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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a 2nd year beekeeper and towards the end of June I noticed one of my hives was queenless. I could not find the queen and more telling there were no eggs visible and the amount of brood was approaching zero and there were signs of trying to produce some queen cells. This was detected when I went to harvest my honey in late June.

Rather than relying on the queen cells to mature as I was going to be out of town a lot in the coming weeks I ordered a new marked & mated queen. I installed her on July 1st. On July 5th I verified she had been released and was present in the hive though there were still no signs of eggs.

Today on July 17th I visited the hive again and she was easily found and appears to be healthy & is moving around but still nary a sign of egg, larvae, or brood.

The hive looks to be in all other ways healthy though maybe it is my imagination but the number of bees looks to be dwindling. I spotted a few hive beetles but not many. There are no wax moths or other unusual pests. There is still a decent amount of honey in the brood box.

My configuration is a deep on the bottom and a medium above it. Above that I used a queen excluder and another medium and from this medium is where I took my honey. Everything is 10 frames.

Any idea why this queen has not layed and what advice do you have given that I have no brood at all and really no other healthy hive to add a frame of brood.

thanks

rick
 

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My first thought is to add a frame of open brood and eggs from another colony. Perhaps you could purchase one from a nearby beekeeper. If that isn't an option, contact the queen breeder and see if they will replace the queen.

Of course the number of bees is dwindling. If you had no brood 2 weeks ago, you have no new bees to replace the constant die off.
 

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I have seen it take up to 4 weeks for a significant amount of brood to start appearing when a new queen is introduced or after rearranging the brood nest - I think that disturbances in the brood nest/introduction of a queen requires a period of time for the queen to get acclimated and begin laying again
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the quick reply Adam.

I contacted the provider and they are shipping me a new queen. Unfortunately they will cover the cost of the replacement queen and standard shipping but unless I want to pay for overnight shipping (again) they will not ship her until Monday with an arrival to me on Wednesday. Rather than wait nearly another week I guess I'm out of pocket more money & this queen will end up costing me as much as a entire package :(

The queen provider assured me they verify each queen is properly mated and is laying before they send her out. And even if she wasn't mated by now she should have mated and have started with eggs.

I'm not very experienced with re-queening a hive with a replacement queen so a couple of quick questions...

Q1) Is this common that a queen is accepted by the hive but is simply a dud?

Q2) Should I go back in that hive TODAY and expire the current queen since the new one will be here tomorrow?
 

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I'm no expert, but if it were me i would expire the old queen. It might help with acceptance of the new queen by alerting the bees that they are now queenless. I sure would hate to have the whole hive plus the old queen trying to kill my new queen.
 

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........snip....add a frame of open brood and eggs from another colony. Perhaps you could purchase one from a nearby beekeeper.
This has worked for me....overnight. Do you have a source for a frame of open brood? Someone in a local Club might be able to help. :)
 

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you could take some frames and start a nuc. then you could continue to observe the old queen and have a place to put the new queen.
 

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Thanks for the quick reply Adam.
Q1) Is this common that a queen is accepted by the hive but is simply a dud?
Common - no, but it happens. She might not be a dud, a frame of open brood might have stimulated her, but since you didn't have that, waiting or a replacement queen was the only option.

Q2) Should I go back in that hive TODAY and expire the current queen since the new one will be here tomorrow?
I would wait until I had the live queen in hand before removing the current queen. Things happen during shipping. When she arrives alive, check for eggs one last time. If the current queen has started to lay and you have a nuc box, you could make up a nuc with the new queen. If the current queen still isn't laying, either pinch her or move her to a nuc box and introduce the new queen.
 
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