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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a bit ripped off with my new nuc last week. I opened it up to find only three covered frames, 2 were empty frames added in to make up the five. I didn't see a queen and I didn't notice any larva or eggs, but I chalked that up to being new. I put them in a ten frame deep and hoped for the best.

I kept an eye on the hive all week. Bees seem happy and busy, bringing in lots of pollen and nectar. So I opened it up today. They were drawing comb on some of the new frames and there was nectar all over the place. I didn't see much capped brood, and I didn't see any eggs or larvae. Again, I am new, so I may have missed it. But I looked hard. What i did see worried me. it appeared to me that here were three queen cells in various parts of the hive. They looked like peanut shells in the middle of the frame. Those are queen cells, right?

Now I don't know what to do. Should I order a queen and get her in there, or let nature takes its course?
 

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No eggs? No larvae? Queen cells popping up? Yup... looks queenless to me. So I suppose you have 2 choices... let the QCs fight it out or go get a queen.
 

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You'll likely be much further ahead if you order a queen ... it takes much longer for a new queen to emerge, mate and start laying (vs. picking up a new queen or getting it shipped in a few days).
 

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You should have immediately complained and I would not be shy about fronting the supplier. Polite but firmly point out what you thought you were getting and what you actually got. It is common for nucs to be sold with a frame of foundation in the box for room to grow, but the next time you negotiate for a nuc, you will know what to ask and at least one guy not to buy from. Order a queen ASAP unless you have large intact queen cells positively identitfied. Finished capped cells will still be at least two weeks away from laying. If it is going to take longer than that, you are just as likely to get a laying queen raising one as buying one. Your nuc supplier might want to quickly supply you with a queen before you justifiably tell all your friends about his product.
 

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If you get a queen, get her before any queen cells emerge, and destroy the queen cells as you introduce the queen. They have been known to reject and kill an introduced queen if they have queen cells started already, and if there's a virgin in there when you introduce a queen, the virgin will kill the older queen.
 

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It is a queen cup if it has not been capped, if it has then it is a queen cell. You did not seem completely sure ,before you get another queen I would see if you can get a experienced beekeeper to help inspect your hive. They should be fresh eggs if you have a queen. They look like tiny grains of rice in the center of the cell. I may have got a nuc from the same supplier as you and I found eggs on some new drawn frames on a inspection yesterday, I think I got lucky with a good one. I am very busy with work right now and fairly new at this myself, but maybe someone from the paulding county beekeepers club can help. If you do need a queen one of the members has queens for sale right now, last I heard he had 3 left. Good luck with your bees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It is a queen cup if it has not been capped, if it has then it is a queen cell. You did not seem completely sure ,before you get another queen I would see if you can get a experienced beekeeper to help inspect your hive. They should be fresh eggs if you have a queen. They look like tiny grains of rice in the center of the cell. I may have got a nuc from the same supplier as you and I found eggs on some new drawn frames on a inspection yesterday, I think I got lucky with a good one. I am very busy with work right now and fairly new at this myself, but maybe someone from the paulding county beekeepers club can help. If you do need a queen one of the members has queens for sale right now, last I heard he had 3 left. Good luck with your bees.
The two I saw were cups, then, not cells. My son spotted another. I don't actually live in Paulding so I don't know much about the club. I'll see if I can locate this guy selling queens. I am currently looking up local sellers of queens right now. One of the good things about living in Georgia is the high number of bee enthusiasts!
 

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Thats great! Sounds like your good to go. I know you are disappointed about your original queen, but to look at it in a positive light I bet you learned a lot about bees this week. You should be proud that you recognized a problem and took action to save your colony.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The guy whom I bought the bees from scared me though. He says that unless I am absolutely positive that there is no queen in there, it might not help. He says I might have a non-laying queen. In that case, they will just kill the queen i added and the hive will die.

I hope he's wrong.
 

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I waited for five weeks for a caged queen to start laying last summer just because I am stubborn and I wanted to see if she ever would. She didn't and the bees never raised a queen from the frames of eggs. If your new queen is not yet released from her little cage, you might consider, taking another box and setting it on a bottom board or just a board if you have one. Brush or shake the bees off a frame back into the original box and place the cleared frame in the different box a couple feet away Continue until you have all the cleared frames in your new box. Put a queen excluder over the empty box full of bees and set your box of cleared frames on top and put the queen cage between two of the drawn frames. The bees will be able to come up onto the comb and the non laying queen if any, won't be able to. After your new queen is released and laying remove the empty box.
 

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The guy whom I bought the bees from scared me though. He says that unless I am absolutely positive that there is no queen in there, it might not help. He says I might have a non-laying queen. In that case, they will just kill the queen i added and the hive will die.

I hope he's wrong.
well....I am afraid I agree with him. I bet he probably made the "nuc" up just before you got it with some capped brood from another hive and some stores and a VIRGIN queen...which is not a nuc at all in my opinion. she will probably be mated and laying about two weeks after the date you bought them.....I am just speculating and really have no evidence, but that is what it sounds like to me.
 

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I believe any one from Georgia should aspire to nothing less than greatness. And I now believe greatness is within your grasp.
Dont ever give up, its not how many times you get knocked down, its that you get up again. What you know now is so valuable,so move on and realize you have friends that are celebrating your success just around the bend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, I am from California, I just live here in Georgia now, but thanks for the pep talk anyway!

Not much I can do right now, since I have the new queen in there. Either they release her and she does well, or they release and kill and her doom themselves. I was thinking of running out and maybe buying another nuc to use a frame of brood to save the hive (and have two hives!), but it isn't in the budget. Plus it might just be throwing good money after bad.

We will wait and see!
 

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This whole beekeeping thing is becoming really depressing.
I started last year. The packages I got had all read the book on how to be thriving productive bees. Seemed simple...pick them up, dump into hive and leave alone. I then got a number of local nucs....they obviously had not read the book! I picked them up...all sealed up in card board nucs. I did not see them before I left the premises. I got them home and hived them into single 10 frame deeps. Most had 3 frames of ancient black comb. A rag bag assortment of ancient frames...some plastic, some wood...most falling apart. I was too green to look for Queens far less eggs or open brood. I did notice capped brood.
Turns out I ended up with some of them being Queenless. They didn't even try to raise their own Queens as in retrospect I think they had no open brood!
The person that sold them to me said they should have had Queens but certainly didn't offer to give replacements.
After a year reading here I now feel I should have inspected the nucs before taking them...no Queen, no eggs, no larva = do not accept the nuc. I also would now reject them on such worn equipment as it speaks to the quality of the apiary that sold them.
Some folks must live to see inexperienced folk like myself come down down their drive...a sucker born every minute:(
 
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