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Has anyone had terrible luck with returning mates queens? All six of my hives made it through winter, then all six have swarmed (caught all six by some miracle) but five of the six currently have no eggs. It’s been over three weeks since all of the swarms and still nothing. I literally witnessed queens being born in one hive and and still nothing. I transferred eggs into one of the hives that appeared queenless a week ago, today they merely capped all the brood. No attempt at making a queen cell. Only my third year, but by far the wildest weather (Western PA) I’ve had to deal with as a beek. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I was talking with my regional apiary inspector yesterday about the unusually high percentage of drone laying queens. He brought it up. The weather has apparently delayed many mating flights and in some cases resulted in drone layers. It has also changed the mating timeline. A virgin has about a three week window to get mated, after that, drone layer. I call it over around 21 days post emergence but can get fooled sometimes. I have a nuc that I had seen a virgin queen in, but no eggs for weeks. Today brood, eggs, and a nice fat queen. A good three weeks late and close to being shook out.
 

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Has anyone had terrible luck with returning mates queens? All six of my hives made it through winter, then all six have swarmed (caught all six by some miracle) but five of the six currently have no eggs. It’s been over three weeks since all of the swarms and still nothing. I literally witnessed queens being born in one hive and and still nothing. I transferred eggs into one of the hives that appeared queenless a week ago, today they merely capped all the brood. No attempt at making a queen cell. Only my third year, but by far the wildest weather (Western PA) I’ve had to deal with as a beek. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I made two pre-swarm splits and moved excess frames with swarm cells to make up three mating nucs. Only one of the two splits successfully re queened and only one of the mating nucs has a queen and she appears to be a drone layer. She has lots of eggs and open larave but all of the few cells that were capped on last Sunday are drones. I'm giving her until this weekend to see capped normal brood or she is going in the bait bottle. I need that mating nuc soon. This year I was seeing drones in early April so I was hopeful, but around here I don't normally see much of a drone population until mid May. TFB, I am totally at fault for one of the mating nucs but if I exclude it then depending on the possible drone layer, I'm at either one of four or two of four on the swarm prevention splits.

I was talking with my regional apiary inspector yesterday about the unusually high percentage of drone laying queens. He brought it up. The weather has apparently delayed many mating flights and in some cases resulted in drone layers. It has also changed the mating timeline. A virgin has about a three week window to get mated, after that, drone layer. I call it over around 21 days post emergence but can get fooled sometimes. I have a nuc that I had seen a virgin queen in, but no eggs for weeks. Today brood, eggs, and a nice fat queen. A good three weeks late and close to being shook out.
I've already decided I'm going to re-queen the one split that successfully re-queened later this summer because I'm unsure if she is well mated or not due to the timing.

I raise a few queens to get mated the first week of September and I overwinter them in nucs. End of summer queens have the opportunity to be well mated. I can sell the excess nucs early in the spring before the new year queens can even be offered. Since I had 100% winter survival I sold them all this year.
I am upfront with the customer that it is a September mated overwintered queen, but the early availability of a nuc full of brood and the fact that she over wintered is a selling point, more people call than I can supply.
 

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I sure am glad to see this thread. I thought it was just me. I started my splits on 3/26/20. My total colonies was way down so I thought I'd start early to bring my numbers up. The result was my numbers went way down. I had 3 good colonies and split 2 and left the 3rd for resources. Of those 2 both queenless sides turned laying worker or unfertilized queen upon the return of queens. I tried to recombine but ended up losing both. So my last resource hive went to swarm and I pulled 3 frames with capped queen cells and made 3 splits. I'll see on 6/9/20 how many of them are ok. At this point if I end up with 3 hives again I'll be a happy camper!
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Jim, I'll be the first to admit that I am not familiar with Missouri temps, but late March seems too early for walk away splits. I did not start my first splits here in VA until then. Hope all works out well getting the late spring queens mated and returned. I will be attempting to requeen all my production hives in June by removing the existing queens to nucs that will be sold next spring. The presence of emerged swarm cells will let me know if the queen is 2019 or 2020. I always tear out the old cells so I know if there are new ones.
 

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I was lucky, so far all my re-queening events went well except for my first successful mini-nuc queen. The mini-nuc made a couple queen cells each since I made two. One seems to have lost the queen entirely as all the bees migrated away and I had robbing of the feed going on. Moved all the drawn frames to the other nuc, and a queen emerged right on time. Brood, too - - but every single cell ended up being miniature drones.

I pulled the two frames I'd put in the mother hive as foundation, had a lot of nice brood with eggs, put them in the mini-nuc, and sure enough the bees promply made two new queen cells.

I suspect the endless rain we had wiped out the mating flights and I got a drone layer -- first one for me. I've had laying workers before, but not a drone layer.

I'll do OK, but was hoping to overwinter four nucs this year. Sadly, the bees filled the new foundation mini-frames with honey, will check in another week and see what they've done. Last week was the peak of the honey flow here, dramatically slower the last two days.
 
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