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Second year Beek. I have an 8 frame double deep which has gone queenless. There are 16 frames full of bees in the hive. Just inspected both deeps and found only 1 capped queen cell. I found maybe two or three open queen cells, but I do not believe they were ever capped? The top box it the one with the queen cell. The bottom box had nothing. Lots of frames of capped brood throughout both boxes with honey, nectar and pollen. Not one frame of eggs or larvae in both boxes.

I do not believe the girls can make any queen cells without any open brood?? So would like some advise as to how to proceed? My first thought would be to wait and see what happens to the capped queen cell? Or....try and purchase a couple of queens and spilt the boxes? I am in New Jersey and certainly no queens are available around here at the moment. Would appreciate some help?

Thanks :)
 

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4th year beekeeper here, I would let the girls handle it, this is what they do. Just for come clarification, was the capped queen cell in the middle of a frame or hanging off the bottom of a frame? Also, was there any larva in the open queen cells you said you saw?

You are correct that they can't make a queen without open brood. If you are still nervous, and its okay to be, you can ask another local/neighboring beekeeper for a frame of eggs (local beekeeping clubs are your friend!). This is one of the reason why at least in my area, we always recommend to new beekeepers that you maintain at least two hives at all times so in case something like this happens, you have the resources to deal with it.
 

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Well the no queen around here at the moment will drive what you do.

I found cells but do not believe they were capped?? are they cups or cells? why do you believe they were never capped? Not sure I have seen a full size cell that was never capped.
they "had" open brood at one time correct? since they have closed brood now they at one time had open brood.
So if one is capped let them try to raise a queen, are there drones out yet in your area?? That is the life saver question, as the drones need be there to mate or you can end up with a drone layer.
Were they roaring? Queen less bees have a "sound" if they were not roaring they may have a queen , but will need to have her mate.

You have some conflicting detail in your post, if you have 2-3 open Q cells and 1 that is closed, I would wait it out providing you have drones out at this time in your area.
If in 2 weeks you do not have eggs and larve then order a queen, by May 1 several places should have them, I would start looking, in Fla and CA now to see what is out there.

Do you have other Hives? if yes you have other options as well.
try not to open them for a while, if they have queen mating best to not be disturbed.

GG
 

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Yes GG the hive is roaring and feisty. I believe that the cells that were empty were queen cups rather than queen cells?? I do have another hive, but that is another issue. Requeened that hive last May with a Bee Weaver Queen and I am paying for it now. Hot hive. That hive is also full of bees and is queen rite. I know I can take a frame or two of open brood, but frankly I do not want to have anything to do with those genetics??? As you suggested, my initial thought was to wait and let it play out with the queen cell??? Should I wait 3 weeks before going back in??? Thanks!
 

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Yes GG the hive is roaring and feisty. I believe that the cells that were empty were queen cups rather than queen cells?? I do have another hive, but that is another issue. Requeened that hive last May with a Bee Weaver Queen and I am paying for it now. Hot hive. That hive is also full of bees and is queen rite. I know I can take a frame or two of open brood, but frankly I do not want to have anything to do with those genetics??? As you suggested, my initial thought was to wait and let it play out with the queen cell??? Should I wait 3 weeks before going back in??? Thanks!
The cell should hatch soon , if it is viable, once hatched she needs a few days to mature, a few days to mate , then in a few days to start laying, My guess is 3+3+4 days or 10is from hatch to first egg. as many as 14-16 is not uncommon.

Ok a second hive, Fiesty.... So you will likely order 2 or 3 queens when you find a place any way. Google Queen Bees for sale wade thru some web sites. For NJ florida would be a close ship. As Packages are shipping now someone is raising the queens.

With other bees you "can" add a frame with eggs in say 5 days, IF they make Queen cells they are queen less if they do not then they have one. So this is a fair test if finding her is not your forte. and you want to ponder things for a few days.

As well if this one is queen less you can just combine, However Big and Mean is not that optimal path to travel either.

So queen shopping...........
I would google "Honeybee Queen for sale Florida"
the first hit https://www.heritagebees.com/MatedQueensandCells

I would look at a few sites, go for a gut feel or ask "bee friend"
If you want my advice.....
Get a couple or 3. Break this hive up into 1/2s or 1/3s here is the why:
I have better luck introducing to a small hive 4-6 frames, bad luck with 15-30 frames. If an intro to the whole hive fails in 2 weeks you are in the same place with no gain.
And if 2 of 3 take, you are out of the woods, the 1 split that failed can be added to the other 2, 1 frame a day and by the end of the week you have that project done.

Do look each frame over very good, virgin queens are good queen killers, if there are virgins in their you could be wasting your money. Another reason to do a 3 way split, even if you have a virgin 2 of the 3 should accept and the 3rd may have a virgin mate.
If you do buy queen to add cut off all remaining queen cells.

Now the other Fiesty hive, :) 2 or 3 ways to go.
option 1 If you like the queens you buy and the laying pattern looks good repeat the above. Kill the queen and split 3 ways.
Yes I know you now have 6 hives, if that is too many sell 1 or 2 as a NUC and recover some Queen $$

You do swaps as option 2 take one of your new introduced queens, give space, remove the fiesty hive from the bottom board, place the newly requeenened split there and move the fiesty hive to a new location, the other spot would do (where the new queen came from). This would move the feild force to the new queen and give that hive a boost, super and leave them alone. Wait 2-3 weeks and do it again with the other queen. So again steal the field force adding it to your new queen. Now the hive should have fewer bees, go in find the queen and kill it, could allow them to make one or requeen. with ordered Queen.

Look at some of the requeen threads, I see the site I mentioned has Cells, that could be a cheaper way to go, you will end up with local drones mating.
Just a matter of how bad the fiesty one is, 2 mated queens would be 70 ish bucks, split the hot hive requeen each 1/2 is an option. $70 ---stings , $70 stings,, your choice.

Remember it will take 21 days for the First bees to hatch from the new queens, 3 cycles like 90 ish days for the old fiesty bees to pass on to bee happy land or where ever they go , so post requeen you will not know till mid summer how it went.

Several options, If Mine, I Would
order 4 queen split both hives, smash the Q cell , kill the queen and place the new queen in with the cork IN. Wait 6 days for the queen rite hive, so the eggs have hatched, and the larvae are too old for queen making, then remove the cork and let the queen be released, the queen less hive splits watch the queen cage for 10 min after laying on top of the bars, if there is a virgin she may pipe or come up to see her rival, if the bees calm right down, then you are better off, un cork in 2 days.

good luck, let us know what trail you decided to head down and any other questions, some will have several answers so be aware there can be many forks in the trail.

GG
 

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The cell should hatch soon , if it is viable, once hatched she needs a few days to mature, a few days to mate , then in a few days to start laying, My guess is 3+3+4 days or 10is from hatch to first egg. as many as 14-16 is not uncommon.

Ok a second hive, Fiesty.... So you will likely order 2 or 3 queens when you find a place any way. Google Queen Bees for sale wade thru some web sites. For NJ florida would be a close ship. As Packages are shipping now someone is raising the queens.

With other bees you "can" add a frame with eggs in say 5 days, IF they make Queen cells they are queen less if they do not then they have one. So this is a fair test if finding her is not your forte. and you want to ponder things for a few days.

As well if this one is queen less you can just combine, However Big and Mean is not that optimal path to travel either.

So queen shopping...........
I would google "Honeybee Queen for sale Florida"
the first hit https://www.heritagebees.com/MatedQueensandCells

I would look at a few sites, go for a gut feel or ask "bee friend"
If you want my advice.....
Get a couple or 3. Break this hive up into 1/2s or 1/3s here is the why:
I have better luck introducing to a small hive 4-6 frames, bad luck with 15-30 frames. If an intro to the whole hive fails in 2 weeks you are in the same place with no gain.
And if 2 of 3 take, you are out of the woods, the 1 split that failed can be added to the other 2, 1 frame a day and by the end of the week you have that project done.

Do look each frame over very good, virgin queens are good queen killers, if there are virgins in their you could be wasting your money. Another reason to do a 3 way split, even if you have a virgin 2 of the 3 should accept and the 3rd may have a virgin mate.
If you do buy queen to add cut off all remaining queen cells.

Now the other Fiesty hive, :) 2 or 3 ways to go.
option 1 If you like the queens you buy and the laying pattern looks good repeat the above. Kill the queen and split 3 ways.
Yes I know you now have 6 hives, if that is too many sell 1 or 2 as a NUC and recover some Queen $$

You do swaps as option 2 take one of your new introduced queens, give space, remove the fiesty hive from the bottom board, place the newly requeenened split there and move the fiesty hive to a new location, the other spot would do (where the new queen came from). This would move the feild force to the new queen and give that hive a boost, super and leave them alone. Wait 2-3 weeks and do it again with the other queen. So again steal the field force adding it to your new queen. Now the hive should have fewer bees, go in find the queen and kill it, could allow them to make one or requeen. with ordered Queen.

Look at some of the requeen threads, I see the site I mentioned has Cells, that could be a cheaper way to go, you will end up with local drones mating.
Just a matter of how bad the fiesty one is, 2 mated queens would be 70 ish bucks, split the hot hive requeen each 1/2 is an option. $70 ---stings , $70 stings,, your choice.

Remember it will take 21 days for the First bees to hatch from the new queens, 3 cycles like 90 ish days for the old fiesty bees to pass on to bee happy land or where ever they go , so post requeen you will not know till mid summer how it went.

Several options, If Mine, I Would
order 4 queen split both hives, smash the Q cell , kill the queen and place the new queen in with the cork IN. Wait 6 days for the queen rite hive, so the eggs have hatched, and the larvae are too old for queen making, then remove the cork and let the queen be released, the queen less hive splits watch the queen cage for 10 min after laying on top of the bars, if there is a virgin she may pipe or come up to see her rival, if the bees calm right down, then you are better off, un cork in 2 days.

good luck, let us know what trail you decided to head down and any other questions, some will have several answers so be aware there can be many forks in the trail.

GG

Thank you GG for all of your options! Good stuff! Regarding the Hot Hive. I most likely will never find the queen in this hive, with it so full of bees?? I was going to put an excluder between the boxes and wait a week or so to find out where the queen is?? (No eggs or larvae) in one of the boxes, then go on a hunt for my African Queen?? I read somewhere to take the box with the queen and shake each frame into a another box with an excluder on top. Bees will go down and queen remains on top Of excluder?? That ought to be fun 🤦*♂ lol

Thanks again for you advice!! 👍👍
 
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