Beekeeping Mistake! Queen Status

 Beekeeping Mistake : Being Unaware of Queen Status

The Bee Informed Partnership surveys suggest that hives with queen events (lost or failing queens) are three times more likely to die. If you are unaware that your colony is struggling, and you are not doing anything to support it, your colony is at a greater risk of dying.

The brood pattern in the hive is a rich source of information. We check the brood for signs of disease, but the pattern can indicate queen health. If the pattern is not solid but spotty, then replace the queen – you are saving the entire colony. Spotty brood is brood of all different ages together, with a lot of empty cells.
This is best done by looking at open brood not the capped brood, especially for those of us who have hygienic queens! A good brood pattern is solid and has brood of the same age grouped together. If you let the colony struggle on with a failing queen, the colony may eventually die. They won’t be able to reach a population level sufficient to forage for enough resources. You can use the failing queen in a nuc as a safety measure in case the new queen fails.

The queen is the genetic mother of the hive, She needs to be well-mated and in top performance. If she’s not, your colony will not thrive.

If you see queen cells of different ages – the bees are trying to supercedure, not swarm. Theses cells are usually on the face of a frame and not grouped at the bottom. The bees think that it is necessary to replace the queen, so this is a good time to re-queen.

Some say it can be a good practice to replace the queen each year in August//September. This is ridiculous! The queen's best production is the 2nd year!! Even though an older queen produces less pheromone so there is a greater chance of swarming, it s a keeper's job to watch for issues like swarming. I requeen hives every other year depending on the hive. Fall is a good time to re-queen, but give yourself enough time for failure.

queen bees dead

Mated Queen Honey bee