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Discussion Starter #1
I have a hive that I split from 6 1/2 weeks ago, taking the queen and a couple combs of brood. I checked back 2 weeks after the split and there were 3 or 4 capped queen cells, so I let it go to do its thing. I finally got around to checking on it again this past week, and there was no queen that I could find, and no eggs or larvae. However, there was a small patch of capped brood, maybe 10 sq. in total. The hive roared like a jet engine the entire time I was in it. It appears a queen may have mated and returned, started laying and then succumbed to whatever.
I gave the hive one comb of mixed brood, eggs, larvae, to make a queen. My question is, is it too late for them to make a queen, have her mated and laying, and for brood to emerge before it runs critically low on bees? Should I bite the bullet and get a queen ordered ASAP?
 

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My experience has been that you will run critically low on bees by the time you raise a queen and first brood hatches. First hatch in around 50 days.
When I order a queen. Roughly a week to get her, a few days for her to be released, then sometimes another week for her to start laying.
Overall it will gain you about a week over raising your own. My experience is your home raised queen will probably outperform the bought queen.

When I have this happen( and it happens) ill give them a frame of capped brood every 10 days or so to keep the population up.
If you don't have brood to give them then I adjust their box size down as the population declines. They may be in a nuc by the time brood starts hatching but will usually build up fast.
Woody Roberts
 

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You don't say how long ago you put the brood in so you will have to consider that before ordering a queen, perhaps they have raised a virgin which will kill the queen you buy.

The brood you saw a while back may be the result of laying workers. You should check the comb of brood you gave them to see if they have raised queen cells. If not, you either have laying workers or a virgin and introducing a bought queen will almost certainly fail.

If the bees have built queen cells on the brood you gave them and they have not hatched yet, the bees are feeling queenless so would accept a bought queen, you should kill the queen cells though if introducing a mated queen.
 

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At what point do they start building cells oldtimer ? I newspaper combined a queenless hive with a nuc that had eggs and larva in it Sunday I opened it today to make sure they removed all the paper and checked the nuc and it had no eggs and only a few day old larva so I thought that she moved down in the queenless part to lay and saw very young larva but no eggs and no queen on any frame and there were a bunch of queen cups I went through every single cup to see if it had an egg or larva in it and not a single one did so will they start emergency cells on these young larva or is it too late ?
 

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You would have normally seen the beginnings of queen cells by now although it may take some careful looking at this stage.

If there are any queen cells, they will be a lot more visible by the weekend.

There's several other possibilities. Depending how long the queenless hive has been queenless, it could have a virgin queen, or it could have laying workers, either of which will prevent queen cells being raised.

My suggestion would be have another look on the weekend, if there are queen cells then good, but if not do another post with if possible, time frames how long the hive has been queenless, and we can discuss options from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oldtimer, I just put the eggs and brood in this past Sunday, so 4 days ago. I do have other capped brood I could prop them up with, but I was worried it might not be enough since its been so long since the original split and queenlessness. I think it would be prudent to get a queen ordered tomorrow, and when she comes, remove any queens in progress and hopefully get them back on track. I might just order a couple more queens and do some splits off of this springs packages, as they are booming with bees.
 

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RCORL: You can order a queen and have it is just a few days. Since your hive is queenless and has been so for quite a while. You should be able to release her in 48 hours, It will save you a lot of time over raising one. Be sure to remove any queen cells in the hive. Check your Private messages, I will send you a name phone number, If you call tomorrow 6/20 early it will be shipped tomorrow.
 

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but I was worried it might not be enough since its been so long since the original split and queenlessness.
Yes, and I agree with Wolfer on this.

I think it would be prudent to get a queen ordered tomorrow.
Yes, also, virgin queens can possibly hatch just 10 days after you gave the bees brood so queen cells need to be destroyed before that.

IE, 16 days from egg being laid to hatch virgin + or - a day. Eggs hatch 4th day, bees can use 2 day old larvae, could hatch as fast as 10 days. Lots of people get caught out by this.
 
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