Queenless 3 week old NUC - what should I do?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
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    15

    Default Queenless 3 week old NUC - what should I do?

    We got our first two hives about three weeks ago, so I'm still new to this.

    1. One was a package...it's doing well. Queen laying, capped brood, and lots of nectar.

    2. The NUC was more interesting. 10 days ago, it swarmed. We tried to catch but...they gone. We inspected the remaining hive and found a capped queen cell. Today, that queen cell is empty so there could be a queen off mating. But this hive has no capped brood, no eggs and nothing but nectar. Still 6-7 decent frames of bees and foundation.

    What would you recommend I do with this NUC hive?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ashburn, VA, USA
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    218

    Default Re: Queenless 3 week old NUC - what should I do?

    Give it another couple of weeks to allow the queen to get mated and start laying. You should be OK.

    If you want to do a quick test, find a frame of very young brood and eggs (if you can see them) and put them in the nuc. Make sure the package's queen is NOT on that frame. Spot her on a different frame to be safe, the best way to know where she isn't is to know where she is. A few days after placing the the brood frame in your brood-less nuc, take a look at it. If no queen cells are started you probably have a mated queen. Mark the brood frame you put in the nuc so you remember which one it is. Good luck.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
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    15

    Default Re: Queenless 3 week old NUC - what should I do?

    Oh that's interesting...you're saying i could take a frame of brood from the packaged hive and put in the nuc hive?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
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    2

    Default Re: Queenless 3 week old NUC - what should I do?

    Quote Originally Posted by lavalamp775 View Post
    Oh that's interesting...you're saying i could take a frame of brood from the packaged hive and put in the nuc hive?
    Yes... a frame of eggs and uncapped brood without bees, brush or gently shake them off.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ashburn, VA, USA
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    218

    Default Re: Queenless 3 week old NUC - what should I do?

    I actually move them bees and all. The bees on the frame are typically nurse bees and they won't fight the home team when they are relocated.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Yuba County, California, USA
    Posts
    6,546

    Default Re: Queenless 3 week old NUC - what should I do?

    Your package is too new to be robbing anything at all from it, it's only three weeks old. Do not rob Peter to pay Paul, as Peter does not have any money to rob.

    Queen cells get capped 8 days after egg lay, and emerge 8 days after being capped. 10 days ago you had a capped cell, so you should have a virgin running around in there. Just be patient and wait for two more weeks before disturbing them, and then look for eggs at that time.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN
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    470

    Default Re: Queenless 3 week old NUC - what should I do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Irmo View Post
    I actually move them bees and all. The bees on the frame are typically nurse bees and they won't fight the home team when they are relocated.
    And be 100% sure that you don't have the queen on that frame if moving without shaking the bees off.
    Zone 7a - 1650ft

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dickson TN
    Posts
    1,943

    Default Re: Queenless 3 week old NUC - what should I do?

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    Your package is too new to be robbing anything at all from it, it's only three weeks old. Do not rob Peter to pay Paul, as Peter does not have any money to rob.

    Queen cells get capped 8 days after egg lay, and emerge 8 days after being capped. 10 days ago you had a capped cell, so you should have a virgin running around in there. Just be patient and wait for two more weeks before disturbing them, and then look for eggs at that time.
    Good advice!

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Queenless 3 week old NUC - what should I do?

    Thanks all. I think I'm going to leave for 2 weeks and see if the new emerged queen survived and starts laying. If not, I'll post again for your advice.

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