Need Your Help!
I have a hive that was requeened last spring. The colony started building superceedure cells withing a month. Bad queen I am guessing. I was cutting them out thinking they would swarm. It was warm enough in NH to clean bottom boards this weekend. On doing so I notice one of the bees on the bottom board have a red marking between her wings. Dread...the old queen. On further inspection I found a new queen ... to cold to have been a superceduer queen from this spring she must have taken on her role last fall? I did not noce any new eggs or developing lava. There is about one to two pounds of bees left in the hive. What do I do? Should I just leave it alone and hope for the best...knowing that if she were to start laying today the new brood would not develop for 30 days. Would this be enought time to save the hive? Do I take bees from another colony to suppliment numbers to give her time to mate and start laying? I need some help here.
Check for eggs or larva in a couple days. If it was to late in the fall maybe the secon queen never mated.
Not real often, but sometimes, you'll end up with a 2 queen hive in late fall thru winter, and in the spring, the younger queen is usually the one that takes over the hive. At this point, you are not sure if the remaining queen is mated or not. You've not mentioned what the box configuration of the hive is. Bees need to be somewhat crowded, so if there is more than one box, remove some to reduce space. Bee sure to leave frames of honey and pollen with the box you leave in place. Not knowing for sure whether this queen is mated or not is the issue. You could add a frame or two of sealed brood with attached bees from another hive, if you have one that would not be too badly weakened by doing so. If not, just let this one sit the way it is after reducing space and see what happens. It could bee that this queen has very recently taken over posession of the hive as queen and so has not mated or laying yet. Another option, is to off this unknown queen and take the frames of bees and slip them into another hive as a boost. You could always make up a split later on when is more strength and nectar flow.
I am assuming this hive is small (physical dimension of box that holds them).
If you have another hive you could place a double screen on top of a very active hive and then place this small hive on top (above the double screen). the heat from the lower unit will provide signicant benefit to the weaker hive. this by itself + a bit of sugar water should motivate the queen to begin laying.
another modification of this is... if you have another moderaterly populated hive (close by) that is a story and a half with one good box of honey (feed) on top do a paper combine + a queen excluder. you will need to provide some entrance at the top of the box until the two units chew thru the paper. the flat of honey will seperate the two queens as much as the excluder. after say two weeks the populations will have somewhat equilized above and below the excluder. you can then seperate these two units sitting the weaker hive down exactly in the place where the stronger hive was sitting and move the strong hive off a few feet. once relocated the weaker unit will pick up field bees to boost their population.