I have what was a queenless hive; I had taken a frame of eggs/larvae/brood from another hive and placed in this hive to let the bees make a queen a few weeks ago. All looked good - they had made 4 queen cells so I had anticipated things getting back to normal. I checked the hive a couple of weeks ago - no eggs or brood, no sign of a queen (all of the queen cells were open; only the edges of them remained). Just to be on the safe side, I put another frame with eggs/larvae/brood in this hive about 8 days ago, and expected to see some queen cells in the works when I checked it today, but there were not any. Nor are there any eggs or brood on any other frames. If the hive is queenless wouldn't they try to make a queen with any available eggs/larvae? If the queen is there wouldn't she begin laying eggs fairly soon, since the comb is already there? Any suggestions on what I should do next?
Put another frame of open brood in it, if you have to, do it once a week until you see a change. You probably have a queen though if you see no more queen cells started. The biggest thing is to not give up on them, they know what the're doing.
From what I read in the other threads a queen takes about 3 weeks before she starts laying from the time she hatches and mates. I'm sure others will be able to tell you the exact schedule but I think I'm close.
Assuming there were enough bees to build good queen cells, and you started with frames of eggs, it will take 4-5 weeks from the time they start drawing the queen cell until you have a laying queen. Sometimes, depending upon weather, add another week, to play it safe. And there's no guarantee a spider or wasp or bird won't get her on her mating flight. Like advised, keep trying. And good luck!
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