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First time beek here. I installed my package bees into hives April 18. Hive 1 seemed to being doing better at first, foraging more actively, feeding from their feeder a lot more, and building comb faster. However, they haven't built any more comb since my last check on them, and I don't see any eggs or larvae. I'm guessing I lost the queen somehow, as I haven't been able to find her. Here are pics from the inspection (sorry about the blurriness - hard to take them one handed): Hive 1

On the other hand, hive 2 seems to be doing great. They have caught up and and far surpassed hive 1's comb production. They have larvae, and what I assume is capped brood. I didn't see their queen this inspection, though I did a couple of weeks ago. I did see some mold under the lid and on the front inside of the box, which I hope isn't a problem. Pics: Hive 2 If anyone sees the queen in these pictures please let me know. I don't have trained eyes yet to find her, but from the looks of it she is alive and doing fine.

I'm pretty sure hive 1 is passed the point of no return unfortunately, but if anyone has some advice to recover them I'd appreciate it. If not, maybe I can get a swarm to put into it, or see if hive 2 splits.
 

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I would combine the two and make one. You can even take the frames one at a time and add them to #2.

It's too late to requeen it now.

I usually don't look for the queen, I look for brood/eggs. and the stage of the brood to tell me whats going on and how long ago.
 

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In another forum I got the suggestion to take a frame with some eggs from Hive 2 and move it into Hive 1 to see if they can start a queen for themselves. I figure it is a long shot, but is there any harm to Hive 1 in doing so if I make sure I don't move the queen with it?
 

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In hive 2 the queen appears to be on the 7th pic (first titled larvae) upper left corner about two inches down and three inches in. Looks like lots of capped brood. You might move a frame with capped brood and one with some eggs/just hatched larvae. It will slow the strong one down alittle. Or combine the two.
 

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In another forum I got the suggestion to take a frame with some eggs from Hive 2 and move it into Hive 1 to see if they can start a queen for themselves. I figure it is a long shot, but is there any harm to Hive 1 in doing so if I make sure I don't move the queen with it?
No harm in transferring a frame with eggs at all, and most times it works out great. If you are unsure of finding the queen, just shake or brush off the bees before you move the frame. The nuc or hive you are moving it to must have enough bees to cover the frame and take care of the eggs and larva. Good luck!
 

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> I installed my package bees into hives April 18

I've seen package queens that didn't start to lay for two weeks. That would be about the 2nd of May, or five days before you wrote this. You might check carefully. If yours took two weeks the eggs would just be hatching now and eggs are hard to see...
 

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My eyes ain't too good but that could be the queen hive 1 picture 4 left side of comb about 1 1/2 inches down. If that is not the queen and there is not one in there the package is plenty strong enough to give them a queen. I wouldn't combine.
 

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It's been 3 weeks since you installed the package, if you have to wait any length of time for the new queen and then wait for her to start laying you may not have many bees left. Then another 21 days before the first brood hatches.

If your other hive can donate, after you get the new queen or they will try to make one. A frame of eggs will be the least hindrance on the donor hive.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
No, there was not just a delay in her laying. She's dead or gone. The only eggs I'm seeing are multiples per cell, and drone brood. I tried moving a frame of fresh eggs and brood from another hive and they didn't start a queen off of the first one. So, a little over a week later I moved a second frame in with them. I'm curious why they didn't make a queen off of the first one since they were obviously queenless. I don't think the workers had started laying at that point. I'm hoping this last frame of eggs and brood kick starts them into raising a queen.

At what point am I setting my other colony back so much it isn't worth trying to salvage the one I'm trying to save? I've seen what you said here about doing it three weeks in a row. I'm nervous about doing that because I really don't want to hurt the other colony, but if it is possible I'd like to save the struggling one too.
 

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>I'm curious why they didn't make a queen off of the first one since they were obviously queenless.

Because they have too many laying workers producing small amounts of queen pheromones. The first week of open brood is producing pheromones that suppress the laying workers. When the number of laying workers drops enough, they wills start a queen. Sometimes this takes three weeks of open brood.

>I don't think the workers had started laying at that point. I'm hoping this last frame of eggs and brood kick starts them into raising a queen.

The point at which you start seeing multiple eggs is not the point at which laying workers start to lay, it's the point at which the egg police can no longer keep up with removing all the drone eggs from worker brood because there are so many laying workers.

>At what point am I setting my other colony back so much it isn't worth trying to salvage the one I'm trying to save?

A frame of eggs and very young larvae is a small investment on the part of the donor colony. A queen can lay farm more eggs than they can raise and it doesn't take that much to produce eggs. It takes a lot of energy to produce capped brood...

>I've seen what you said here about doing it three weeks in a row.

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