Albuquerque Beekeepers

Urban beekeeping in New Mexico's largest city.

Hello All,

On inspection of my only hive 2 weeks ago and again today my hive population seems smaller. There is a lot of honey production, and many vacated (dark cells). I did not find the queen or capped brood, although many combs were heavily covered with workers. No evidence of disease or queen cells or dead bees on the ground.

I see many foraging around the property and their temperament was mellow on inspection.

Less pollen is being carried in now than in the spring, but there are more wild flowers blooming, perhaps providing nectar.

I am in the east mountains of ABQ at 7,000'

Has the Queen developed poor laying habits or is there a seasonal laying pattern? I'm interested in your conclusions.

Thanks, Jeannie Pace

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Replies to This Discussion

Did you see any eggs or larva? If not you may have lost your queen. Look carefully and if you don't see any I would give them a comb of eggs or young larva ASAP and see what they do. This time of year they should still be able to raise their own as long as they are still strong enough.

Hi Jeannie,

I agree with Eric.  If you can’t find the queen, searching for eggs and larva is the next best thing.  Often times, I can’t locate the queen but I do find evidence that she was active in the past few days when I see eggs.  If you conclude that she’s not around and there’s no open brood, you’re down to two options:  obtain a frame of brood from a fellow top bar beekeeper or obtain a new queen and introduce her to the hive.  Since it’s mid-July, I recommend the latter option.  Unfortunately, I’m not able to offer either one because I use Langstroth and and I don’t raise queens.

Thanks Eric and Chris, 

When I put the bees in they were vigorous comb builders.  The hive expanded quickly. There has been no new comb on bars I added a few weeks ago.  

The lack of foraging may have stressed the hive and thus stressed the queen. 

Taking your suggestions, I plan to inspect again in a day or so to look for eggs/larva.  

Jeannie

The bees not drawing new comb is not a big surprise. Until the last week we have been very dry and there has not been much nectar available.

If you need a bar of eggs, let me know. I also have an extra queen that I could let you have. She's an older queen that I replaced, but I kept her in a small nuc as a backup. If would try to get a younger queen first but she will do in a pinch. Let me know what you need.

Eric, your offer is very generous. I will inspect again this week and seriously look for brood and queen.  I'm usually hesitant to brush the workers off the comb but I may be necessary to uncover for a closer look.  It seems like a happy, humming hive.  This is my first year and I only have one hive so I don't have much history or comparison record.  Thanks you - and the others - for your gracious tips. 

Jeannie

Eric, 

When a bar of eggs from another hive is installed are the existing workers ok with a new brood if they are different types of bees? 

It shouldn't be an problem. The only issues is if the hive is still stong enough to raise a good queen.

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