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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If I believe that both of my two new hives are queenless, and I get new queens shipped to me and install them in the hive, what will happen if the hives already have queens? Can it hurt anything? Wouldn't they just kill the new queens?

A couple queens would come to 40-50$ plus shipping, I'm in my first year of beekeeping that almost seems like a worthwhile expendature because a dieing or unproductive hive seems a lot worse than possibly wasting 30 bucks on a hive.

I know I can just hope that they make a replacement queen themselves but then the hive will have to wait a month for her to produce, and then you miss out on a month's worth of laying time so I don't really want to lose the time.

Any thoughts?
 

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How long do you think the hives have been queenless? If you have single eggs in the bottom of the cells, the queen was there at least three days ago. If your hives are queen right the new queens won't last long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm afraid they've been queenless for 6 days, the day I installed the nucs into the hives. I lost a 250ish bees from both hives that day, and I'm just worried the bees may have been stressed, blamed the queen and killed her... or maybe I'm just being paranoid.

The queen is/were good layers originally and came with lots of capped brood in the nucs... I'll probably give them until Thursday when I can come check them again and do a really good search for eggs. If I can't find any sign of eggs by then I'll probably order new queens.

Or am I missing something?
 

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Are they building queen cells at all? If she was there and they killed her I would imagine they would have built queen cells by now. Viable cells or not.

Are these two your only hives? Seems the best way to cure all queen ailments is to beg/borrow/buy a frame of eggs. Put it in the hive and they will build you a queen. At that point in time you have 1 month before eggs again. If they build a queen, you can then get a queen coming to you and be a week out from installation to eggs vs. a month.... that all depends on what blooms during which period in Bend.

How has the weather been? They come from the wet side to Bend or did you get them locally?

Maybe she quit laying for a period due to unusually cold 'to them' temps.


I guess I'd give it a couple days, then look VERY hard for eggs. I'd bet she's in at least one of them.



Take care
Mark

PS... I am a new beek by all means. This is just how I would approach it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Both hives were building chunks of comb in random places that looked at least a bit like a queen cell... that or they were just unusual builders. I don't want to claim they were queen cells too quickly.

I only have two hives.

I also found some grubs in the brood cells and it was suggested to me that if I check again on Thursday, and find grubs (or eggs), then by that time it means that I've got a queen in the hive. By 10-11 days all the brood would be capped, so if any brood was still uncapped then it would have been layed since I hived the nuc.

So my plan as of 10:41pm, is to not panic... at least until Thursday. And if there is no sign of the queen, eggs or uncapped larva, then to get new queens shipped here asap.
 

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>If I believe that both of my two new hives are queenless, and I get new queens shipped to me and install them in the hive, what will happen if the hives already have queens? Can it hurt anything? Wouldn't they just kill the new queens?

They will kill the new queens and you will waste your money. Odds are they have a queen or are raising one.

>A couple queens would come to 40-50$ plus shipping, I'm in my first year of beekeeping that almost seems like a worthwhile expendature because a dieing or unproductive hive seems a lot worse than possibly wasting 30 bucks on a hive.

A frame of brood is cheaper, easier, and far more foolproof.

>I know I can just hope that they make a replacement queen themselves but then the hive will have to wait a month for her to produce, and then you miss out on a month's worth of laying time so I don't really want to lose the time.

That is the theory. In real life it's not that simple. Many a caged queen I've bought too two weeks to start laying. Usually it takes about a week to track down a queen to buy, a few days for shipping her, so you're three or four weeks into it by the time you get a laying queen anyway, and that's IF they accept her. If they kill her, it was a total waste. If they raise their own, (and they probably already have) they will have a virgin queen in sometimes as little as 12 days and a laying queen in as little as four weeks and there are no acceptance problems and odds are they already raised that virgin queen who may start laying any day now.

There are few solutions as universal in their application and their
success than adding a frame of open brood every week for three weeks.
It is a virtual panecea for any queen issues. It gives the bees the
pheromones to suppress laying workers. It gives them more workers
coming in during a period where there is no laying queen. It does not
interfere if there is a virgin queen. It gives them the resources to
rear a queen. It is virtually foolproof and does not require finding a
queen or seeing eggs. If you have any issue with queenrightness, no
brood, worried that there is no queen, this is the simple solution that
reuires no worrying, no waiting, no hoping. You just give them what
they need to resolve the situation. If you have any doubts about the
queenrightness of a hive, give them some open brood and sleep well.
Repeat once a week for two more weeks if you still aren't sure. By then
things will be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you Michael for your post! I really appreciate it! :) I definitely feel better about the situation than I did yesterday.
 

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What will happen if the hives already have queens? Can it hurt anything? Wouldn't they just kill the new queens?

IDEALLY they would just kill the new queen, and flush $40 bucks at the same time.

But, what is more likely to happen is that, if you're queenright, the two queens would fight and one would die. And the other may be damaged in the fight and be superceeded later. Or, both could wind up dying.

I think you're doing the right thing by waiting. You'll be able to make a more informed decision in a few days. Plus, you may be saving yourself $40 bucks, which caters to my cheap side!

DS
 
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