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Discussion Starter #1
I need some advice.

I will try and give the short version of this problem.

In early March I had wintered a five frame nuc that was doing very well. I put the five frames in a ten frame deep. By the first of April, they were on all ten frames, and I gave them ten more deep frames. Two weeks later, I gave them a partially drawn shallow.

A second hive, by early April was showing signs of becoming agressive. When I put the shallow on the hive mentioned above, I checked it to find they were queenless. In March they were good, as I had given them a second deep to expand them. I removed the second deep, and started checking on getting a queen.

No queen was available, so I decided to do a combine with the hive that started as a nuc. On April 30, that hive swarmed at about three in the afternoon. They settled up in the tree about 35 feet or so. Once I got everything ready to try and get them, they started to decrease in size. It soon became clear that they were going back into the hive that I suspect to be the one that issued the swarm in the first place.

The weather was poor from Sunday until Thursday of that week, so on Friday I got the chance to look at them. Much to my surprise, I found queen cells in both deeps. Eggs everywhere, good pattern, developing bees, capped brood, all looked good except the queen cells. I did a walk away split with eggs and queen cells in each box.

I went back in five days to see where the queen was. Much to my surprise, there were no eggs in either box. I checked back a few days later, and no eggs. Both were queenless. I checked yesterday, and one now has eggs, and seems to be queen right. The other is queenless. There are four open queen cells iin the hive, all hinged at the bottom.

I am guessing that they have each left with a small swarm, and I did not see them. Or they killed one anotherl. Or the colony killed them. I have no idea which.

I am afraid of combining them, as I do not want to kill off another queen. I can't get a queen before June 1, which will probably be too late for this colony. So, do i just wright this colony off or what.
 

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I would bet that there's a queen in the process of getting mated and starting to lay and you will find eggs and larvae soon. One way to find out is to give the hive you think may be queenless a frame or two with new eggs and some open larvae from the other hive. If they are queenless they should (doesn't always work in my experience) start a couple of queen cells. If they have a queen that just hasn't gotten started laying yet, they will not raise another queen. There was a recent post in one of the forums from someone who had a similar situation and after a little more time than he thought it should have taken, he finally saw eggs and brood from a colony-raised queen. Give them the frame with eggs and be patient.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Any guesses as to why they swarmed into the tree, then went back into the hive?? And what went with the queen that had laid the eggs that were in the hive on the 30th? Did they kill her? If so, why? She seemed to be laying a nice pattern.
 
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