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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This past weekend I inspected one of my hives to verify the queen I installed on May 4 had been released from her cage. I removed about eight queen cells before adding the queen cage. It had been four days and now the cage was empty. I searched all of the frames and could not locate her or any new eggs in the already drawn comb. Note that this is a three pound package that I installed on April 6 and I believe the queen failed originally since I could not locate her or any eggs upon my third inspection April 30. There were eggs and brood there on my second inspection on April 16. Since this is my second queen for this hive this season I removed most of the frames and set them aside so I had plenty of room to work. I am using a solid bottom board, a slatted rack (w/ slats parallel to frames), two deep brood boxes and a top feeder. I did notice a "ball" of bees down inside of the slatted rack. could the new queen have been inside of that ball of bees?

I guess the proof will be when I make my third inspection on or about May 18?
 

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To me when you say a ball of bees the first thing I think of is that a queen is "getting balled" as we call it here.
That means she's not been accepeted and they are "balling her" biting and suffocating to kill her.
kiwi
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This is the slatted rack I am using. http://www.betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=308
I hope it was not a balling as you have described. Why would they do this?
I removed the queen cells that they had created.
If there were a queen already in there wouldn't she have destroyed the cells herself?
Would they have released the queen and then balled her or just taken care of her within the cage after removing the candy plug?
Since I have not seen a queen in over three weeks and if I do not see eggs or larvae on the 18th what's next? Combine with my other hive? Get another queen?
 

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Thanks for the link to the slatted rack I've never seen or used one of these before.:)
I can't be sure about the queen being balled but it's the first thing that popped into my mind because thats exactly what a queen balling looks like I've seen it many times, sometimes it happens when you disturb a newly introduced queen to early, sometimes it's a newly mated queen wondering into the hive that happens sometimes when you have lots of nucs around. sometimes they just wont take to their new queen and kill her even if they have no source of eggs or lavae to make another!
I would do the tried and true of putting a frame of eggs and open brood into it wait 4/5 days if you have queen cells being drawn you are queenless and can either unite with another hive or try another queen, although after already trying 2 I dont like the chances of getting another one accepted.

kiwi
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well tonite I checked the hive and found both capped and uncapped brood. Buttoned it up and topped off the feeder. I guess it was not a case of the queen being balled. Maybe I witnessed something else?
 

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If you see a ball of bees, there is almost always a queen in the middle of it. That doesn't mean they will kill her. They might. But they also will do this just to confine her until they decide what to do with her. I would use some smoke and gentle work to get her out and put her in a cage... but the issue is done now.
 
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