was no brood whatsoever!  There was one ‘play cup’ but no egg in it.  I couldn’t see a queen, but neither could I hear the ‘queenless moan’ that colonies usually utter if they’re queenless.  Again, if they’re queenless for long, usually workers start laying as there are no queen pheromones to inhibit them.

I think I shall leave them for a week or two and I have seen drones elsewhere then, if they’re still apparently queenless, I’ll transfer a comb with young brood from the TBH up the road in the hope that they’ll rear a new queen if they need one.


About chrissladesbeeblog

I have been keeping bees since 1978 and currently have about a dozen hives. I am a member of the BBKA where for many years I represented Dorset at the Annual Delegates' Meeting. I am the co-author (with Dave MacFawn of of S. Carolina) of "Getting the Best from Your Bees" and am working on a book of my own poems : "Bee People".
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  1. ann Waldock says:

    I would add a comb of eggs now, If they are not queenless they will treat it as a normal frame of brood but if they are queenless they will draw out queen cells and you will not get the bother of worker layers and give them a queen to lay earlier at a vital time of year

  2. Nobody has seen any drones around here yet and they take longer than queens to rear. Also the weather has turned horrible so it wouldn’t be sensible to open hives before the weekend.

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