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Hey everyone! I'm in Calhoun County, AL. First, I know that I need to find a club to attend. I've found a local meeting, but thus far I've had a scheduling conflict. Anyway..

So I just wanted to make sure that everything is looking right. I have a couple of questions and haven't quite been able to google up definitive answers.

My bees were a package. They seem happy and have so far been very calm. They are in a 10 frame deep right now. They've been fed sugar syrup the entirety so far.

After about week 2, I did notice a few small queen cups scattered around the hive. They have since dismantled them. However, today I found a queen cell. It is about an inch long, middleish of the frame, and facing down. It is not capped. I was not able to see inside well enough to see if anything is in it. I found another over towards the side.

The queen is present. I have seen eggs. Some have more than one egg in them. She has capped drones. So far they have drawn comb fully on about 4-5 of the frames. The others are either completely blank or they have drawn the beginnings of comb on. These frames do have wax coated foundation on them.

Most of the fully drawn frames have a band of white capped honey or open nectar on them. There are pollen cells scattered around, as well.

My worry is that I'm not quite 100% sure that I see capped worker brood, though I may just not be recognizing correctly. Is it possible / common to get a package queen that has not been mated and lays only drones?
 

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Is it possible / common to get a package queen that has not been mated and lays only drones?
yes, very much so. or poorly mated or not allowed to lay long enough before being caged.
multiple eggs in a cell is concerning. drone brood in such a young colony is concerning. you may have laying workers.
drone brood has a domed shape cap to it whereas worker brood is more flat.
advise to start with two colonies so you have something to compare to when one seems off.
right now you need to figure out if you have any worker brood. if yes, you can let them raise a new queen. if no, you need to get a new queen. but this may even be too late as your package bees will be nearing the end of their life and young bees from a new queen wont be emerging for ~4 weeks after you introduce. could also get another package or a nuc and combine.
 

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If you're a month in, and still don't have any capped worker brood, your best bet will be to save the comb for the next start. Try to get pictures of frames and post, or find someone who can help you look at them.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Perhaps I overlooked it, I don't know. I think I'm just not well versed in what I'm looking at, yet. I went back after my post and took a closer look. From left to right, here is what I have. Not pictured are those frames with nothing or little to nothing on them. IMG_1634.jpg IMG_1636.jpg IMG_1637.jpg IMG_1638.jpg IMG_1639.jpg

More to follow
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Your hive is laying worker. Even a drone laying queen would have a more solid laying pattern. I did not see any capped worker brood at all, but I am looking on a cell phone. Can you find the queen? It looks like there was some regular brood activity very early on, some of the comb appears a little darker, but now nothing. Probably do not have enough young bees in the hive to do a restart. If you could get a frame of brood from a club member and a mated queen, you could make a go of it.

Looked again, there is one frame that appears pretty normal. Wait until it is capped to determine if drone or worker.
 

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Yes, I saw the queen today. Well this is not a fun start. Anyone in the Calhoun County, AL area that could lend a hand? I'll pay you for your time. I'd hate to lose this colony.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Looked again, there is one frame that appears pretty normal. Wait until it is capped to determine if drone or worker.
Thank you. I'm getting mixed answers here and elsewhere, mostly because of my picture quality.

It's tough to take good pictures with that dang veil on! haha
 

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Yes, I saw the queen today. Well this is not a fun start.
Queen is alive & spotted, same one from the beginning?, or perhaps they superseded her? Pictures of larvae.., I would consider staying out of the hive for a little while and let them cap the larvae. You will know more then for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
She appears to be the same queen. They haven't had enough time to have superseded her, I don't believe. I've checked them a few times. About a week in, they built queen cups - but later removed them. The ones in there now are the only ones I've seen since. The one large queen cell has not been there long enough to have hatched a new queen.
 

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A queen does not have to be totally drone layer. She can be hit and miss. The workers may have started supercedure. Some of the larvae in cells look quite proper so I agree to wait a few days and see if it gets capped worker. I only see multiple eggs in one spot which is often the case with a new queen. Anyways you cannot introduce a new queen until you are sure of their status. If there are laying workers, she is dead, ditto if there is another queen.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the advice! I'm going to leave them be for a bit and try to find a local beek to come check it out with me.
 

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It looks like you have some normal worker brood in picture 3 in the first post and picture 4 in the second post. The laying pattern does not look good though, and there is a lot more drones than there should be. The hive may be superseeding the queen due to her not laying well.

Any chance you have done a sugar roll to check your mite counts? I am wondering if some of the erratic laying is due to a high mite load.
 

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This is a picture of the first round of brood on new comb built on wax foundation of a package install. 005.jpg

This is about the third round. Hive # 1  (1) (800x600).jpg

And here is a patch of capped Drone brood from a couple years later. 003 (1024x768).jpg

Hope this helps.

Alex
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It looks like you have some normal worker brood in picture 3 in the first post and picture 4 in the second post. The laying pattern does not look good though, and there is a lot more drones than there should be. The hive may be superseeding the queen due to her not laying well.

Any chance you have done a sugar roll to check your mite counts? I am wondering if some of the erratic laying is due to a high mite load.
I have not done that. I visually though, I have only ever seen one mite, which I was able to kill.
 

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I am only in my second year, but I will toss out there that I learned early not to trust a visual inspection of mites. Most say if you can see mite(s) you likely have a problem.

Hoping for the best for you and your bees!

Alan
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Just an update. I had two local guys come out and look at it. They agreed that it was a laying worker hive and the queen had failed. I was provided a new queen in a cell and the old queen removed. Here's hoping.
 
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