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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought 2 nucs on April 8th. On April 29th I treated both with Formic Pro. I originally transferred the nucs into 10 frame deeps, then added another deep not too long later out of fear of swarming.

May 7th I saw that one hive had no eggs or brood. I wonder if the nuc I was sold actually had a viable queen in the first place. Not sure as I didn't thoroughly inspect the new nucs as the weather suuuuucked. I was afraid of waiting any longer as I saw no brood at all, so I took a trip to buy a new queen May 8th.

Introduced queen to colony on May 8th and left in cage for 9 days until today. Queen had been released (and/or killed).

Today, May 16: no eggs or brood. I swear I saw an egg in a queen cup. but saw no other eggs and definitely no brood anywhere, so maybe it wasn't an egg.

190 bucks on the nuc, 40 bucks on the new queen= a still queenless hive, it appears.

I put in 2 frames of eggs/brood from my other hive so I'll check in a month to see what's up. I'm hoping for the best as I can't see spending another 40 bucks for a queen that may or may not help.
 

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I wouldn’t necessarily wait a month. If they are indeed queenless then a queen cell should be apparent in a few days. I’d check around day 6 or 7 if it were my hive to confirm status. If they’ve built queen cells than give it the month. If not, look for eggs again.
 

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I've been there. I also started with two hives. I'm up to 6 or 7 now. When you have more, you can do splits and divide up resources and not worry about an individual failing colony.

You could back up and punt on the failing hive; combine the two, give it a week and do a split.

You could also take a frame of new brood from the good hive and see if they will make their own. Good luck.
 

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This is why I don't recommend treating small hives with formic acid. Way too likely to kill the queen, or worse, weaken her so she can't lay but isn't dead. Hive will NOT take a new queen with a non-functional but like one already in there.

If you have a queen excluder it's worth shaking them through the screen to see if you have a queen if you wont' see eggs soon. An introduced mated queen should start laying within a week -- takes a few days to feed her up to laying status, and if you don't have eggs by then, either you have a bad queen (it happens) or you have a bunk queen in the hive and the bees killed the new one.

Try a frame with eggs and very young brood, they should start a new queen. If not, then shake them through an excluder and kill the queen when you find her and try again.

Another way to handle this in the spring is to combine with a large swarm if you catch one -- with a newspaper combine the bees will often select the better queen and stop feeding the dud. Single screen board will help here too, if you have a swarm to combine, the strong laying queen will cause the bees on the other side of the screen to discard the dud queen.

All that said, I had a hive that requeened itself three times one year -- every time I opened it up there were queen cells in there and a small amount of brood. Meaner than dirt most of the summer although they made a lot of honey. This year they are still mean, but making honey like crazy (four medium supers nearly full on an eight frame hive). May have to extract some to keep them going, I don't have any more boxes and the top one is higher than I like already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, went in there today and found several queen cells in one of the frame of brood/eggs I took from the other hive. A $40 queen and 4 hours of driving down the crapper. Should I periodically add more frames of eggs/brood from the other hive? I don't really want to weaken that hive any more than necessary.
 
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