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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have one hive that has swarmed about 2.5-3 weeks ago. They have no brood eggs or larva. The bees were very calm which makes me think they may have a queen. I added a frame of eggs today to see what will happen in case my thoughts are wrong about the queen. The problem is the whole hive is honey and pollen bound. I am only a 2nd year bee keeper and have not had this problem before. I was thinking of exchanging some of the frames of honey and pollen with frames that only have foundation from nucs that have been placed in 10 frame deeps today and recently captured swarms that are now in 10 frame deeps that are about 5-6 frames drawed. What would you do? Thanks
 

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You are on the right track with your idea to exchange honey bound frames with new ones to give the queen a place to lay but calm bees should not be used as an indication of being queen-right. By now you should be seeing signs of a queen; either in the form of eggs, larvae or capped brood and if you are seeing none of these then I would be suspect of the existence of a queen.

When you swap out honey filled frames for empty ones be sure to swap out ones closer to the center (after verifying that that the ones you would be removing has no eggs, larvae or brood. Swapping out and frames may not be used by a queen; they tend to work center outwards.

Look for the queen (or signs that she is there); good hunting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The reason I thought they may have a queen is when I inspected after they had swarmed they were covering my suit and mean as the devil; and, today just the opposite. Still I didn't go with my feelings and gave the frame of eggs and larva to see if I end up with queen cells. hopefully a few more days will let me know. Are hives without queens usually calm? With what little experience I have had after some of my hives swarmed they were down right mean. Thanks for the help.
 

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Hives can be quite calm without a queen.
After you catch a swarm it is usually good practice to feed them, you didn't mention it you feed the swarm. They could have been angry food lack of food. I've found that a swarm, caught and feed is quote calm on first inspection but I rt and give a caught swarm about 3 weeks before 1st inspection as too soon and it is possible that the queen week fly. Also, with a swarm too frequent visits can cause the hive to supersede her if your inspections cause get to slow down and the hive blames her for the slowdown. I had this happen only once on a swarm I had caught and was using as a training hive.
 

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I wasn't reading the OP to say they caught the swarm. I understood them to be saying that the hive that issued the swarm now appeared to be queenless and honey bound.

Re: honey bound: Yes you can remove some capped honey from the top box. I would then push the remaining frames to the outsides of the box and place the replacement drawn frames in the center.

Once the swarm occurred the queen cell(s) in the hive would hatch. That could be a few days after the swarm. The new queen needs time to harden, kill competitors, and go out on mating flights. All that takes time, at least couple of weeks probably more. My point is it could be up to a month from the point of the swarm before you see new brood in the hive. Keep checking. I think putting the frame of eggs and larvae in was a great idea; if they still need a queen they will try to rear one from that frame. If not, they'll just let the brood develop. So next week check that frame first (carefully) to see if they started a queen cell. If not, look in the rest of the hive for signs of new brood. You may have to be patient for a little while longer.

Calmness is a relative thing. A very calm hive can still be calm without a queen; a mean hive can be mean even with one. A calm hive that suddenly becomes an agitated hive MIGHT be queenless. It's one possible indicator, not the indicator.
 

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Ditto Irmo, Thanks, Mine swarmed about 2.5 weeks ago. Im in the same boat. I will give em another week before I combine.
I did catch the swarm, and today saw the first eggs and larvae, so that was a relief.......
 

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If a virgin Queen is off mating when does a hive begin to think it is Queenless?
 

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If a virgin Queen is off mating when does a hive begin to think it is Queenless?
Bees know within just a few min usually if they are queenless or not. However when a virgin queen is off mating it's a little diff as they know they had a queen and she was a virgin and she went for mating flights. The bees know how long it usually takes for the queen to do her thing and come back. During that time her pharamones are still in the hive strong. Most of the time a mating flight only lasts for about 10 to 15 min at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Irmo you were right the calm bees did not mean they had a queen. The eggs placed on Monday have three queen cells. Thank you for the advise.
 
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