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Discussion Starter #1
I want to create a new hive so today I placed 5 medium frames (3 larvae/brood, 2 honey/pollen) in a nucleus box from another hive. Since I don't want to wait a month for a queen to lay, I plan on placing a mated queen in there in a couple of days. I don't have any extra frames of drawn comb to add as the hive expands but I do have plenty of undrawn wax and plastic foundation frames. So presumably the queen will have no empty cells to lay eggs in until frames are drawn out or capped brood hatches out. Will the initial lack of drawn comb be a problem?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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No, but placing a mated queen in a split you made several days prior will probably result in a dead queen. Either put the queen in tomorow or wait at least a week and tear down any queen cells the bees have started. Beemandan likes to wait 10 full days to be sure he gets all the started cells. You're profile says MD. There is plenty of time for the bees to raise their own queen and get the nuc strong enough for winter.
 

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That's good info, thanks. My only concern with letting them raise their own is I'm not 100% sure there was eggs or freshly hatched larvae on the frames. I have a heck of a time seeing eggs. If I was to put a queen in there this afternoon, about 26 hours after I split them, do you think they would accept her?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Good chance of it. Takes them about a day to start queen cells. As long as they have not started making a queen, your added queen should be accepted.
 

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Here's another question: If I didn't have eggs or young larvae in the split would that be confirmed after a week or two by not seeing any queen cells, then I could go ahead and put a queen in there? I'd really rather not spend the money on a new queen and raise one locally if at all possible just not sure I have eggs or young enough larvae for that to happen.
 

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Here's another question: If I didn't have eggs or young larvae in the split would that be confirmed after a week or two by not seeing any queen cells, then I could go ahead and put a queen in there? I'd really rather not spend the money on a new queen and raise one locally if at all possible just not sure I have eggs or young enough larvae for that to happen.
Not having eggs or larvae no older than a couple of days from the egg, risks having the bees start feeding an older larvae. They can build on up to a 5 day old larvae but that would give you a badly compromised queen. At least a full week is needed to prevent possibility of a caste queen.

I would be even more conservative than JWPalmer about the workers starting cells if you dont get the queen introduced within an hour. I have read they typically start cells between and hour and twenty four hours after being made queenless. They sometimes wont tear down those emergency cells even if they accept the queen.

I have also had cells started even with immediate introduction of the queen. This is not the most common occurrence but I wont risk getting caught again; I go back and check for started cells regardless.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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One way to do it is go back into the hive on day four post split. Look for any queens cells that are capped or appear much further along than any others. Destroy those and allow the younger queen cells to develop. A queen cell getting capped on day six is probably a good one. If there are no queen cells, buy a queen or give them a frame with eggs on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I really appreciate your insights. I've decided to hold off on the queen for now and will check back on Sunday to see if queen cells have been built, pinching out the oldest and leaving the younger ones as JW suggested. Thanks again!
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Please post your findings on Sunday. I had made a hive queenless on a Sunday and came back on Wednesday to find several queen cells started and three already capped. I had meant to go back the following day to destroy the capped cells and did not. First out killed the good cells and this particular hive now has what I am sure is an intercaste queen. Crap. Time for a do over. At least she is laying, for now.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I got in the hive yesterday, 4 days after doing the split, and just 2 queen cells were started, one slightly larger than the other. I left them both since there were only two. Not sure if from the attached picture if you can tell how far along they are. If I can feel confident they were made from young larvae, I'd like to keep them instead of buying in a queen.
 

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