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  1. #1
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    Apr 2013
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    Default Question about Queenless colony w/ emergency queen cups and introduction of new queen

    Hi, this is my first year beekeeping. I had a very strong colony that swarmed August 3rd. I lost that swarm as they got away. The colony swarmed again exactly a week later. August 10th. I was able to catch that swarm and hived it. The original colonies new virgin queen was able to mate and I noticed young larvae at my last inspection last weekend 9-1-13 3 weeks.

    The swarm I believe is queen less. It has been 5 weeks and there are no eggs or larvae. This queen should of been one week ahead of the original colonies virgin queen by my calculations. On my inspection two days ago I noticed queen cups but no eggs or larvae. I am assuming the virgin queen did not make it back from her nuptial flight. I am going to assume that one of the workers will start laying eggs hence the emergency queen cups.

    I ordered a new queen which will be here in a few days. When I introduce her to the hive, do I need to take out the emergency queen cups? Do I need to find and take out the laying worker bee? Will the colony realize there is a real queen and accept her and then destroy the emergency queen cups themselves?
    Will the queen and the laying worker bee battle? Should I not do anything at all and let them work it out?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Palmdale, CA
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    65

    Default Re: Question about Queenless colony w/ emergency queen cups and introduction of new q

    Do you know that you have laying workers? The telltale sign is multi

  3. #3
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    Aug 2013
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    Palmdale, CA
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    Default Re: Question about Queenless colony w/ emergency queen cups and introduction of new q

    Oops, as I was saying, the telltale sign of laying workers is multiple eggs in one cell, and those eggs are usually not at the bottom, but on the sides of the cell. Do you have that? If not, then your new queen might take. If you do, then the laying workers will kill your new queen. I would release your new queen slowly (push in cage) and put a frame of brood in the hive if you have some. The brood pheromone will help suppress laying workers. The queen cups don't matter much unless there is a larvae in it. My bees build queen cups all the time.

    If you do have laying workers, there are a lot of methods you can read about online about how to deal with that. It is a pretty bad situation to have.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2013
    Location
    Taylor County, Georgia, USA
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    711

    Default Re: Question about Queenless colony w/ emergency queen cups and introduction of new q

    If you have a laying worker, you've got your work cut out for you. You might not be able to save this hive...5 weeks with no queen is a heck of a long time. Also, determining if you have a laying worker is important.

    Here's all you need to know about laying workers:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm
    Try it. What could happen?

  5. #5
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    Apr 2013
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    Prunedale, California
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    Default Re: Question about Queenless colony w/ emergency queen cups and introduction of new q

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilltop View Post
    Oops, as I was saying, the telltale sign of laying workers is multiple eggs in one cell, and those eggs are usually not at the bottom, but on the sides of the cell. Do you have that? If not, then your new queen might take. If you do, then the laying workers will kill your new queen. I would release your new queen slowly (push in cage) and put a frame of brood in the hive if you have some. The brood pheromone will help suppress laying workers. The queen cups don't matter much unless there is a larvae in it. My bees build queen cups all the time.

    If you do have laying workers, there are a lot of methods you can read about online about how to deal with that. It is a pretty bad situation to have.
    No, I did not see any eggs or larvae. I was just assuming that since there were queen cups then a worker was getting ready to lay. But no evidence of a laying worker.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2013
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    Prunedale, California
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    Default Re: Question about Queenless colony w/ emergency queen cups and introduction of new q

    I think its only been a week, since no queen. I know she was in there when we hived her August 10th. I went in there last weekend and no eggs or larvae, and that was a red flag. Waited a week and still no eggs or larvae.
    How long before a laying worker will start to lay after the queen disappears? Getting this queen in there might just be in the nick of time.


    Quote Originally Posted by JStinson View Post
    If you have a laying worker, you've got your work cut out for you. You might not be able to save this hive...5 weeks with no queen is a heck of a long time. Also, determining if you have a laying worker is important.

    Here's all you need to know about laying workers:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm

  7. #7
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    Apr 2013
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    Prunedale, California
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    Default Re: Question about Queenless colony w/ emergency queen cups and introduction of new q

    bees.jpg
    Here is a picture of a frame. I didnt see any eggs at all. Can you? Might be to small.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2013
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    adair county, kentucky, usa
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    461

    Default Re: Question about Queenless colony w/ emergency queen cups and introduction of new q

    I doubt very seriously you have a laying worker problem. Before you install your new queen look your hive over very closely. Examine it frame by frame. You may have a queen in the hive now. Most people don't give young queens enough time to start laying. Usually they will have been laying for 5 or 6 days before the average beek notices it. When looking for eggs only, they are very hard to see. Most people don't notice a newly laying queen until there is some half developed larvae present.

  9. #9
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    Apr 2013
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    Prunedale, California
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    Default Re: Question about Queenless colony w/ emergency queen cups and introduction of new q

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill91143 View Post
    I doubt very seriously you have a laying worker problem. Before you install your new queen look your hive over very closely. Examine it frame by frame. You may have a queen in the hive now. Most people don't give young queens enough time to start laying. Usually they will have been laying for 5 or 6 days before the average beek notices it. When looking for eggs only, they are very hard to see. Most people don't notice a newly laying queen until there is some half developed larvae present.
    Thank you, will do!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
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    481

    Default Re: Question about Queenless colony w/ emergency queen cups and introduction of new q

    Did you hive the swarm on comb, or, fresh undrawn frames? The swarm is likely somewhat behind the hive, even tho you think it should be ahead, simply because there isn't enough comb.

  11. #11
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    Apr 2013
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    Prunedale, California
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    Default Re: Question about Queenless colony w/ emergency queen cups and introduction of new q

    Quote Originally Posted by grozzie2 View Post
    Did you hive the swarm on comb, or, fresh undrawn frames? The swarm is likely somewhat behind the hive, even tho you think it should be ahead, simply because there isn't enough comb.
    I hived them on •Assembled Wood Frames w/Waxed Rite-Cell® Foundation from Mann Lake.
    Good point!

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