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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we are about 100% sure our 4 week old colony (from package) is queenless...no new eggs, no tiny larva, all capped brood. We also found 3 supersedure cells which we promptly removed BEFORE we realized we were queenless (oops! we are newbies). We have ordered a queen and she should be here by Tuesday at the latest. However, our concern is with only capped brood and a few more days waiting (and the fact we screwed up the "emergency queens" they were obviously rearing) are we gong to end up with a laying worker? I am assuming they have been queenless for 8-10 days based on what we are seeing....will nearly 2 weeks all told of being queenless create a laying worker?
I know that moving brood has been suggested but we simply don't have another hive to do this with:-(
Many Thanks for your time!
 

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I’m in the same situation (queen-less hive) but I think I may have been without a queen for maybe three weeks. All the brood has hatched and no new eggs; there is still a lot of bees in the hive. On the other hand I’m not too sure the hive has a laying worker, or I would see some eggs or larva.
Thanks
Jay T
 

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The official research word is that most all hives have laying workers all the time. Hives with mated/laying queens and active brood nests generally mask the problems that laying workers can create - those problems can and do develop in colonies without mated/laying queens and active brood nests.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Clemens....I did read that (that all colonies have them) but am just paranoid that they will reject the queen getting shipped to us on Monday if there is no larva for them to take care of and a worker starts laying like mad. Being new we don't have the resources yet to put a brood frame in to keep the ladies busy to suppress a potential laying worker and I had a hard enough time locating this queen...really don't want to have to find another one if they reject her!
Good luck to you and your hive Jay T!
 

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I am a newbee too and caught a swarm on the 10th and checked a couple of times and finally on the 20th yesterday i went through the entire hive. They never produced and egg and every time I checked they seemed more agitated than the time before. I called and talked to Carlton Simpson at Simpsons Bee Supply in Danville, OH. He and I were under the same assumption that there was no queen so I bought one from him. He said put it on the top bar and if they go to it and start faning and are not agressive then the hive is more then likely queenless. That's what I did, that's how they reacted, and the hive in 3 minutes almost went quiet. It was like a hush came over the crowd. I will uncork her on Sunday. The reason I am going though this is Simpsons had more queens on site and you are close enough you could grab one tomorrow. Because you still want to give them 3 to 5 days before you turn her loose. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good to know Jeff. I ordered one from "mikesbeesandhoney" (also in Ohio) but we are having it shipped as our young kids are likely not to want to be in the car so long. Will keep Simpson's in mind in the future though!
The first two weeks they were going gang busters and all of a sudden - nada. I don't know if we somehow injured her inspecting or she flew away or what but we went from tons of building/laying to an abrupt stop and have spent a LONG time searching for her to no avail.
Good luck to you - I hope to have our bees as happy as yours are now soon.
 

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...our concern is with only capped brood and a few more days waiting (and the fact we screwed up the "emergency queens" they were obviously rearing) are we gong to end up with a laying worker? I am assuming they have been queenless for 8-10 days based on what we are seeing....will nearly 2 weeks all told of being queenless create a laying worker?
Well, let's see about answering your question: "How long can a colony remain queenless b/f laying worker develops?"

This really depends. You really have two questions. (1) How long do YOUR workers have before becoming laying workers, and (2) How long can a colony be queenlees before laying workers take over?

The answer to #2 is slightly academic, and the answer to that question alone can vary between 4-6 weeks. BUt caution!!! caution!!! caution!!! Your package may well have been queenless for several weeks before it was shaken back in Georgia (or California, wherever you got it). In theory, in this case, you could have laying workers very soon, and you wouldn't know until you began seeing the clusters of eggs in each cell.

My feeling is, according to your description, that your queen will be accepted. But please go do me a favor, go to the poll on beesource about the Southern packages/nucs successes vs. failures and vote that your package failed. I know your package really won't fail thru your requeening, but the quality of packages is really going south, pardon the pun, and we need to wean ourselves off these things and make our own splits and nucs to overwinter. You'll be more impressed with the quality if you do.

Good luck on your requeening, and hopefully you've learned a lesson, never to cut out queen cells, under any circumstances (remember, bees make better beekeepers than beekeepers make bees). In the future when a hive shows signs of swarm cells, pull those frames and put them in a queen castle---you can then raise your own queens. Invest in these, you'll never be sorry you did!
http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Queen-Castle/productinfo/687/
Or...
http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Medium-Queen-Castle/productinfo/736/
 

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I'm with fatscher on the wonder of growing your own nucs and queens.

Partially :eek:t:

I have been a beekeeper since the late 1960's, then recently my wife got sick with MS and I had to quit my regular job in order to be her full-time caregiver. Now I spend almost all-day, every day with her (she is my very best friend). I also spend more time gardening and tending our bees. Before my wife became ill it wasn't too much of a problem to keep those frustrating AHBs, but now that she can't run away (she's in a wheel chair, especially when she's outdoors) if the bees become grumpy. So I decided to see if I could economically requeen our hives with a gentler strain of bee and keep them gentle. Our budget allowed for us to buy four queens about every four years. Then I would pick the best of those four queens to be my MQ (Mother Queen). I would move the MQ into a two-super stack of 5-frame medium nucs, that made it easier to keep her supplied with empty frames to lay in so there would always be young larvae ready to graft.

Anyway, I started a few nucs, at first, so I could more easily introduce the imported queens, then I added more nucs so I could mate the queens I raised. Eventually I added even more nucs so I could keep plenty of extra queens and bees to straighten out full-size colonies that were having problems. If you have a colony that becomes overrun by laying workers, it can often be corrected by combining a strong nuc (with young laying queen) to them, especially with using a double-screen board for a few weeks first. Nucs are an excellent management tool, that can be used in many different ways.
 

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:eek:t:I am behind Fatch and Jopesph...buy your own bees......JEEz....LOL:lpf::lpf:

Please do answer the poll. I havent said this, but i am saying it now, I am printing this poll if the response gets better and sending it to the major package producers here. No, i didn't get a package from them, but if it is as bad as you all say, then i will surely help let them know. We all know there was a issue with weather, but if that was an issue, they should have held out longer, even if it meant delivering bees later...shame on them!

I have a hive that has developed laying workers after about a month queenless. I caused this problem as I kept making splits off of them, so bad on me. To those who say that a worker cannot get all the way into a fully deep cell with correct beespacing, you are ONLY fooling yourself and if you would like pictures to prove it, PM me. I am mpre than positive i have a laying worker and there are drones everywhere....no the fun of a shake-out of a deep and 3 meds of bees. Gonna suit up for this one:lookout:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all for your responses...so far no laying worker (no eggs) and our queen should be arriving today or tomorrow so I will post an update. From all I read that a queenless colony sounds different...I can now vouch for that...they seem depressed, not as productive (what is there to work for I guess) and definitely have a different "pitch" to their buzz when you open the hive. Hope the ladies are happy with the new Queen when she arrives.

I will certainly vote in the poll. I feel like we have been VERY careful when inspecting so we are at a bit of a loss as to how our queen died/failed/disappeared.
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions!
 

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I am a 1st year beek and started my beekeeping with a queenless hive given to me by an expierenced beek. We left the hive with several capped queen cells when it was split. Within a week the hive was nasty as could be and was stinging and chasing off everthing that came with in 10 ft of the hive. I checked the hive after 2 weeks and found the queen cells chewed open but found no evidence of a queen- ( to be expected from a virgin queen). We put in a frame of eggs and brood to try and get them to build a queen if there wasn't a virgin in there as they were still acting queenless.

I checked the hive every week/week and 1/2 and no sign of a queen and the hive continued to be nasty. After at least 6 weeks and many stings I requeened the hive. I knew it was a major crap shoot to put a mated queen in there but had know idea what else to do. One beek said to take the hive up to a field and dump it.
I never saw evidence of a laying worker and the hive went queenless for at least 6 weeks so I would say, to answer your question, it probably really varies from hive to hive.

~Julie
 
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