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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was adding empty frames to the side of the brood nest today and accidentally killed the queen. I saw a ring of bees on the ground and when I checked, it was queen. The hive is 4 medium frames high, the top box still mostly full of capped honey and the bottom 2, maybe 3 containing brood. Not sure about the bottom box since I did not go into it. Should I try to find a queen to re-queen now or just wait and let the hive re-queen? The hive was pretty full so I was going to start swarm control by adding another box, checkerboarding and maybe reversing the lower box. Should I just leave it alone now for a month and then recheck or should I continue with swarm management? I'm in central Virginia. Bees are on the redbuds, hellebores, and mahonia that I know of.
 

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I was adding empty frames to the side of the brood nest today and accidentally killed the queen. I saw a ring of bees on the ground and when I checked, it was queen. The hive is 4 medium frames high, the top box still mostly full of capped honey and the bottom 2, maybe 3 containing brood. Not sure about the bottom box since I did not go into it. Should I try to find a queen to re-queen now or just wait and let the hive re-queen? The hive was pretty full so I was going to start swarm control by adding another box, checkerboarding and maybe reversing the lower box. Should I just leave it alone now for a month and then recheck or should I continue with swarm management? I'm in central Virginia. Bees are on the redbuds, hellebores, and mahonia that I know of.
Leave it alone.

Let them draw out queen cells and in 10 days you can go back and split out the hive, if you wish to divide it out. Just make sure you get a queen cell for each split, obviously. Otherwise, you can leave them for 3 weeks and then check for a laying queen.

By the time you get a new queen ordered and shipped to you (unless you find them locally ASAP), they will have already drawn out queen cells anyway. In fact, they are already working on queen cells as we speak.

Sounds like a strong hive, I'd want to keep the genetics. I'd wait 10 days and split the hive into two, placing the two hives equally spaced apart from where the original one was so you get equal amount of bees returning to each hive. Then check back in 2-3 weeks for eggs from your new queens.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Follow mtnmyke's advice. We have plenty of drones flying so you should not have any trouble getting some queens made and mated. If you need hands on help doing any of this, send me a PM. I am in Aylett.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Leave it alone.

Let them draw out queen cells and in 10 days you can go back and split out the hive, if you wish to divide it out. Just make sure you get a queen cell for each split, obviously. Otherwise, you can leave them for 3 weeks and then check for a laying queen.

By the time you get a new queen ordered and shipped to you (unless you find them locally ASAP), they will have already drawn out queen cells anyway. In fact, they are already working on queen cells as we speak.

Sounds like a strong hive, I'd want to keep the genetics. I'd wait 10 days and split the hive into two, placing the two hives equally spaced apart from where the original one was so you get equal amount of bees returning to each hive. Then check back in 2-3 weeks for eggs from your new queens.
Yes, it is a strong hive with a good temperament. I think I will split the hive as you suggested. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
On 3/24 I split the queenless hive into two hives. Each hive had at least 3 queen cells. Temperatures at night were in the low 30s... I checked both hives today and both apparently have turned into laying worker hives as I only saw capped drone cells and larvae, no queens. I have had a laying worker hive and helped a neighbor with one and both eventually died out. I tried to requeen these hives with no success. I'm going into my fourth year as a beekeeper and overwintered 9 hives. Last year, after a suggestion from the VA state inspector, I started treating the bees using a Pro Vap 110 and it was the first year I didn't lose any hives.

Any suggestions on how to salvage these two hives were be greatly appreciated. This was a strong hive and now both are 10 frame mediums that are full of bees. I share bee yards with my son who lives 15 miles away, so moving the hives is a possibility.
 

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I think you are jumping the gun a bit. 3/24 to now isn't much time. I believe it takes about a month to go LW.

I'd give it until after Easter to sort out. If it is still a problem, I had read about doing a screen combine on here last year and I tried it on some splits that went LW with success. Not a double screen board.

Put a single layer of screen on top of a queen-right hive. Put your LW box on top with the entrance facing the opposite direction. I took the screen out after about a week and turned both entrances to the front. The combine went just fine.
 

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Shake them out! The foragers will find shelter in your other hives and LW will parish. Sad but that's the easiest way. Shake them far away from the original hive location.

If you want to "save" them then put them over an established hive with #8 hardware cloth. Provide a separate entrance for LW hive. Once LW hive stops laying then combine.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Steve, note the date of the original post. These girls have been queenless for a full month.

Al, I had some problems too with the cold killing queen cells. At this point, shaking them out is the best course of action. In a week, make two splits using bees and resources from your remaining 7 hives. You will be back to 9 with no additional headaches.
 

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No one up north will have any queens at this time virgin or otherwise. The idea about running a virgin into the hive is a good one however if you can't find one locally... Best bet is probably to put these lw hives above a strong colony with some hardward cloth separating the 2 hives. Takes a couple weeks but it stops the lw and allows you to combine them after with another colony.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I will have virgins available this weekend. Al is welcome to come pick up a few. We are about 25 miles apart so he will get local stock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: Accidentally Killed Queen Update

Mr. Palmer supplied me with two queen cells, one of which the queen hatched in my hand just after he handed it to me. We quickly caged it. The second never hatched out probably due to me mishandling it. I went ahead and dumped one of the laying worker hives. I set new hive equipment in place where the remaining laying worker hive had occupied and put a plywood board as a ramp up to the new entrance. The new hive also had a frame of brood from another queen right hive. I dumped the bees from the laying worker hive onto the ramp and after a few minutes, they marched into their new home. I added the virgin queen and closed it up. After about 2 and half weeks I checked the hive, saw the queen and eggs. It appears to be building back up now. Thanks Mr Palmer for supplying me the queen cells and your advice!
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Re: Accidentally Killed Queen Update

No problem. I am always glad to help out when I can.
 

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Re: Accidentally Killed Queen Update

Hope it doesn't, but if you ever have another lw hive, give that screen combine a try. I've had great success with it. I placed the queen rite hive atop the lw with a screen between them. Give the top hive a top entrance. The brood and queen pheromones will be passed thru the screen, but they will not be able to declare war on each other. After a week, much of the lw hive will have migrated to the top portion, and the screen can be removed.
 
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