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Advice for my hive

1232 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Surfmore72
Ok so first time beekeeper. Made some mistakes already. Here is the deal.

Started with nuc in a deep super in mid February (I'm in hawaii) . Was slow to react to colony expansion. Bees swarmed in near by tree (not reachable) . Most remained though. Queen cells in hive. Added 2nd super soon after. Had lots of brood and pollen. Had a month of rain and wind.
Just did an inspection.... No queen found, 3 queen cells, lots of drones, 2 cells in whole hive had eggs (2 eggs in each on same frame though opposite side), lots of capped honey (6+ frames). Hive seems weak...

Worried I have a few laying workers (or more likely... Will have a few soon). This is my only hive so I have no brood to stop the laying workers from taking over. I have a mated queen coming in 2 days.

Suggestions on getting her in and the hive back on track? Have heard mixed reviews about the shake out method away from normal hive location. Any other suggestions?
Thank you.
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Forgot to mention that I didn't see any brood on my most recent inspection last weekend
If you have queen cells you probably have a poorly mated queen. I would go through the hive look for a small queen. If you find one smash and put the new queen in. I would leave the cork in and let her stay in the cage for about 3 days. Then check and see how they are reacting to her. If still hostile leave for another 3 days no change. Shake out in front of hive and put queen in a push in cage and hope for the best. That's what i would do. Someone with more experience will tell you the correct thing to do. :pinch:
Requeening shouldn't be that hard, if there is no queen in there, hopefully there isn't. They should be ready to accept a queen if they've been queenless for this long. I wonder how old the bees are that are in the hive, if they've been without a queen for a while. Hopefully they'll live long enough to nurse the brood, that would be my concern.

Like tank said, I'll let someone with more experience chime in.
If there are queen cells it is unlikely you have laying workers. You might think that because you saw lots of drone brood but the drone brood is the last brood to hatch after the queen stops laying:
Queen 16 days to emergence
Worker 20 days to emergence
Drone 24 days to emergence

Laying workers would create poor drones which are not full size drone brood. This may be a poorly mated queen which they are replacing.
There are still queen cells about so you should be good. If you are worried you could put in another frame of fresh brood from another hive.
In case of a laying worker adding a frame of fresh brood every week for 3-4 weeks may suppress the laying worker instinct.
Update...Re: Advice for my hive

So i put a new queen in 4 days ago, in a large push in cage. Opened hive up today and there were ~15 bees inside (looks like they dug around the push in). queen still alive, ~80% of cells within cage have eggs, and queen looks to be accepted ( i hope). They didnt ball around her in the 5 minutes or so i observed. However it seemed like a few bees crawled to her with malicious intent. No stinging or physical harm noticed. Queen just kept cruising and checking cells.

When queens are accepted is it like an on/off switch with everyone in hive being copacetic or is it somewhat gradual?

Hive seems to have plenty of bees to last the ~20day development period of eggs. Lets hope for good weather!

My thoughts are that ill do a quick inspection this weekend just to make sure everything is good. Or should I do that sooner in case queen was not accepted?

Thank you all for your thoughts and advice
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