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adding a queen

1380 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  noljohn
Just inspected my hives in a out yard and found two hives Queenless. They have been this way I'm thinking a couple of weeks at least. No brood, eggs or larva. Going to buy a couple of queens, any suggestions on how to add them or precautions to take? Thanks
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on my queenless hives, I put the queen cage right in there and let them eat away at the candy plug to release her.
make sure the candy portion is UP. Sometimes there can be attendants in there with her and if a worker were to die in the cage before release and the candy was down....could block the exit for her when they eat thru.
Sounds like they've had enough time to produce their own replacement virgin queens, but not quite enough time for the new queen to mate and begin laying. So, be careful that you don't simply attempt to introduce replacement queens to colonies with their own virgin queens, the virgin queens will often extirpate the queens being introduced.
My concern is no brood, eggs for at least 2 weeks. Is that going to cause a problem when I introduce a queen
Not necessarily, but it could inspire them to supersede the newly introduced queen - due to the population imbalance thus created.

So, I'd not hesitate to give them a donated frame of eggs and open brood, without bees, from other queenright colonies. This could help them to get the ball rolling, sooner. And help to balance the hives population, reducing the inclination to supersede the queen.

Again, I feel compelled to caution against attempting to introduce queens in cages, to colonies that may possibly have their own unmated or recently mated virgin queens. I would highly recommend waiting at least another week, or two, before trying to introduce replacement queens. However, it would certainly be beneficial to give them donated frames of eggs and open brood.
Sounds like they swarmed - do you see hatched queen cells?

A week after the drone brood hatches is about when you should definitely see signs of a laying queen. Since drone brood isn't as prevalent as worker brood that may only be a couple of cells by the last day, and you need to check every frame since they like to lay it all in one place.

If you see hatched queen cells, i'd give it another week, or add some frames of eggs and larva from another hive.

I would always bet on them having a queen, my understanding is that they have something like a 90% success rate in raising new queens. It's probably a waste to give them a new queen.
I agree with Joseph give them a frame of brood with eggs. If they have a young queen that has not started laying yet they will not build queen cells. If she did not make it back from her mating flight they will start queen cells very quickly. Also the presence of brood will suppress the laying workers. When I have this situation I add a frame of brood each week until I have a lying queen.
I normally wait about 3 weeks after a queen has hatched out before I expect to see her laying. If she isn't laying by then I will give them a frame of eggs to see if they try to raise another. If they don't, there is a queen in there. Laying workers can pop up anytime when there is no queen and all the brood has been hatched out, usually about a month after the original queen stopped laying.
Thanks guys for the help. I'll add a frame with eggs.
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