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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    6

    Default New package queen died, bees doing their thing?

    Hello,
    Wanted to share an update on a new package I hived 4/21.
    I injured the queen last Sunday 5/12; she was between the 1st and 2nd frame that I lifted out first (not-so-happy Mother's Day!). Double checked yesterday 5/16, no queen present and the bees had started to form around 4 or 5 queen cells. My options seem to be:
    1) Re-queen. I could pick up a new queen on Sunday 5/19, she'd get let out in the hive by 5/24, probably start laying eggs soon after.
    2) Let the bees do their thing. Hopefully they cap some viable queen cells (would happen around 5/22), queen would emerge by 5/28, go on a mating flight, and start laying. In theory this would only cost me a few extra days versus re-queening.

    Here's the BIG question: If the queen died due to injury, then the bees must have developed queen cells around already existing eggs/larvae. Will this result in a new queen? Or does the old queen have to lay a fresh egg into an already formed queen cup to make it all happen (like she would in a swarm situation)?

    Advice and opinions welcome - thanks all.

    -Brent

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Davie, Florida, USA
    Posts
    825

    Default Re: New package queen died, bees doing their thing?

    Sorry to hear about your Queen...Since they have already started queen cells, I would let the bees finish the task at hand. The eggs need to be less than 3 days old to start a queen, and it sounds as if they did so.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,347

    Default Re: New package queen died, bees doing their thing?

    Sounds like they have a fair chance of requeening themselves, and are already well underway with that process.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,841

    Default Re: New package queen died, bees doing their thing?

    Let em try, make a split if you have resources, leave each one with two cells.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Bertie County,NC
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: New package queen died, bees doing their thing?

    I would let them finish what they started. Almost always when they make an "emergency" queen they have to use an egg that has been laid already and rebuild the cell around it....which with all that new pretty wax will not be any problem at all.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Spanish Fork, UT, USA
    Posts
    378

    Default Re: New package queen died, bees doing their thing?

    The hive is well on its way to getting a new queen. One nice thing is the old queen laid a bunch of eggs that will will provide needed young workers when the new queen hatches.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: New package queen died, bees doing their thing?

    Thanks for all the quick replies. I feel better about the situation and letting them carry out what they've started.
    Here's a link to a photo from yesterday showing two queen cells that were being formed on one frame.
    http://www.honeybeebus.com/beesource.html

    JRG13- you bring up a good point. I guess I have the extra hive boxes and frames, but with the bees relatively new (2# package hived 4/21) only 6 or 7 frames are drawn out, so I figured their numbers would be too low to try a split. If I were to try, should I wait until the queen cells are capped? Also how to divvy up the adult bees - I suppose just divide the frames evenly and the hive bees go with the frames?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Bertie County,NC
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: New package queen died, bees doing their thing?

    I would suggest you stay away from splitting what you have just yet.

    The queen cups appear to have larva in them. Can you actually see the larva inside for sure? If so, let them make a new queen and build themselves up before you try and split such a weak hive. Just my $.02

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,841

    Default Re: New package queen died, bees doing their thing?

    I wasn't sure if you had another hive or not, if it's just the one, don't split it. I would maybe cull number of cells down to 2-3 if they make a bunch though.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: New package queen died, bees doing their thing?

    Thanks for the advice- I left a frame with 2 queen cells and one apparently hatched, mated, and re-started the colony. As an observer I'm impressed to see nature take its course. Two months later the hive is doing pretty well, although I am noticing spotty brood patterns. I've been told that the quality of a self-grown queen is a crap shoot because the commercial queens allegedly come from higher quality stock, and that could be true, but I'm not sold on it. I've had some disappointments with some of the package queens this year as well. Feel free to weigh in on that topic...ha

    -Brent

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Bertie County,NC
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: New package queen died, bees doing their thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeBus View Post
    Thanks for the advice- I left a frame with 2 queen cells and one apparently hatched, mated, and re-started the colony. As an observer I'm impressed to see nature take its course. Two months later the hive is doing pretty well, although I am noticing spotty brood patterns. I've been told that the quality of a self-grown queen is a crap shoot because the commercial queens allegedly come from higher quality stock, and that could be true, but I'm not sold on it. I've had some disappointments with some of the package queens this year as well. Feel free to weigh in on that topic...ha

    -Brent
    sometimes when the new bees hatch, it will leave areas without brood surrounded by brood in all stages.....which can sometimes be mistaken for spotty pattern

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