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Discussion Starter #1
Last year it was new package. Grew well and produced 2 full supers of honey above 2 deeps.

Over wintered. First brood noticed was drone brood at top of frame. Single eggs in cells.

Checked a couple of weeks later and no eggs, drone brood emerging.

Next week still no eggs. Gave it a purchased Queen...4 days later they had released her. She laid eggs but I saw no new capped brood. Bees covered about 4 deep frames, lots of stores..it is now May. I gave them a frame of capped worker brood that also had eggs and larvae. They did not make a Queen cell. I did not see a Queen.

I gave them another purchased Queen. Slow release. They released her and I never saw her once released.

So I gave them eggs and brood,did the same the following week. They still have no eggs or brood,...just pollen and nectar.

Is it possible to have a Queen that doesn't lay eggs and thus suppresses the hives instinct to raise a Queen or accept a new one? Would such a Queen regress in size to be hard to distinguish from a worker?

Other than combining with an active nuc or full hive is there some solution I have missed?

Thanks...I would like to salvage this hive if only for the satisfaction of doing so.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
?No suggestions ...
 

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Is it possible to have a Queen that doesn't lay eggs and thus suppresses the hives instinct to raise a Queen or accept a new one?
Yes, and from your description this is likely. It is also possible to have laying workers that are not laying eggs.

My preference would be combine because the alternatives are more work and more risky. But if you really do not want to combine, shake the bees out at least 10 yards away then reassemble the hive with a queen excluder underneath to prevent re-entry of possible virgin. Then give brood for a couple weeks & see what happens.

If you do go with combining it, put it over a strong hive with a queen excluder between & leave undisturbed for 3 weeks. If there is a bad queen in the hive the 3 weeks with excluder will keep them apart and give the bees time to realise there is a better queen elsewhere in the hive & deal to the bad one.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If I put the deep over a strong Queen right box with an excluder I take it bees from both hives, except the Queen(s) will co mingle.

After 3 weeks can I then take off the hive that was difficult and give it a mated Queen or eggs and open brood.

What will happen to a non laying laying-worker in the hive over situation?
 

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If I put the deep over a strong Queen right box with an excluder I take it bees from both hives, except the Queen(s) will co mingle.
Yes, allow them to co mingle. Just take the lid off the queenright hive, put one sheet of newspaper with a finger sized hole in the middle on the hive, then a queen excluder, then the queenless hive on top.


After 3 weeks can I then take off the hive that was difficult and give it a mated Queen or eggs and open brood.
In theory, yes. However it's just possible if you have a non laying queen she could still be there, although by this time she will not be a threat to the good queen even after you pull the excluder. But would be a threat to a caged queen you try to introduce. Safest way to ensure she is not in the split you make would be shake all the bees down out of the top box into the hive, then put a few frames of brood into that box from below, so the split is exactly made up how you want it, then put it back on the hive over a queen excluder for 24 hours to allow bees to move back in. Then remove it & make it your split.

What will happen to a non laying laying-worker in the hive over situation?
Provided the bees mingle fully, any laying workers will have regressed back to normal workers. However if the hives are sparsely populated with bees there is a chance a pocket of them can remain that are not mingling with the other bees and coming into enough contact with brood to cause them to regress. If both hives are well populated with bees this will not happen. Not sure the makeup of the queenright hive, but when you do the combine, ensure there is at least one comb of brood in it's top box directly below the queen excluder, to start drawing the bees down from the queenless hive above.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks...if no QC started tomorrow I will move onto the new plan.
 
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