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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Villa Rica, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default What to do with a spare queen?

    Let me explain. I have two hives from nucs and one new hive from a package. Three weeks ago, I notice a capped swarm cell in my oldest and strongest hive, which has two hive bodies. I did what all the books say to do, destroy the cell. Then after further investigation, I discovered there were no eggs or young larvae. I will add I have difficulty seeing eggs, even with my glasses on. I then began to think that the hive had swarmed and I had killed their only queen replacement. I waited one week, still no eggs and no uncapped brood. I waited one more week and I still saw nothing. I came to the conclusion the hive was queenless. This was Saturday. So I took a frame of eggs and brood from my other hive and placed in this one. Waited until Tuesday to order a queen. Got her today and went to introduce her into the hive. What I discovered was several frames of very small larvae and could even see quite a few eggs. So my hive has a queen, at least today or yesterday it did. So I have two questions. First, is this normal to go a couple or three weeks with no "queen" activity. And my second is what do I do with my spare queen that I just ordered? I have another hive body with frames. What I thought about doing was taking a frame of capped brood and some bees from each of my two stronger hives and placing in this new hive body along with the new queen. Is this feasible and is the best way to do it? I'm thrilled to know I had not lost my other queen, but now I certainly don't want to waste the cost of the new queen and the shipping costs. Any help here would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Huntington ,VT, USA
    Posts
    256

    Default Re: What to do with a spare queen?

    It seems likely they lost the original queen to swarm, injury or queen failure/supercedere and it took that long for the new queen to get mated and laying.

    Sure make a nuc, lot's of info here on how to do it. Boils down to a frame of feed, a couple frames of brood and the nurse bees on them, an empty frame or two, and possibly a "shake" of addition nurse bees off a brood frame. Just be careful not to move one of your laying queens into the nuc with your new queen.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Greenville, Maine
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: What to do with a spare queen?

    I would check the hive that you took the frame from and make sure they have young brood and aren't aren't starting queen cells. You might have transfered the queen on the frame with the brood.

    Have a good day.

    William

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Villa Rica, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: What to do with a spare queen?

    I did check that hive and was able to actually locate the queen. So I know I did not move her.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: What to do with a spare queen?

    Yes, placing the new queen in a "split" in the new box should work fine...capped+emerging brood work really well in splits, but you'll need to give them some stores to eat until the super young bees get to foraging age; and you'll need to be sure to give them enough bees to regulate temperature until more of the capped brood emerges.

    As far as the hive you ordered the queen for originally, it sounds to me like there was a queen death, or supersedure, and luckily they had a queen cell you didn't smash. FWIW, I don't do, and don't recommend, smashing queen cells under ANY circumstances besides when adding a caged queen to a queenless hive that was building E cells. Any other time, there's just, IMHO, too much chance of causing your hive to become queenless that way

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    919

    Default Re: What to do with a spare queen?

    Feed the new nuc until up and running

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Villa Rica, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: What to do with a spare queen?

    Thanks for all the replies.

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