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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All 3 of my hives have been queenless for many weeks. One nuc has gone through 2 cycles of queen cells without success. (I keep stealing some for the other 2 hives too). So I finally broke down and bought a local queen. The beekeeper wasn't willing to try and get her in a queen cage (and I wanted to mark her anyway) so I brought her home in a jam jar on Fri night.

Did a complete inspection of all 3 hives on Sat am, found 2 more mature, capped queen cells so I gave them to the 2 big hives. Beekeeper said his rate of introducing a mated queen to a long time queenless hive is 10% so I decided to try it on the nuc, which has a much smaller bee population. I didn't want to risk trying to shove her in a queen cage either, so I put her in the hive in the jam jar with a plastic mesh lid (she does have one attendant in the cage with her).

On Sun afternoon, I replaced the full mesh screen with mesh on 1/2 and newspaper on the other half. Taped the 2 together and cut tiny slits in the newspaper. I expect by Monday, they will have released her. If not, I'll poke a larger hole in the newspaper.

The picture looks like she is fanning like crazy. She seems most anxious to get out. The comb comes all the way down to touch the lid. I'm hoping that she will lay up the available comb in the nuc in the next couple of days so I can steal some bars of eggs for the other 2 hives. Only one has any capped brood left and I'm due for a hip replacement next Monday. Nothing like going up against the clock to try and get them to take a new queen.

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I hope it works out for you! I understand the struggle.

I have one nuc that took a long time to requeen (finally put in a ripe cell from another nuc that resulted in a queen just as laying workers were starting up) and another nuc that is on it's second try (first queen cell hatched but that queen must not have made it back from mating). I gave the queenless nuc the first bar of eggs from their sister split and they now have three queen cells in the works. Have had one dud cell, three new queens not return and four return so far this year. Hoping one of the new cells results in a mated queen and betters the average.
 

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Queens won't feed themselves so even if there's food in that comb pictured, she's probably hungry, thirsty and hot in there. I'd release her sooner rather than later.
 

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Queens won't feed themselves so even if there's food in that comb pictured, she's probably hungry, thirsty and hot in there. I'd release her sooner rather than later.
I don't think that queens actually cannot feed themselves. I think queens who are actively laying are fed because they're busy doing other things. I think they can and do feed themselves however.
 

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Ruthiesbees, something about this photograph really strikes me. I just love it! Maybe it's the comic strip tear that makes it seem so poetic.

Sorry to interject off topic.

Carry on!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
checked on the girl at lunchtime and they hadn't even begun to tear through the newspaper, although there were some bees feeding her and the worker bee inside the jar. Since this is day 3, decided to release her. Just took the band off the jar and she strutted her way out. No one really paying her much attention. She disappeared on to a comb and I watch to make sure there was no balling, but it looks like a smooth acceptance.

Checked the other 2 hives. One queen cell has been chewed open on the side, so I know that was the workers. They will get the first bar of eggs this new queen lays. Other hive still has an unhatched queen cell, but I'm pretty sure that is a dud too. Will know for certain by Wed.

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If the workers destroyed the Queen cell is there any hope you have virgin on mating flights or is slow getting started?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If the workers destroyed the Queen cell is there any hope you have virgin on mating flights or is slow getting started?
not for that particular queen cell. I knew it was of "unknown quality". either made with too old larvae or drone, or not fed enough royal jelly. I moved it from the nuc to the main hive which does a very hygienic job of clearing out the old junk (unlike the nuc who just doesn't have enough bees to get all the work done).
 
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