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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
built myself an ob. hive several weeks ago,first queen emerged about three days ago,watched her systematically go about overseeing destruction of about six or eight other queen cells,meanwhile another one apparently emerged before she got to it.This new queen is quite a bit smaller and has one wing not fully developed.watched them on and off for about half a day expecting to see the bigger queen kill the runt as soon as they came in contact with each other, but they seemed to never come closer than a couple inches away.Anyhow i woke up yesterday morning and went to check on hive status, and i can no longer find the bigger queen.My thought was she is probably out on mating flights, but i checked again quite thoroughly last night and she is not back.They return to the hive nightly during the 2-3 days of mating flights dont they?? Im afraid this little runt incapable of mating may have killed my good queen...Any thoughts appreciated...
 

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It can happen that way. But don't count the runt out yet, watch and see if she succussfully mates, if not you will have to try again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
can she possibly mate if she is unable to fly???There are plenty of drones in the hive but they only mate in flight dont they??
 

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I've seen queens with clipped wings fly short distances, if she has any wings at all, she might mate. If not, she'll disappear on her mating flight, as she won't make it back.
 

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I have seen a lot of "runt queens" in my nucs this year. It took me a while to figure out that they weren't runts, the beek just didn't have enough patience to wait long enough. Some of them looked like slightly elongated workers, but by the time they had laid up a couple of frames of brood they were all big, lovely, and prolific. Now I try very hard to not look in the nucs except to check food stores, and I'm not finding any more "runts" and with 30 nucs have only had one fail to produce a good laying queen.

My reccomendation: Put the cover back on, open a beer, put on some good music, pick up a two week supply of beer and a few more CD's, then take another look two weeks from now. If she still looks bad give them a frame of eggs and young brood and pick up a 30 day supply of beer or get a new queen for them.

In beekeeping as in music, timing isn't everything, but if the timing is off you can't do much about the rest.
 

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O Hive queens are always ready to surpise you! Like what already is said don't be too judgemental of the "runty queen".
My O Hive has at least six capped queen cells and this coming Thursday is time for the first queen to emerge, it always is an adventure and learning experience to say the least.
 
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