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Accidently queenless and going with the flow

923 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  ChuckReburn
So on April 12th I made up nucs with mated queens in cages and took them to a nuc yard I set up. On a quick check (2 days later) I noticed that one nuc was heavier with bees and they were attached to the intro queen cage like velcro. Woke up this morning, with the realization I had probably put the queen from the donor hive in that split - checked this morning and sure enough. The queen and attendants in the cage were dead and there's a queen loose in the hive.

By the time I could get another mated queen and get back out it'll be next weekend and I figure they queenless hive will be loaded up with queen cells. While I was working with several hives and yards, I know which hive I left queenless, they were booming, loaded with brood and drones, I was focused on pulling capped brood so they should have had fresh eggs left. I want to keep a full sized hive there and .

I've got a long weekend available and I'm off through April 21 - My thought is to go back then, go through the donor hive, check for queen cells knock down all but 2 and let them do their thing. If for some reason I don't have queen cells, I've got another booming hive next to this one with a 4yr old queen still going strong that I can pull a frame of eggs from.

Sound about right?
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Only part of your plan I don't like is that your not mailing that old queen to me.
I was kicking myself when I'd realized what I'd done, hated losing the young queen and when I started thinking about how to recover from my mistake, realized the bees were already likely addressing it. My thought in waiting to open the hive was to give the queen cells longer to develop so they'd be less fragile.

That 4yr old queen is going to be the genetic material for my first queen rearing attempts in about a month - likely Miller method for it's simplicity and as I don't need many (just installed 10 - oops make that 9).
So I picked up two swarms today before I got a chance to check on the hive I accidently made queenless. Found both queens in the swarms and put them in clips (something I've resolved to doing this year) but unfortunately one of the queens was injured when the swarm fell out of a tree and splatted in a parking lot.

The hive I had made queenless had emergency cells on several frames as so I pulled a frame with 2 cells on it to put in the nuc box with the injured queen - will likely dispatch her tomorrow. With any luck cells in both hives will hatch out and mate and I'll get an extra hive out of my original accident.
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