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I have a hive which I started last year and it was the strongest of my six hives. I checked it four weeks ago, when I started treating with Apiguard, I found no brood nor a queen. I ordered a new Italian queen from Kelley Bees and installed her 3.5 weeks ago. I checked the hive last week and I found no eggs or larvae. I just checked the hive today and I found some eggs and I found a supersedure cell which was open. I did not search for the queen because I did not want to disturb them anymore than necessary. Does a new queen (the one from Kelley) ever wait more than three weeks to start laying? Since the eggs were at the very bottom of the cells, can I assume they are not from just a worker? I had read that workers bodies are not long enough to reach the bottom of a cell to lay an egg and their eggs are usually on the sides of the cells?

Thanks, Jim
 

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It sounds like your supercedure queen killed your queen from Kelley's and is the process of establishing a brood nest.

This has happened to me before. Several years ago, I had one hive that I just couldn't get to accept a queen. There were no eggs, no indication that they were laying workers and they were very calm on the combs when I inspected them (THAT should have tipped me off). I would put a queen in - check in 7 days - see that she was released and never see her again. I burned two queens this way. This probably went on over the course of 3 weeks or so.

Finally, I built a queen introduction cage on a medium frame. I put the next new queen in there and left her in the hive for a week. When I pulled the frame out to release the queen, there was the virgin queen, trying to get in and kill her.

I pulled the expensive queen out - put her in a different hive and let the 'problem' hive alone. A week later there were eggs and brood in the hive.

As near as I can tell/guess (?), virgins might delay mating flights if there are other queens still in the hive that need killing (?). I suppose that I was introducing queens just frequently enough to keep her from leaving and mating. This kept the hive 'queenright' but without any eggs or brood - at least, that is my best guess. Although, I would be interested to hear any other interpretations (that are probably more valid!).

As for your situation, if you have eggs and (worker) larvae, I would leave them be and count your blessings!
 
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