Missing queens...swarm cell
I have two hives at a particular location. One hive seems to be doing well...the queen is busy laying a good solid pattern and the workers seem to be happily distracted by their work. But I have a capped supercedure cell in this hive. This hive was recently (2-3 weeks ago) been requeened due to a missing queen.
In the neighboring hive I have apparently now lost my queen, and I think I have a laying worker since all the capped brood appears to be drones and the only eggs I found were in queen cells with 2-3 eggs in each. I am reluctant to requeen since these two hives seem to be a bit problematic, and I received them as nucs late in the season. The beekeeper I got them from apparently had some trouble requeening the swarms she put in them. So...
Could I take the frame with the supercedure cell, which is also full of capped brood, and give that to the queenless hive? Or would I be better off trying to combine these two hives? Or is it worth requeening? If I don't give the capped queen cell to the queenless hive, should I destroy it, or just let them do their thing?
Thanks for any advice.
Let me bump ya tim. Maybe you will get an answer.
I was hoping an expert would have chimed in already. But here goes the rookie. This is based from reading most every post the last 3 months.
Quote: and I think I have a laying worker since all the capped brood appears to be drones and the only eggs I found were in queen cells with 2-3 eggs in each
How many queen cells are in the hive? If there are "Queen cells" You would think there would be a Queen. 2-3 eggs per cell. Where are the eggs in relation to the cell. Side or Bottom. You might also have a virgin queen.
If you have a frame of eggs and capped and uncapped brood from the queen right hive. You should be able to take that and put it in the other hive and they should make a queen.
If you have not combined them already. You may won't to try to requeen. Since this is your first 2 hives. I see this as frustrating but a good learing experiance.
I don't know about moving the supercedure cell. That have is supering for a reason.
The 2-3 eggs per cell is an indication of a sloppy layer...i.e. a very newly mated queen or laying worker. I finally talked to the beekeeper who supplied the nuc's, and she said to combine (shake the queenless bees at the entrance of the other hive) since the laying worker colony would probably destroy the supplemented queen cell, and if not, I may not end up with a well-mated queen anyway.
I actually have 4 hives (well, 3 now), so it's not a huge disappointment. Two are in a completely different location.
Thanks for the replies.
Laying worker hives are notoriously difficult to requeen. Believe me, I know.
I think in this case, since you have several hives, I would do the shakeout method. Later you could always do a split from this strengthened hive if you want another hive. You could have a queen on hand for it and the acceptance chances should be high especially if you use a push-in cage.
That's pretty much exactly what the beekeeper I got the nuc's from said. Thanks.