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Discussion Starter #1
I think it's 35 days but I forget.

They swarmed June 9th, and left queen cells/cups. I *noticed* capped queen cells on 6/15 and made new hives with them. Last time I checked on 6/28 there were cells with their sides ripped out in one hive and I saw a new queen walking around, not laying. I couldn't find the queen cells in a couple of the new small hives I made, altho I tried not to poke around too much. I didn't see any queens in those either.

It's been rainy here but soon I want to check again. It hasn't been quite a month tho, I don't want to disturb them too much.

According to the queen rearing calendar, starting with swarm date, their mating flights would have been 6/26 - 6/27, so that would have been a week ago.
 

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When starting nucs I nearly always see eggs/ larva in 30 days. Once it took 34.
Since swarm dates leave an unknown exact date for the start of the queen cell you should see eggs by 7-9 I would think. Quite likely sooner.

Often though when they first start laying there's just a few and easy to miss. A week later I'll see larva and realize there were eggs on my last inspection that I didn't see.

For me if I didn't have eggs by day 34 I never did get any. I go to plan B on day 40
 

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A small LED flashlight helps me see eggs. I've tried regular flashlights but they didn't help much.
The LED has the same effect on eggs that the old black lights had on white clothes. It makes them glow
 

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The earliest experience I have had was 26 days to see eggs, but generally, probably because I don't see that well anymore, it has been approximately 30 days. It is hard not to tear everything apart so you can see her, but be patient, and let her find her way. :thumbsup:
 

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I did cut-down splits on June 8. All of them except one had larvae yesterday. A couple of them have 2 full frames of larvae. The one that didn't have larvae had no eggs anywhere I could find, really testy bees, and roaring. I was going to just give them a frame of eggs/larvae, but decided to try something different. I bought all the stuff to try grafting queens this spring, but then never did get a chance to go thru the process due to work travel schedule. This morning I put grafts into cups on a bar, and stuck it in the queenless colony.

My wife is fond of telling me, the bees will let you know when it's time to try an experiment. It's a double deep with bees covering all 20 frames, bottom box has at least 6 frames of pollen etc, second deep is mostly a mix of uncapped and capped nectar, and they are hopelessly queenless. Tried grafting for the first time. Worst case scenario, none of them take, and I resort to putting in a frame of brood in a few days. Best case scenario, I'll have more cells than I'm prepared to deal with in mating nucs.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
A small LED flashlight helps me see eggs. I've tried regular flashlights but they didn't help much.
The LED has the same effect on eggs that the old black lights had on white clothes. It makes them glow
Wow. I'm going to try that.
 

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Exciting! Now I have to check. The rain has made me be patient for days now. Tomorrow it's supposed to be nice.
If it was raining, then there is a reasonable chance they didn't get out on mating flights. We had decent weather during the earliest mating flight windows for these queens, and it appears most of them got right down to business. One may be just running a little late, or they didn't re-queen successfully, I dont know at this point, but, will continue some experiments here anyways, on the assumption they are queenless. I'll likely know better later tomorrow, when I peek in and see if they started cells on any of my grafted cups. If they do start a few, then this colony is destined to become a handful of nucs, but time will tell.
 

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>I did cut-down splits on June 8.

They start with a four day old (from when it was laid) and you have a virgin queen emerge 12 days later and mated and laying usually 14 days after that. 21 days after that at the most, so that is: 4 days old on June 8, emerged on the 20th and should be laying, usually, by the 4th and at the latest the 11th of July.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
>I did cut-down splits on June 8.

They start with a four day old (from when it was laid) and you have a virgin queen emerge 12 days later and mated and laying usually 14 days after that. 21 days after that at the most, so that is: 4 days old on June 8, emerged on the 20th and should be laying, usually, by the 4th and at the latest the 11th of July.
I'm going to go by that for my June 9th swarm hive splits. I've seen larvae in 3/4 hives, so I will give #4 until July 11/12 before I throw in the towel on that one and either try to start again with frame of eggs & brood, or combine it with one of the other successful splits.

It's not too late to start another split in the northeast, is it?
 

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emerged on the 20th and should be laying, usually, by the 4th and at the latest the 11th of July.
I can do the math, the part I have trouble with, is finding a new, potentially virgin queen in a double deep busting with bees. Since there is open larvae now in all the others done on the same day, the general way to double check, give them a frame of brood/eggs and see if they make queen cells or not. Well, after I had that frame in my hand, thoughts turned to all the queen rearing gear in the garage, that I've never played with before. Instead of a frame of brood, I tried a bar of cups with grafts in them. It's an experiment, partly to see if I can get the grafting part down. Not a lot to lose, lots to gain, particularily in the 'experience' department.

8 out of 15 was the result. I grafted into 15 cups on Friday, and on Saturday, 8 of them had a good pool of RJ in the cups, with bees starting to pull wax at the bottom of the cup. I know lots of folks would be sorely disappointed with only 8 out of 15, but for a first attempt, I'm thrilled, this was WAY easier than I expected. Just looked today (Monday), and 3 of them appear to be capped, with bees on the rest of them, looks like they will be capped later today or tomorrow. So my experiment is already yielding results.

a) Hive is not roaring anymore - makes me think I was right about them being queenless.
b) They made and capped cells, suggests they want a queen.
c) The cells seem to be capped a day earlier than expected. Reference the +- on the bee math page, this time the minus applies, or I had older larvae than I should have.

I have lots of experiments running with the bees this year, we are trying to ramp the learning curve hard. So now I get to plan out phase 2 of this experiment, making up mating nucs on Friday. Then hopefully in a couple more weeks, I'll have a surplus of queens, so, finally in a position to play with a marking pen, and not be worried about leaving a hive queenless if I mess up trying my hand at marking them.

All in all, it's just win-win-win from my perspective. In hindsight, now I'm actually kind of glad one of the splits failed to requeen.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have no idea what grafting queens means (yet), or a mating nuc, but what are you going to do with all those queens?
 

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Most LED flashlights use the blue-white high-efficiency LEDs. These have a harsh color but they make a number of things stand out. Try one on your lawn and see how crabgrass stands out from other types of grass.

The problem with a flashlight is you need a hand for the light and two hands for the frame. You can't hold the light in your mouth because you're wearing a veil. So last week I added a couple of hooks to the cage around my apiary, on which I can hang an LED worklight. While not as powerful as a 120 V 250 W halogen worklight, it puts out a LOT of blue-white light. I've got it rigged up so I can stand with the light over my shoulder and hold a frame up where I can see it.

http://www.superbrightleds.com/more...owered-rechargeable-led-work-light/1296/2991/

And, seeing no larvae, eggs, or new queen, but instead finding fresh nectar where brood used to be, I said "What the heck" and combined the old hive with a frisky new nuc. Hope I was right. I did not wait 40 days.
 

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8 isn't actually a lot of queens, but, it gives me a few spares. If they turn out good, then I have some colonies that dont seem to be superceding this year, I'll give them fresh new queens in August. This spring when the bee inspector was here, she was kind enough to put marks on the queens in the colonies we opened. Those marked queens are now in splits, and still running around with red marks on them. Hoping to replace then with green dots, and prepared now to accidentally kill a couple getting the green dots on them, all part of the learning experience.
 

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8 isn't actually a lot of queens, but, it gives me a few spares. If they turn out good, then I have some colonies that dont seem to be superceding this year, I'll give them fresh new queens in August. This spring when the bee inspector was here, she was kind enough to put marks on the queens in the colonies we opened. Those marked queens are now in splits, and still running around with red marks on them. Hoping to replace then with green dots, and prepared now to accidentally kill a couple getting the green dots on them, all part of the learning experience.
I got my first 2 hives on July 1st, last week. I marked both queens today(yellow, I didn't have green paint of any kind). It's really not that hard, but I admit I was sweating it, haha
 

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>It's not too late to start another split in the northeast, is it?

Probably not, but that time is rapidly approaching when it will be too late.

>...the part I have trouble with, is finding a new, potentially virgin queen in a double deep busting with bees.

No one can easily find a virgin queen so there is no reason to attempt it. If in doubt give them a frame of open brood and call it good.
 
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