I have two walkaway splits (one Italian, one Carni) in single medium 10 frame boxes that have struggled to make queens. The Italian hive made 2 or 3 queen cells after the initial split, but after a few weeks there were open queen cells and no queens. Iíve given them a frame of open brood twice since then they finally produced a small queen. She had been in the hive 3 weeks and was still not laying, so I decided to buy a queen and replace her. I removed the small queen two days ago and installed the new queen in her cage today. The initial reaction to her was somewhat aggressive (biting the screen), so I hope they take their time eating through the candy plug!
My bigger concern is with the Carni split. It was started a couple of weeks later than the Italian split. They built a couple queen cells from the initial open brood, but two weeks after the queen cells were empty: no queen to be found. This split was started later than the Italian split, so I decided to order two queens and put the second one in the Carni split. I had read that hives tend to accept queens better when there is open brood in the hive. I put a frame of open brood in both hives 4 days ago. Neither had queen cells started on them. I expected that from the Italian hive since it had the non-laying queen. The Carni hive has me a little worried. I looked over every frame again and found no queen and no eggs anywhere in the hive. I went ahead and hung the new queen in her cage and she got a similar reception as in the new queen in the Italian hive.
Should I be concerned that the Carni hive wasnít starting to make queen cells on the frame of open brood given to them 4 days ago? If there was an unproductive queen in there that I wasnít able to find (after going through every frame multiple times) is there any chance the newly introduced queen will be accepted, or is she as good as DOA?
Thanks for any help or advice anyone can offer! If my longwinded post is still not providing enough info let me know.