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Another newbee question - Hive appears queenless

793 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Tenbears
Okay, one of our hives appears to have no queen (we cannot physically see her). We photographed every frame both sides and have meticulously looked for her on every photo to no avail (even zoomed up on the photos) However, the bees have built what is quite obviously brood cells and honey cells. They are capping off the brood cells just like our other new hive (with visible queen) is doing. We can see larva growing in some of the uncapped cells. Is it likely our queen has lost her green dot and our unexperienced eyes are just not seeing her? Or is it possible the larva are from some other source besides the actual queen we inserted as part of the package?

Also, the main difference I see between the two hives is the hive that appears to be queenless has built a huge cell that looks like a queen cell in the middel of one of the frames and it appears to have more drone cells than the hive with the visible queen. I will try to post a photo or two later.
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I would not be concerned about not seeing the queen, even a marked queen can hide easily. what I would have on my mind is the queen cell, It is not uncommon for a hive from a package to attempt to supersede the queen thinking she is failing because she is slow to start up with egg laying, (mostly due to lack of drawn comb) if you have eggs you have had a queen within 3 1/2 days. At this point if your queen is missing they have built an emergency replacement. if she is there and they perceive her as being poor, they will either supersede her or of she picks up tear down the queen cell. In any event it is now in progress, if the queen is missing there will be a decline in work forces while awaiting the new queen to begin producing. It may be wise to monitor the hive add some brood and maybe bees if it gets too low.
Thank-you Tenbears!
How do we add brood? Can we swap a frame of brood from the other hive?
Yes that is the way to do it. Be careful that a queen is not on the frame being transferred. I usually recommend transferring frames that have mostly capped brood, as those are the least likely to contain the queen. But look them over well in any case.
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