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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Three and a half weeks ago, March 15 specifically I made a mistake and squished a queen. The hive is strong but was fairly hot, I planned on re-queening her anyhow but not this early. Unable to purchase a queen for a month I decided to roll the dice and raise a new one. I should mention that I was a week into the process of converting from deep to medium frames; this hive had no eggs or larvae less than 7 days old as the queen was excluded and did not lay while excluded. I swapped in a notched frame from another hive and they built out the queen cells nicely. A week ago this past Saturday (March 29) I found that a queen had emerged and the remaining queen cells (two) were torn open on the sides, I assumed this was the first to emerge dispatching the others? I did not see the queen at this time but did not spend too much time looking as the weather was cool in the mid 50s and I did not want to chill the remaining worker/drone brood that had not yet hatched.

Yesterday, we had a mid 60s day so I popped the hive open at about 3 pm to swap in some bare frames for freshly drawn natural cell frames for later use. What follows are what I observed yesterday.

Observations:
There are no eggs or larvae yet which I see as normal given our temps have been a little cool for a mating flight, high 50s till yesterday.

Temperament was very calm with very little smoke. I did however witness a lot of bees standing on the top bars and entrance fanning what I think was the homing pheromone. Might this indicate the queen might have been out on a mating flight? I did not see the queen in the hive but I'm not the best spotter anyhow.

Storing lots of nectar and pollen

Lots of Drones in the hive.

My question is... Should I add in another frame of open brood as insurance against a failed mating attempt or to prevent a worker starting up before the queen? Mid 70s today.

Thank you in advance for your opinions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Rader. I wasn't concerned till a couple hours ago when I read another blog. A very experienced beek said that a queenless hive will typically start the process of worker laying after two weeks. At first I thought, can't be, the normal life cycle would forever be a problem if that were true.

I could grab another frame but it's from a much smaller colony that I really don't want to deplete if it's not necessary yet.
 

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Don't know about other people but I've had several hives turn to a laying worker but never before 42 days had elapsed since the queen died that's just been my experience with them so I wouldn't worry about a laying worker problem yet
 

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A queenless hive will be loud and bees will be fanning alot. Lots of times I can tell a hive is queenless just by the sound of it. Until the virgin is actually mated and laying the bees will act queenless. As soon as you start seeing eggs the hive will quiet down alot. Its not real good weather for queen maiting flights, but I bet she will get mated if its supposed to be 70 degrees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all for the guidance. I decided to wait a few days on the adding of a new frame of brood to see what happens. Yesterday I found a gorgeous new queen cruising around the hive, yippee, my first queen. That said, I found no eggs/larvae yet. At day 14 since emergence I've got a bit more time but would still like to take out an insurance policy by starting a Nuc. If the queen in question gets mated and starts laying, my Nuc will become a new colony, if she doesn't I'll have another queen in the works to feed back to the hive.

I have a 3 by 3 medium mating castle that I built, I also have several 5 frame medium nucs.

I can supply a frame of open and capped brood with eggs from hive B along with nurse bees.
I have lots of bees on freshly built comb in hive A (the virgin queen hive) but there is no brood yet. Being broodless for several weeks, I assume all bees are foragers since there is no brood to care for and keep warm? My questions are...

1 - Can I combine the brood/nurse bees from hive B with a bunch of foragers from hive A without them attacking the nurse bees?
2- if I don't move the castle/Nuc 2-3 miles away, will the foragers from B just go back to their original hive?
3- knowing I can only allocate one frame of eggs/brood to the process, would it be best to combine this frame with two frames of bees with pollen/nectar in the 3/3 or should one frame be empty to give them something to do? What's ideal?

Thanks
 

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I started a dirty split with a 5 frame nuc. On 3/21 I saw 2 capped queen cells. I left them alone until 4/9 and saw a big fat queen checking out some polished cells and pretty active. No eggs yet. Will check again on Sunday. I bet she will be alayin'!
 
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