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“Royal Issues”

1033 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  birddog
Hi everyone! I’m Brad and new to the forum. I posted my intro in the welcome area.

I am having lots of trouble with queens this year it seems. Made it through winter with one hive that was quite strong. Unfortunately, I split them about 3 days too late as the hive swarmed exactly 3 days after I performed a walk-away split and added room.

The good news is I caught the swarm. Included the queen. As a matter of fact, while I was collecting the swarm, she regally fluttered right past my head, landed on top of a couple of her fellow subjects, and walked right into my nuc box like she owned the joint. :) That colony is doing fabulously well.

The parent hive they left behind, however, it not well at all. My immediate inspection of the parent hive after the swarm revealed a new queen. That was about one month ago. A week later and since - no eggs, no brood, no queen. I added a frame of brood from another hive. A week later there were 4 queen cells. Three days ago - still not queenright, all queen cells opened or gone except for one queen cell still closed. The colony still “acts queenless.” So do we possibly have virgin queen somewhere that I didn’t see or do we have the one last attempt for them to make a queen with that last queen cell?

Royal Issue #2: Ordered a package of Carniolans and installed. Accepted queen. Excellent brood pattern on inspection three weeks ago. Two weeks ago, fewer eggs. Three days ago - only scattered capped brood. Irregular bullet caps in worker brood. No queen on inspection. Three supersedure cups present. Only one cup looked like a queen may have emerged. And something I’ve never seen before - workers were chewing a queen larvae out of a queen cell. Inspection today - two queen cups present. Looks like may be one more queen cell still closed (hard to tell because in a strange place on corner of frame). Didn’t see a virgin on inspection. Hmmm...what to do? My gut tells me to give them a week and see if we have a virgin queen right now. Suggestions? Is a Carniolan virgin harder to find? I’m accustomed to looking at Italians.

Thanks for insight and expertise! Anyone else having “royalty issues”? I’m thinking I’m about to purchase a new regime. :)
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