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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone - this is the first time I've posted, and it's just to see if anyone can help satisfy my curiosity. I'm in the East Bay (Northern California) where we had a dry winter but wet spring. I caught a swarm from one of my own colonies in mid-April and put it in the only empty box I had, a Langstroth 10-frame with a mix of old drawn comb and some foundation. I checked a few weeks later and saw lots of new comb but no embryos or larvae. Same thing a week ago, so I transferred a frame of embryos/young larvae from another colony in the hope that they would re-queen. I inspected yesterday and saw no emergency queen cells, but now there are embryos and uncapped young larvae, implying that a queen was there all along. Any idea why it might take over 6 weeks for her to start laying? Thanks for any insights!
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Most likely you accidentally transferred the queen from the other hive. Check that hive to see if there are queen cells started.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Most likely you accidentally transferred the queen from the other hive. Check that hive to see if there are queen cells started.
Hm, interesting possibility. I was pretty thorough about shaking off as many bees as I could, and there were at most 2-3 left, but I suppose it's possible. I will inspect both hives and look for cells in the donor hive. Thanks for your reply!
 

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How did you have any bees left after 6 weeks from a swarm!? I would think that population would be super low at this point, might not even be worth trying to build up if the queen was dead all along.
 

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How did you have any bees left after 6 weeks from a swarm!? I would think that population would be super low at this point, might not even be worth trying to build up if the queen was dead all along.
I really don't know - I kept expecting them to abscond or die off. But I'm quite sure there was no brood until I added some.
 

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Nurse bees that don't have to feed brood don't deplete their fat bodies and are very similar to winter bees.Combine this with the reduced need for foraging to feed brood and bees will live longer than the usual 6 wks.
I vote for a transplanted Q but I am often wrong.
 

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I've seen a new Queen lay a small patch of brood, then found an empty Queen Cell and no sign of the Queen. So a Virgin Queen may start laying some eggs after first mating, but still go out for some more flights after starting to lay.

If she only just started to lay and then gets killed, then a new Queen may be raised. This would explain the timing.
 
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