Healthy Bees: Queenright

By Michael Bush   (Kelley Bees News Issue 25-July 2012) (Posted with permission of Kelley Bee News)

[Kelley Bees Editor’s Note: Last month we ran this article with an advanced apology, as we’d misplaced the information on who provided it. We’ve since learned it came from the esteemed Michael Bush, who recently spoke at Kelley’s Field Day.Thanks to those of you who let us know, and Michael, I apologize! This article is so helpful that we’re running it again this month.]

We are coming into the time of year that you’ll be doing inspections and finding queens that are failing, missing, or you’re not sure what the deal is but you think some hives are queenless. The problem with the situation is you may think they are queenless when actually they have a virgin that isn’t laying yet, or you may think they have laying workers, when actually the queen just hasn’t hit her stride yet and laid multiple eggs. How can you do the right thing when you are not certain?



There are few solutions as universal in their application and success than adding a frame of open brood every week for three weeks.

• It is a virtual panacea for any queen issues.
• It gives the bees the pheromones to suppress laying workers.
• It gives them more workers coming in during a period where there is no laying queen.
• It does not interfere if there is a virgin queen.
• It gives them the resources to rear a queen.
• It is virtually foolproof and does not require finding a queen or seeing eggs.

If you have any issue with queenrightness, no brood, worry that there is no queen...

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