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I am becoming a believer in the article a couple months ago in BEE CULTURE about week hives called "Dinks". I have had one since installing a package back on March 27th. The pkg. came with a few SHBs and have been able to keep them under control. However, after waiting too long for the queen to get in gear -- she was a slow layer and seemed to lay as many drones as workers I requeened on May 18th (killing the orginial queen). The new queen was much larger than the attendants with her. Used a Brushy Mt. requeening frame --removed most of the candy so the queen could get out and then opened the frame three days later. Came back in a couple days and found 3 dead bees in the queen cage ... didn't think they were the queen but wasn't exactly sure. I have fed the hive the entire time since installing the pkg. Today when I went into examine the frames--I had at least a LB. of bees in a cluster on one side of my hive top feeder??? Would you think the queen would be in that cluster??? I didn't find any eggs or fresh capped brood where one could say a queen was present. I've never seen anything like that number of bees in a cluster (if that is the correct way to describe it in a feeder -- at times there might be a few but nothing like a lb. or more of bees. I am about to say "Once a DINK always a DINK". Ideas?? Thanks.
 

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Take a frame of open brood/eggs from your good hive and put it in your "dink." If they build cells you know it was queenless. If they don't build cells you probably have a queen. BTW, if they do build cells please let them complete the process and raise a queen.
 

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i am a firm believer in giving a hive a chance, but only so far. When you feel a hive is a "dink", time to take drastic measures.
Ask yourself this question....will that hive, if they make a queen be ready for winter? Now is the time to look ahead at winter survival.
16 days to hatch, three weeks to lay eggs, 21 days before you have emerging brood, 23 days to have foragers. Your queen will lay enough eggs at a time that your number of bees can care for them.
I would rather shake out on the ground and let them find a home in another hive.
 
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