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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I split one hive to a new one and wait for the smart bees to raise a new queen. my conditions are very good, many sunny days and alot of bloom.

I saw they built just one beautiful queen cell in the middle of the frame and capped him. I add one more brood frame with eggs, so they will build more queen cells, but after several days, they didn't build any and the only queen cell was gone (maybe hatched and destroyed by the workers).
I have no laying worker right now, and for laying queen i should wait another week so the process will be complete to examine .

Questions:
1. Why in the first place, they didnt build some queen cells (just one)?
2. how can i know if i have a virgin queen in the hive
3. does the bees destroy the queen cell after the queen hatched?
4. normaly, how long it takes to raise a new queen from the beginning till laying eggs?

Thanks alot
Randi
 

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Hi Rand,

I've seen hives only build one queen cell and raise a queen from it. In some cases, I thought it was only one or two queen cells and later found other cells that I had missed...like on the bottom of the bars or near the edges. Some queen cells are not so large that they are quickly visible.

For me, it's hard to tell if I have a virgin queen. They look so similar in size to workers. It's their body shape and their back that gives them away. If your queen cell is intact you may not have a virgin loose in the colony.

Yes, the bees will often tear down a queen cell after they've finished using it. Sometimes they don't.

It will take between 3 and 4 weeks for a queen to be raised to the point of laying eggs. Over a month (more like 5-6 weeks) before you have foraging bees from that new queen.

Hope this helps!
 

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First, it is best to leave the hive alone after making the split for 3-4 weeks. Sometimes virgin queens will run thru hive and may be difficult to find. Now when they hatch the queen chews most of the end out of the cell and leaves a round at botton with cap kinda hanging like a hinge. Soon after hatching it will fall off. Partof the cell will remain for some time. Dont worry about looking for the virgin. IT will take two weeks for her to hatch for day egg was laid so about 10 days after you made split, she will mate in about a week if weather is good and another week to lay. I have seen thenlayig in 10 days but usually two weeks. LOnger if rainy and cold. If She doenst mate in 2-3 weeks her chances of being good go down fast. TO be sure she is good you need to wait until she has sealed brood. I usually wait 4 weeks before I can judge her. If I make up nucs using queen cells
I waite 3-4 weeks and then check hives..makes it easy to tell if you have a good queen and if they raised their own she is laying. It takes about 4 weeks from nuc split to tellif she is good. Hope this answers your questions
 

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Like others point out, you could now have a virgin queen in your hives. When I did my first splits last year, I ended up finding a virgin queen in one of the splits after the queen cells had hatched. Very cool to see... she's only slightly longer than a normal worker... just a tiny version of a queen.

And of course, we had crappy weather most days this summer... lots of rain... so it took a while for the hives to take off.
 

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The easiest way I know to tell if a hive has a virgin is to add a frame with eggs and larva from another hive. Check it in 4 days. If there is not a virgin in the hive, they will make queen cells. If they have a virgin queen, they will not make new queen cells. (and if they try to make queen cells, the virgin will destroy the queen cells by chewing out the side of the queen cell.)
 

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rand, based on what you related, I would say that there is a queen running around in the hive, if its only been a week or less since you first noticed the missing queen cell, she is probably still a virgin queen, she will be mating shortly within a week, and then a few more days until laying eggs, so check again for young brood in about 2 weeks from now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just want to say thank you all for the helpful information.

I really feel that this forum is critical to my beekeeping success - there is a different between all the books and youtube videos
i study from and the field experience, the beekeepers bringing here.

Thanks
Randi
 

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about a month after I made a split last year, I wondered if it had worked. I had been checking every week and had seen 3 small queen cells at first, but soon saw they dissapeared. About 5 or 6 weeks after I first split, I saw brood, and they soon filled the deep box. They never built comb on the box that I placed above it so I removed it for the winter.
Robee
 
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