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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Jackson, Ga USA
    Posts
    146

    Question

    I will describe the situation as best I can.
    I examined the hive on Sat. and found very aggitated bees. In the deep hive body there is still only approx. 6/7 frames drawn from a nuc installed 3 weeks ago. I found no queen after taking time to look as best I could with newbee eyes. There seemed to be quite a few drones running around. I found no eggs and two patches of 3 day old larvae on the 3rd and 6th frame. I found one swarm cell on the bottom of #4 frame. Saw 4/5 queen cells that were open, with nothing in them. Plenty of pollen, nectar on several frames. Less than 10 bees were in the feeder taking the sugar syrup. Lots of bees in the hive.
    I am thinking I may have a laying worker. I plan on checking the 3 day old larvae on Wed. to see if they turn out to be drone cells. If so I guess I will have to requeen. If not, maybe there is a young queen that hasn't gotten 'the hang' of it yet? I am lost.
    If anyone can give me some insight / advise on what is happening with this hive and what I should do, I would greatly appreciate it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,212

    Post

    It takes about 12 days from emergence to seeing eggs from a new queen. Since you have queen cells, and it's only a nuc, my guess is that they are not swarm cells (even if they are in that position on the bottom of the frame) but emergency cells. Probably the old queen is dead and they have raised a new one. Since you have some three day old larvae, I'd guess she just started to lay and you just haven't seen the eggs yet. It takes practice and good eyesight and looking in just the right place where she layed them to find them.

    It is POSSIBLE that the queens didn't come back from mating and you ended up queenless, but it's not likely.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Post

    GA,
    Can you find the queen? (there's a thread around here somewhere regarding how to do this easily if she isn't marked). And be ready if the need arises to join this one to another or to boost it with some fresh brood/ eggs if the need arises.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Jackson, Ga USA
    Posts
    146

    Sad

    I examined the hive yesterday evening and still could not find the queen. Also there were no eggs or larvae. The one swarm cell that was at the bottom of one frame has hatched.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,212

    Post

    Not to be picky but "hatched" is what happens when an egg turns into a larvae. I think you mean "emerged" which is what happens when a bee comes out of a capped cell as an adult.

    Since the queen cell seems to have emerged, I'm betting there's a queen somewhere. It's probably a virgin and they are very difficult to find. They move faster, hide more (literally hide from the light) are smaller, becuase they need a few more days to mature and then they need to mate and then they need to lay a bit before they get to their full size.

    It's very hard to find a virgin unless you've seen them before and notice how they move and look as opposed to a laying queen.

    With practice you can find them, but most people never get enough practice to get good at it.

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