Author Topic: Why Do Queens Come Up Missing In The Fall?  (Read 127 times)

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Offline Jen

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Why Do Queens Come Up Missing In The Fall?
« on: November 04, 2020, 04:46:37 pm »
I have found this to be true most of the years that I have been at this crazy hobby.

I sell a lot of queens in the Spring, late Spring, and in the Fall. And many years with my hives I've learned to watch closely, weekly, for missing queens. It sure is a problem with missing queens in the Fall due to so few drones left for mating. And many of the queen company's have run our of queens to sell as well.

There Is Peace In The Queendom

Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Why Do Queens Come Up Missing In The Fall?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2020, 09:30:13 am »
We would probably be surprised to find how many of our queens have been replaced by the colony over the spring and summer and some beekeepers never even know it.  The unsuspecting beekeeper just assumes that every thing is dandy in the hive.  In the fall when this happens the colony is already marked for death.  As you said Jen, no drones.  I would add poorer weather conditions too.
In this part of the country our motto seems to be, "Take your losses in the fall."  We do a newspaper combine with the hope of being able to split it in the spring.  That way we never really lost a colony.  I did this, and my neighbor sure took notice that I was down a hive.  :laugh:

Offline Jen

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Re: Why Do Queens Come Up Missing In The Fall?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2020, 12:24:15 pm »
Good morning Baker

So what I'm thinking is that queen supersedure is an on going cycle with no consideration of the time of year. I think I knew that. However, bees are soo smart and intuitive that it surprises me that they would supersede a queen in the Fall knowing that there are less or no drones to mate with her. It doesn't make sense to me that the bees know they are putting the hive in peril.

Of course, we know that the queen could simply have run out of steam, or eggs, or sperm to continue laying.

And we know that queens don't live nearly as long as they used to before all of the pollution. They used to live up to 10 years, and now we are lucky if they live 2 years.
There Is Peace In The Queendom

Offline RAST

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Re: Why Do Queens Come Up Missing In The Fall?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2020, 08:36:18 pm »
Mite treatment is rough on queens also.

Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Why Do Queens Come Up Missing In The Fall?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2020, 09:12:31 am »
Mite treatment is rough on queens also.
That is a very good point RAST!  Typically mite treatments are done in the fall before the winter bees emerge.

Offline Jen

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Re: Why Do Queens Come Up Missing In The Fall?
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2020, 12:12:26 am »
True! And it's essential that treatments are done in the Fall.

It's only been this year that I have used Apivar this Fall. I do know that and of the Formic treatments are hard on the bees. But Apivar is a very slow release of treatment, and it's not temperature sensitive, I don't think Apivar is hard on the queen personally.
There Is Peace In The Queendom