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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This package I installed on May 1, that has been queenless since aprox May 7 I checked on them today and the one queen cell I have been seeing has chewed her way out. But what I have found today is that there were actually five queen cells and all of them have chewed out. I never saw the other cells at all before today. I looked super hard today and I never saw a queen at all. If my calculations are right she would have emerged about five to six days ago, also what about the other four queens? I am starting to get frustrated. The good news is the other hive I started is doing great! I sure am glad I let you all talk me into starting with two hives instead of one because I would be real bummed out if I did not have something positive going on. What would all of you do in my situation? I really could use some experienced advice or I am afraid this hive is doomed.
 

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Ruben:

I'm in a similar boat as you. Hive 2 went queenless about a week or so after I installed. I had two queen cells. But what I've learned is to relax a bit and let nature take it's course. It's not time yet for the new queeen to be laying. And it's hard to spot her because a) she's not as big as when she is laying and b) the bees act differently towards her at this stage, their not surround her with a circle.

Keep in mind that when the first queen emerges she goes and kills queens that have not emerged yet. Just because they are not uncapped doesn't mean they all emerged. When I check my Hive 2 a week ago, the queen had emerged, I was lucky enough to spot her -- just barely -- and both queen cells were completedly gone. I think this hive was just a little further along in the process than when you checked.

What I learned from monitoring the boards was that my Hive 1 (like yours) was progressing above average. In other words, Hive 1 was doing so well, it made me think that Hive 2 was failing. When in actuality it was just going through some early growing pains.

Someone else can post as to when you should expect to see eggs, but it's too early I believe for that with the new queen.

Quint
 

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>I looked super hard today and I never saw a queen at all.

Virgins are very small and very fast. By now there is probably on one left.

> If my calculations are right she would have emerged about five to six days ago

Then she will probably be laying in about ten days or so. More if the weather is bad.

> also what about the other four queens?

They are probably gone.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm
 

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Ruben,
Give them some time and don't bother them for the 10 days - 2 weeks she needs to get laying. If in 2 weeks you don't see any eggs or can't find the queen, steal a frame of eggs from the other hive marking it with a thumbtack. If they start queen cells on it within 4-6 days, then it is possible that the one queen who did claim the hive may have lost her life while trying to mate. Some things are just outside of your control. But the the very reason I recommend at least 2 hives is for this purpose. You can still rear a queen or combine the two hives if you must. You may loose the battle, but you can still win the war.
Waya
 

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If you want a little bit of insurance, steal a frame of brood ,with eggs, from your other hive and put into this one now. If you have a queen that isn't laying yet then all you'll be doing is adding some brood to help this hive along. If you don't have a queen at all in this hive, the bees will start some new queen cells on the new frame of brood. Either way you're covered.
 

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I've done what Carbide suggests and, yes, ended up with them rearing a queen... they were queenless after all and I was ok. Another reason for having more than one hive as a newbee.

Waya
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
>If you want a little bit of insurance, steal a frame of brood ,with eggs, from your other hive and put into this one now. If you have a queen that isn't laying yet then all you'll be doing is adding some brood to help this hive along. If you don't have a queen at all in this hive, the bees will start some new queen cells on the new frame of brood. Either way you're covered.

The only thing that has stopped me from doing that is that in four hive inspections I have only spotted the queen in my good hive one time and it was three weeks ago, everytime I check the hive I find plenty of cells with just one egg per cell so after looking for her and not seeing her I am afraid that I would end up either hurting her sweeping bees off of the frame or worst yet end put putting her into the other hive.
 

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Just give the frame a good rap and most of the bees will drop straight down on the top bars. At that point, it should be easy to see whether or not the queen is still on the frame. I don't brush if I don't have to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
>Just give the frame a good rap and most of the bees will drop straight down on the top bars. At that point, it should be easy to see whether or not the queen is still on the frame.


My frames have natural combs from starter strips and are not attached on the sides or bottom yet, will they withstand a sharp jolt?
 

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If you keep them vertical and don't let the frame hit, it should be fine. Just shake it straight down and stop suddenly before hitting. I do it with plain natural comb when doing a cutout and it doesn't break.
 

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>My frames have natural combs from starter strips and are not attached on the sides or bottom yet, will they withstand a sharp jolt?

No. They won't. Brush them with a bee brush or a large feather. Quick flicks. NOT slow brushing.
 
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