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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Murray KY
    Posts
    41

    Default New queen not laying?

    So I had a swarm that I caught with no queen. I went to Kelley bees and bought one about a month ago or so. Last week I did an inspection to find all bees were gone other than the queen. So I put two full frames of brood in with her and the bees that were on them. Tonight I opened to find lots of bees, but maybe ten capped brood cells... Did I get a broken queen... Should I just put them in with my other two hives and kill the queen? Should I go back to Kelley's and get another to try?

    Ideas?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Davie, Florida, USA
    Posts
    794

    Default Re: New queen not laying?

    Are you sure there wasn't a queen (even a virgin queen) with the swarm? And ONLY the purchased queen was left in the box??? Did you employ the 'ol queen INcluder trick? (I did that once, and ended up with a stampeded dead queen...I will never do that again) How much drawn comb was/is there available for her to lay in? How old was the brood you gave to her? How long has she had workers available to build her space to lay? How many frames are drawn, beyond the two frames of brood? Sorry for the 20 questions, but it sounds as though your queen has certainly not had ideal conditions to come in and be a laying machine. Can't really provide any solid advice at this point, though I don't think she has had a fair shake at this point.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,347

    Default Re: New queen not laying?

    How did the bees respond when you added the caged queen? How long did you wait to add the queen to the "queenless" swarm. What are the amount of days between these events.

    Kelley queens are garbage right now, if not garbage most of the time. They come from big queen farms in georgia whos sole goal is to pump out volume, not quality. Each live queen is money. For some reason i decided to buy just one russian a few weeks ago with a big equipment order , shes laying but junk. Not very happy, tiny little runt. They will supersede her if the hive doesn't die. Sometimes it can take a banked and shipped queen a week or two to lay. Especially if bees do not like her (different breed or smell), no flow and were not actively feeding her to stimulate egg laying

    Next year get with Kent Williams, he makes stellar queens and nucs for sale in spring. He sold a bunch of nucs to Kentuckiana Beekeepers association. Members couldn't be happier. Those with Kelley packages are suffering. I know of many people year after year their kelley queens are superseded and die in the winter.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Murray KY
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: New queen not laying?

    I am not sure on the amount of days, but there wasn't a queen. I checked several times before I went and bought a queen. All my other queens are one that I made splits off of this year. She just walks around, never seen her check out a cell to lay in.

    Either way this queen has bad her chance, I don't like the hive just to die out like this.
    I am going to 1 of two things...
    1 I am going to put th bees in with a weaker hive to build some population or
    2 I am going to remove the queen and give them a frame of eggs from one of my other hives???

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,105

    Default Re: New queen not laying?

    I think you should go with #2 of the above
    BUT keep the queen if she is a dud as you feel the bees will fix it.
    The bees always know better than us
    If they believe she's ok but a bit of a slow learner they will just cap the brood as normal
    If you have the resource give them one of capped brood also
    It will help beef up the population from the long brood break
    Good thing about all this is, your mite count should be down to near ZERO


    The best of luck too ya!
    In
    Whatever you choose
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 07-20-2013 at 02:29 AM. Reason: UNQuote

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,347

    Default Re: New queen not laying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hines farms View Post
    Either way this queen has bad her chance, I don't like the hive just to die out like this.
    I am going to 1 of two things...
    1 I am going to put th bees in with a weaker hive to build some population or
    2 I am going to remove the queen and give them a frame of eggs from one of my other hives???
    I hear ya man...I and most of our members have felt your paint, frustration and disapointment in kelleys queens.

    I wouldn't give up on her yet, some queens can take 2, even 3 weeks to start laying again. If less than 2-3 weeks try 1:1 sugar water w/ a little pollen patty to see if that stimulates her. Perhaps just add a frame of mostly capped brood with a "few eggs" that could be turned into superseder cells. This will supplement the hive your more bees to account for lag in lay time. If all that does work I would do #2, if the split is small and/or weather is very dry I would do #1 with newspaper. I would rather have 1 strong hive than 2 weak.

    If the queen is a total dub, laying workers will pop up in 2 weeks without brood.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Murray KY
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: New queen not laying?

    I have been feeding a 1:1. Today I will be giving them a visit to see where I stand. I hate grabbing frames from the other hives but I guess I will try and give her a few more days...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Murray KY
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: New queen not laying?

    Well today was the day... I pulled her out and added the frames of bees to other hives. She hasn't laid any eggs since I last checked her last weekend. I think that she will be in this mason jar until the end....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,423

    Default Re: New queen not laying?

    I have had bought queens that took two weeks to start laying. It's eight to nine days after she starts laying before you'll have capped brood, so that's a possible three weeks.

    http://bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Murray KY
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: New queen not laying?

    So I have heard, but this was going on a month, not that I was hoping to get honey, but she was doing nothing for me

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,347

    Default Re: New queen not laying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hines farms View Post
    So I have heard, but this was going on a month, not that I was hoping to get honey, but she was doing nothing for me
    Kelley queens Does the hive have a large enough population to support her and clear drawn cells to begin laying.

    On my recent splits started June 19th by removing queen, one queen hatched in 13.5 days from split and took 19 days to start laying. She eventually plumped up nicely, jet black like a fly. While another queen from the same mother hive hatched in 17 days and laying in 9. I suppose the first queen was from a day old larva, the other an egg when I split.

    We just got another 2.5 inches of rain here in Louisville. Stellar weather this year, girls are still bringing in nectar!

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