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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry if this should be in 101. Bee math question: A queenless hive given a frame of open brood to make emergency cells, as needed. On May 21st, the first queen emerged, but appeared to have DWV or chewed wings, looked as if she'd never fly, so into the pheromone jar she went. Three additional cells were still capped. Not wanting to disturb the colony too often, I went back in on the 25th, and saw all cells open and a nice looking queen. Now, I understand they "harden" or mature for about three days to a week before mating flights. The main potential problem is weather. After the first three days, it rained/showered for the next week. The following week it was sunny but with wind starting at noon and blowing until sunset. I've read virgins want calm sunny days to fly. So, will the mating urge force them out under less than ideal conditions, or will they sit in the hive waiting for better conditions until they are past mating window? I've read on M. Bush site something about twenty days after emergence, it not mated or mated after the twentieth day, they'll never lay workers. She emerged probably on the 21st or 22nd, and had two weeks of bad to marginal weather. As of June 8th, there is no sign of eggs. She's in there wandering around, exploring cells with her face, but not laying. The workers don't act like I've seen with mated queens, no real retinue. They crawl over her, bump into her, don't really move out of her way. In a minute or two of observation she was not once groomed or fed. If my math is right, this weekend, or somewhere from June 12 -15, if I don't see eggs I probably never will (unless they're drones, of course).
Sound right?
 

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Maybe you should leave "math" out of the title - see how it scares folks away?:D ( Maybe "Queen timing"...:) -( just kidding)

Anyway - yes, from what I've read, you are rapidly approaching what is considered the end of the line for that queen. Have you given the colony any new eggs? It might be time to give them ( and you) another option.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Or, "How soon should a queen lay?" :)

I haven't given an additional frame of brood. I was waiting to see what happened, and guessed they wouldn't draw cells as she's still in there. I assume they'd supersede/emergency her after a certain point, however. Also, there is a need for more brood from a more bees standpoint. I'm sure there's enough in there that lack of bees to cover brood isn't retarding her, just concerned about the passed weather window. We're on our first week of main flow.
 

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Why don't you put her in a nuc and give the main hive a mated queen?
This will allow her to take her time. The drones will not fly in bad weather either even
if she does.
I think I got a virgin that I have never seen before in a nuc hive. Don't know when she
emerged or from where??? But she is there for good and might bee even mated too that I
checked today. She is their last hope since queen less for more than 1 month now.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Mated queens still a little hard to come by here north of Seattle. Some on Craigslist from hobbyists in Seattle doing small scale rearing. Last I heard from Lauri, she's a week away from her next round. That, and she's almost five hours round trip away. I like the idea of adding a queen, however. I'll wait until Sunday, then nuc her. Math says she'd be a ways past "lay-date" by then, but things tend to go a few days behind in our cool climate. I unsuccessfully let a different hive in April try to rear. It was too early for here, but everyone said to try as a "learning experience". This was only my second try at letting them rear their own. With only six hives, I usually buy queens, as I'm not good at waiting, especially if they poop out. Not having more resources makes each queenless hive a drag on the entire apiary if queenlessness drags on for weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Not tonight, soon I'll stick one on here. She's a Carni that is root beer colored. Third summer, first successful queen. Old hat for most of you, but still kind of cool the first time. Best part, there's a younger one in a five frame nuc as well, now waiting on her, but we've had better weather, and I now know there are enough drones around. Thanks again
 

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Ohh, I forgot that a queen pass her window of mating opportunity will become a drone
layer. I got one that she got killed by other worker bees. We'll see if she is a mated queen or not.
 

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My hunch is that she got out during that week of sunny, windy weather. Hello, sailor!

So, wait 2 weeks and look for a brood pattern - flat capped worker brood or bulging drone brood? And how solid is the pattern? If it is worker brood, but spotty, give her a bit more time - up to a month. Some queens take a while longer than others to get the brood pattern going good and solid, but they prove out to be excellent queens for 5 years. After a month or 2 of spotty brood, they will likely supercede her.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Update: Two weeks later. Added second brood chamber last night, she filled 6 plus frames, only avoiding the two outside honey frames, and most of two frames of pollen, although she did find cells to lay in among the pollen cells. She's small, but remember, an emergency queen, and our "first"
 

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Looks like a Keeper Jack!!
Great when a plan falls in place aint it. Looks like you are about to have a Population Explosion........ Good Luck. G :applause:
 
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