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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A buddy is out of town for 5 days and asked if I could swing by and checkout the two packages he just installed (9 days ago as of today).
One of the two hives had some interesting stuff going on.

The Observations
-No queen observed
-One queen cup constructed
-Multiple eggs (up to 3) in each open cell (no drones yet of course)
-The comb being constructed is oddly thick walled (like 3 or 4 times as thicker)
-Unlike normal functioning colony, all the bees on the top bars start fanning when you open up the hive.

So, it's highly likely that they are queenless, but I'm surprised that there are already laying workers in just over a week. My only thoughts are that:
1) Because there was no open brood and no queen pheromones hanging out in the hive, some of the workers quickly became laying workers; no several week period of queenlessness required for these ladies.
2) Maybe a laying worker got dumped into the package and because the remaining workers had contact with her, they killed the queen when she came out of the package.

Normally I'd requeen it, but if there are laying workers the colony will surely kill her. I'm considering pulling a frame with eggs from the adjacent queenright hive and see if they start making new queen cells right away. At least then we'll know if introduction of a new queen (which I can get easily) will likely be successful.

Sound like a good plan?

I've installed a dozen or so packages and never see anything quite like this.

~Reid
 

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It's the brood that inhibits laying workers. THEY take 2/3 weeks to appear because that's how long it takes for the brood to hatch out completely when the queen dies. I'd combine them after putting them over a screen board over a queenright colony for a few days. Split later.

dickm
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the suggestions!
Hopefully tomorrow the weather will be good enough in the afternoon (after work) to slip a frame of open brood/eggs in.
I'll update this thread to close the loop on the results.
~Reid
 
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