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Discussion Starter #1
On the 29th of April we did our first inspection. Everything looked good in both hives and we found both queens. When we put the hives back together, we think we killed the queen when replacing the frames. Today when we inspected we couldn't find the queen in the hive we suspected the queen got killed in, but we found several queen cells that had holes in the bottom of them and one that was capped. On one of the frames there was lots of drone cells at the bottom. We haven't seen any eggs in either hive but I did see the queen in the other hive. There was also lots of capped brood in both hives. Here is a picture of the capped queen cell. Do I need to buy a queen? Do we need to do anything at this time? Help!
 

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I would let the queen cell in the photo hatch out. It looks capped and you should see eggs in 21 days or so...The queen will have to emerge and go on a mating flight or two. The bees should continue working. With lots of capped brood that will help your numbers not dwindle too bad.
 

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you have a supercedure (sp) in process. If you inspected on 4/29 and you killed the queen that day...all of your worker brood in that hive would have hatched out 5 days ago so you would have no capped worker brood now. So, you definitely did not kill the queen when you thought you did, but they are replacing her.

I would leave them alone and check for eggs in about 3 weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Someone in our area has queens for sale that are local survivor stock. If I chose to go that route, how would I go about doing this? Should I destroy the supercedure cell and try to find the old queen again before introducing a new one? There were several queen cells located throughout the hive that had a hole in the bottom of them but I didn't see any queens. I don't know if I would recognize a virgin queen. The thought of requeening with local survivor stock really appeals to me, but I wouldn't want to waste a queen or end up totally without one. I know a mentor would really come in handy at this point, but I don't have one.
 

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The thought of requeening with local survivor stock really appeals to me, but I wouldn't want to waste a queen or end up totally without one.
Why don't you just buy a new hive and a survivor colony nuke, and watch the progression of the hive that is in supercedure.
 

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I would let the queen cell hatch. It will also give your bees a mite break due to the mites not having any brood to attach to. I have accidently killed queens in the past. They will build a queen cell wherever the best eggs are located after they realize the queen is gone. It doesnt matter where on the frames, supercedure or swarm cell normal spots, you find the cells. If you cant find the queen and you see no eggs/young larva then you are probably correct in not having a queen.

The open queen cells... Do they look like they have chewed open (rough around the edges) or just not capped yet?

You could, as others have mentioned, move the capped cells to a nuc and buy a queen for the "mother" hive. It will double your chances and hopefully you will increase your hives. Good luck!
 

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I imagine the hive is fine and agree with NewJoe that you didn't crush the original queen. If you had, on the 29th of April, they would have figured it out in a day or so and would have immediately taken to raising a queen from one of the eggs she laid. Their window of opportunity to begin raising a queen would have only been a day or two. That being the case, they would have capped that queen cell on about May 8th and it would have emerged around May 15th, it would have mated by now, and would begin laying in the next week or so. So, since you have a queen cell now, that can't be what happened.


If you have a lot of capped worker brood and drone cells everything points to your having a laying queen.


The queen cell in the picture is technically at the bottom of the drawn portion of the comb so my wager is that it is actually a swarm cell rather than a supercedure cell. Again that means you have a very healthy laying queen in there somewhere.


In either case, I agree with the suggestions of NewJoe, Blessed Farms and Sterling that you let things run their course or do a split to take advantage of the extra queen that is being raised.


Oh, and in terms of spotting eggs, sometimes it's just hard to see them. Normally I am really good at it but this year I can't spot them to save my life. I think it is the angle of the sun and time of day that I am doing inspections. So I just look for other signs, namely capped brood, uncapped larvae and general hive activity.


Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hmmm.... Checked this hive again today, 8 days later, and still see capped brood in fact a whole frame of it. Still didn't find the queen. Now there are 6 queen cells scattered throughout this hive, some of them are capped. There are only 5 and a half frames of bees, nectar pollen and capped brood. We started out with 5 frames on May 19th so this nuc seems to be struggeling. If there was an original queen on May 24th, doesn't it seems she either flew the coop with some of the bees or she died? The queen cell we saw last week is still capped and there is another one right next to it. My other hive has started working on the 2nd deep we put on it 8 days ago. My husband doesn't think we should pull a frame of brood and bees from the strong hive to give to the weak one. His line of thinking is why weaken the strong hive. He wants the weak hive to either make it or not... I just want both of the hives to prosper and grow!
 

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i bring a flashlight to look for eggs sometimes the angle of the sun is impossible to get into the comb and light up those tiny white dots.
 

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You must remember they were probably without a queen, but the math isn't quite adding up, especially if you think you squished the queen on April 29th, should've had capped queencells first week in may and a new queen out around the 12th or so. She would now just be starting to lay, new queencells now doesn't make much sense.
 
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