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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does pollen coming always mean there is a laying queen/eggs?
I caught a small swarm a couple of weeks ago.
Last week I moved them ( and added syrup) to a medium 5 frame NUC because they only covered about two and a half medium frames.
When I moved them I didn't see a queen and I didn't see pollen coming in.
Today I see pollen coming in.

I'm wondering if this swarm had a virgin queen who was out mating and is now back and lying.
They were so small I was thinking it was a swarm that got split up from the main group and was queen-less.

I'll check then again tomorrow when it's warmer.

thoughts?
 

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sounds like a reasonable interpretation of the observations r_v. a couple of weeks is getting toward the outside of the envelope for a virgin getting successfully mated and laying. they will bring pollen in with laying workers as well. your inspection should tell the story.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It would take more than a few weeks to create a laying worker wouldn't it?
 

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my understanding is that it is the brood phermone that suppresses laying workers, and a couple of weeks or so without brood phermone is the time frame. so in the event of a colony becoming suddenly queenless and failure to rectify a bit more than few weeks sounds about right. but a swarm with a virgin wouldn't have any brood until getting a laying queen, so a couple of weeks would make sense if the virgin was lost to mating.
 

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You could also put in a frame from another hive with some eggs. If they do not have a queen they will start making one. If hey have one they will treat the frame like a normal brood frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm considering that but I may just combine them to an existing hive since the swarm is so small.
 

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with 2 or 3 frames of bees I would think very little smoke and a slow inspection would show her if she is there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I took a good look at them today and it was a complete swarm, just a small one. saw new eggs, larva, and capped brood.
 

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I took a good look at them today and it was a complete swarm, just a small one. saw new eggs, larva, and capped brood.
If you had a resource frame to set next to the cluster it would help, less bees would need to become foragers and would stay to be nurse bees, more brood raised, faster build up. If you have another boomer hive, you can steal a frame of honey and pollen, from it to help this little swarm. Weather is likely better there but here we still see snow banks. nice for them to have food for a 3 or four day crappy weather.
GG
 
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