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I had a very busy hive that lost it's queen a month ago and I let them build queen cells to replace her. There were two frames with queen cells and I made a nuc from one of them. The nuc has a virgin queen. Easy to find in a nuc. I inspected the busy hive very carefully and was not able to find any virgin queen. Too many bees and easy to miss her. She might be in there? If she is in there she should be laying in a week or so. So my concern is that if I wait too long to find out that I might have a laying worker problem. If I introduce a new queen and she is in there, than problems!! What to do?
 

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do a newspaper combine, that USUALLY works.
good luck,mike
 

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If its only been one month you need to give them a little more time. It may take the queen a little longer than one month to mate and start laying.
 

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Have you been able to see any signs of eggs in the bottom of the cells? Often I cannot find the queen and always check the frames for fresh eggs. Reading glasses helps me. :D
 

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That hive has been having less and less brood as time went on since the death of the queen. The entrance would slowly be less active as this time period progressed. It would get to the point where it looked like the entrance covered in bees just hanging out, not doing anything, not alot of in and out traffic, and the pollen coming in goes down about nothing. Then the new queen comes of age and things start changing, there is more traffic now somewhat, and pollen is coming in slowly. The change is small as there's still really no brood yet, the queen is just laying, but there is a change. The attitude of the bees at the entrance seems to change some, less lethargy. When you see this, then she's just starting to lay. Take a peak inside and look for eggs.

As a note, from my observations, virgins are hard to spot as the workers leave them alone to fend for themselves pretty much and they aren't developed yet so look more the size of a worker with no court around her. Virgins are a bit harder to spot than laying queens, especially in a strong hive. As she matures and gets closer to mating, the bees will be more apt to cover her, not in a balling fashion, but covered, very protectively, when I check in on them, and they'll start getting more runny on the combs and testy during the inspections. After she mates and starts laying, then the hive calms down again and gets back to work again.
 

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I would give it another week and then check.

Earlier this season we split two hives-one of the splits was huge-had a ton of bees in it. Decided to let both try to raise there own queen.

Checked the busy split, found nothing, thought they were queenless. Checked the smaller one, found a queen but no eggs. Based on that, decided to leave both alone for a week and check back. When I did, lo and behold, they both had queens, eggs, and small larvae. I think the big split was just so crowded I couldn't find the queen. they are both doing great now.

Good luck!
Jennifer
 
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