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How long can a colony remain queenless b/f laying worker develops?

7194 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Jpryce
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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...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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