Two packages, two failed queens!! Need advice!
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    7

    Exclamation Two packages, two failed queens!! Need advice!

    I am a new beekeeper this year with three hives, one from a nuc and two from packages. The nuc is rocking and rolling, no issues. The first package started supersedure cells very early on and eventually I found them queen-less, decided to buy a queen and was able to get them stable and she is laying great!

    Unfortunately, today during my inspection of the other hive from a package, I see zero eggs, no pupae, and some capped brood and about 5 queen cells, no marked queen!!. A few of the queen cells look uncompleted but two are fully completed and sealed! I always take pictures during my inspection and as I pondered the notion of letting them request or buy a queen, I noticed what I am pretty sure is a queen in the picture of the sealed queen cell (left side, just below midline in tall pic, top left in cropped image)! Do you guys see her? If that is a queen, I can only assume she is from one of the other cells I stupidly thought was just unfinished? Should I leave them be for a few weeks to see if this queen mates and starts laying?

    Is this level of queen failure normal for packages?

    Thanks for any advice!!
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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Oklahoma,USA
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Two packages, two failed queens!! Need advice!

    bee frame.jpg The circled one looks queeny to me.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Oklahoma,USA
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Two packages, two failed queens!! Need advice!


  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Atlanta, GA, USA
    Posts
    195

    Default Re: Two packages, two failed queens!! Need advice!

    ditto!
    It is what it is!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,300

    Default Re: Two packages, two failed queens!! Need advice!

    It is very common for package bees to supersede within the first several weeks after installation.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Rib Lake WI
    Posts
    1,715

    Default Re: Two packages, two failed queens!! Need advice!

    I don't think your package queens failed your hives have swarmed.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    2,413

    Default Re: Two packages, two failed queens!! Need advice!

    Could be a swarm. What is your hive configuration, and how full are the frames in it? You may have needed to add more space.

    Either way, that queen cell will hatch and you will have a nice queen most likely, so no need to buy another one.

    But check on whether they have enough space.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Two packages, two failed queens!! Need advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by NewbeeInNH View Post
    Could be a swarm. What is your hive configuration, and how full are the frames in it? You may have needed to add more space.

    Either way, that queen cell will hatch and you will have a nice queen most likely, so no need to buy another one.

    But check on whether they have enough space.
    Swarming never occured to me actually because I installed the package 4/24/16 and have two 8 frame medium boxes on them, the queen didn't seem to move up into the top box to lay but I do remember seeing a full frame completely clean and drawn out in the top box when I was going through it so now I suspect that hive probably did swarm! Two questions now are concerning me, should I break up the brood frames when adding another box and what do I do about the frames on the outtermost of the box that the bees are just ignoring...

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    2,413

    Default Re: Two packages, two failed queens!! Need advice!

    I don't know how often bees ignore the outer frames on an 8 frame box, but I know it's not that unusual for them to ignore a frame or 2 in my 10 frame boxes. I wouldn't wait for all the frames to be filled. You might try moving those outer frames "in" one position, and moving a full honey frame to the outside.

    When you say break up the brood frames, what do you mean? If you add another box, you could pull some honey frames up to the new box to entice them to build comb in the new box, and replace those honey frames with empties in the lower box.

    How many of the frames in your current 2 boxes are full of either nectar or brood? Generally, if 7 are full you add another box, altho if there's a flow, I often add 2 boxes.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    4,130

    Default Re: Two packages, two failed queens!! Need advice!

    if that is your old queen in that pic and yes it's a queen, they are planning on doing something, How many cells did you find. I run 8 frame mediums and yes it's not uncommon for them to ignore the outer most frame untill later in the year. I add a box once they have 7 frames drawn, I always pull up a frame of brood dead center into the new box and place an empty in the bottom box. Place the empties in slot 2 and 7, they have never failed me on moving up when I do this.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    654

    Default Re: Two packages, two failed queens!! Need advice!

    2 packages of the three that I bought last year re queened themselves. It is not uncommon. Provided that you are careful with that queen cell and don't break it the queen should emerge and work out just fine. Be careful with that cell and it should work out just fine. Fortunately I didn't need to buy packages this year. I wish you good luck with your new bees. It seems like it should work out provided that new queen gets mated and makes it home from her mating flights okay. She should. Give it two to three weeks and check for eggs. Make sure that there is some food in there when she returns like some open nectar and pollen. Keep the entrance small so they don't get robbed until they start to build up.

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