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A queen that lays ZERO eggs??

1261 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Michael Bush
Hi folks,

I've had numerous queen issues with this hive (see Cursed Hive thread). It came out of winter with laying workers, I gave them three weeks/three frames treatment, introduced a queen that got driven under the SBB which I put back in. Never saw new eggs during any of this. Gave them another frame of eggs on new wax last Saturday so I inspected the hive today...

No queen cells on the new frame, ugh.

So I decided to go through the hive looking for a queen and sure enough I found one. Actually she was pretty small but she was squealing a bit with a bee riding on her back.

I can't be sure if this is the queen I introduced but I assume so? It's been 2.5 weeks since I put her in there...and no eggs? I haven't seen a capped queen cell for 3 weeks (I found two about 4 days after I had introduced the queen and was on the third frame of eggs I had added) and I never saw evidence that they let it emerge.

So under what conditions would a queen not lay a single egg? Would an introduced queen not lay for that long? Is it possible a queen never lays an egg? I figured they would eventually just lay drones?

At this point do I just give her some more time, or pinch her and give them a frame of eggs the next day? She doesn't look like a very impressive queen. Maybe pinch her and combine with my other strong hive?

On a side note, I introduced a queen (same shipment) into a nuc at about the same time and she just started laying a few days ago as I saw the first new eggs in there today.

Thanks in advance
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Hi squash,

Laying workers are very difficult and frusterating. Keep feeding them open brood, atleast 1 frame a week, if you have a couple hives put perhaps a bit more often at 5 days.

Is the queen you saw piping and being at the mated one you introduced? It sounds like they arn't excepting here, im suprised they havn't killed her yet. Your only chance is open brood and lots of it.
Hi squash,

Keep feeding them open brood, atleast 1 frame a week, if you have a couple hives put perhaps a bit more often at 5 days.

You are better off to take all those frames, put them into a new box, be it a nuc or a full size box, and just start from scratch. By the time you take a frame a week for 3 or more weeks, you will have taken enough frames to start a nuc, and just wasted 4 weeks that could have been used for the nuc to build up.

After it's got a good start, if there are still any bees left in the laying worker hive, do a newspaper combine with the healthy one.
I think taking that hive and breaking it into a few nucs may be the way to go at this point. Then give the nucs some eggs from my strong hive.

I'm curious about the queen behavior though, can it take that long for a purchased queen to lay? Will the bees prevent her from laying?
I am also curious about the Queen behaviour. I had a Hive come through winter. When I checked the hive it had no brood,no eggs...just open comb. I looked and saw no Queen. I gave them some open and capped brood. I did not see a Queen cell.
I purchased a Queen, they greeted her pleasantly and 4 days later the Queen cage was empty. That was April 18 th. I checked for eggs a few days later...nothing. Yesterday I looked in the hive. The worker brood was mostly emerged. The drone cells were still intact...not surprised as are later to emerge. There were a few well developed larvae. I did not see eggs on the frames I checked but this time I did a plump nice looking Queen.
Are some just slow to get started? She had been flown in from New Zealand.
How long should it be before I see a frame of nicely capped worker brood?
I have seen many bought, caged queens that took two weeks to start to lay...
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