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I didn't get to split my hives in time this year because we had so much rain that I didn't want to split and then have the new queen hatching during the week-long rain-a-thon. But it looks like that is what happened anyway. I think both hives swarmed. One hive looks like they have little to no capped brood and no eggs and a few queen cells. I saw a queen so I don't know if they will rebound or not. They were honey bound so I gave them some empty frames. The other one was in the same condition but had more capped brood.

My first instinct when I saw the first hive was to take some eggs from the second for them to make a new queen if they needed one. But then the second had no eggs either. I'm going to order queens, but I would prefer to get a few frames of eggs.

Is anyone selling a nuc? And shipping it? I live in the very north of Missouri (Unionville) and can drive up to 3 hours for them too.

Thanks!
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I would hold off doing anything for at least three weeks, or two weeks after the last of the capped worker brood has emerged. Both hives have queen cells? You are describing a normal set of conditions for when a hive has swarmed. Let it play out. If you have a nuc box or two, this would be a good time to make a split with one or more of the extra queen cells and improve your chances of having returned mated queens.
 

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Agreed, if there is still brood in the hives, it is not that long since the laying queen left, you have to give the new queens time to get mated and start laying. It does not happen in 24 hours.

Wait till all brood is hatched. Then wait another week. Then you can pronounce the hive queenless if there is still not a laying queen. But i think there will be, long as you don't mess with them too much.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks to both of you! I saw a queen in the first hive, but only noticed scattered capped drone and queen cells--some uncapped or never capped and some opened and some still capped. I wondered if she was poorly mated or old. I'm now wondering if she was just new and the drones were from the previous queen.

The second hive still had capped cells and capped brood. I will check again in about a week. I've usually caught them before they swarm or have had other hives to act as donor. This is the first time since I started that I've been in this situation!
 

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If the scattered capped drone cells in the first hive were in worker cells, you have a problem, although that there were no uncapped drone larvae is a good sign. But probably the capped drones were in drone cells, which take 25 days to hatch. The worker larvae which take 21 days to hatch have all hatched, so that gives you an accurate time frame for when your laying queen left. (More than 21 days ago, less that 25 days ago).

If the queen cells hatched a few days after the laying queen left the virgin you saw may be between 15 to 20 days old, roughly. Too soon to be concerned she is not laying yet, but she should start laying any time soon.

The other hive sounds like it swarmed a bit later, so the queen in that one should be a bit later.

Please keep us updated, will be interesting to see how this works out.
 

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Niki,

This is a swarm I took out of a tree and installed into a nuc box last weekend. If your hive doesn't work out and you still need bees in about a month, I'd probably sell them to you (mainly because I like to stay at about 20 hives). I'm about an hour west of St Louis.

On my end, I still need to make sure the queen is mated and laying before I guarantee they're available. Hopefully you don't end up needing them.

IMG_20200607_143823395_HDR.jpg
 

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Niki,

If you are on facebook there is a page called 'Bees for Sale in Missouri'. There are lots of people who are selling nucs now. You do need to google their location so you don't end up driving to Springfield though lol.
 

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I didn't get to split my hives in time this year because we had so much rain that I didn't want to split and then have the new queen hatching during the week-long rain-a-thon. But it looks like that is what happened anyway. I think both hives swarmed. One hive looks like they have little to no capped brood and no eggs and a few queen cells. I saw a queen so I don't know if they will rebound or not. They were honey bound so I gave them some empty frames. The other one was in the same condition but had more capped brood.

My first instinct when I saw the first hive was to take some eggs from the second for them to make a new queen if they needed one. But then the second had no eggs either. I'm going to order queens, but I would prefer to get a few frames of eggs.

Is anyone selling a nuc? And shipping it? I live in the very north of Missouri (Unionville) and can drive up to 3 hours for them too.

Thanks!
You saw a queen and some cells, why not let that play out?
The "eggs" to add will only get queen cells which you have so I am not understanding the reason for the eggs?

GG
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You saw a queen and some cells, why not let that play out?
The "eggs" to add will only get queen cells which you have so I am not understanding the reason for the eggs?

GG
Once I had a hive that seemed to form the queen cells too late--like the bees had to make an emergency queen from larvae that were in worker cells--and a queen never came about. I wanted some fresh eggs so they could make more queens if they needed too. I have tried to re-queen in the past and lost them each time--they either swarmed later taking my boughten queen with them or they made their own queen and killed mine no matter how many times I removed the queen cells I found. So I wanted them to make their own rather than introduce a new one.

But I am going to let this play out now that I've gotten some advice!
 

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I might take them anyway. I only have 2 hives right now and I like to be at around 4. Do you know about how much you might charge for it?

I lost two hives over the winter. Oddly it was my strongest and my weakest that lived. One hive was filled with bee poop. My novice opinion is that their entrance was blocked (I left them just a small opening using a wooden reducer). The other seemed like they lost their queen during the winter or really early spring or they swarmed. It was full of queen cells but no bees. They both had tons of honey and pollen left. I was planning on using these frames to make two splits before I found myself in this current situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I will have to keep that in mind. I don't use facebook and I forget about its resources. Although my dad is stir-crazy in lockdown and I think he wouldn't mind a road trip to Springfield!
 

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I might take them anyway. I only have 2 hives right now and I like to be at around 4. Do you know about how much you might charge for it?

I lost two hives over the winter. Oddly it was my strongest and my weakest that lived. One hive was filled with bee poop. My novice opinion is that their entrance was blocked (I left them just a small opening using a wooden reducer). The other seemed like they lost their queen during the winter or really early spring or they swarmed. It was full of queen cells but no bees. They both had tons of honey and pollen left. I was planning on using these frames to make two splits before I found myself in this current situation.
At that point I'd probably mark them at $125, depending on prevailing prices and how strong they are. I do agree with Jim that finding someone in your immediate area will be way more convenient for you, so consider checking your local Craigslist as well as that Facebook page.

With regard to your winter losses...what kind of mite control did you practice last year? Unfortunately that's the biggest factor for overwintering these days.
 

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Once I had a hive that seemed to form the queen cells too late--like the bees had to make an emergency queen from larvae that were in worker cells--and a queen never came about. I wanted some fresh eggs so they could make more queens if they needed too. I have tried to re-queen in the past and lost them each time--they either swarmed later taking my boughten queen with them or they made their own queen and killed mine no matter how many times I removed the queen cells I found. So I wanted them to make their own rather than introduce a new one.

But I am going to let this play out now that I've gotten some advice!
ok good answer.
If the hive is not too populated and you feel you can find queens good.
A slow inspection, looking for the young queen and also a open Q cell that is opened from the end (hatched) or opened from the side ( opened and killed by a rival Queen) Post inspection go with your Gut, add some eggs if you feel they are queen less, if you see 1 or 2 queens then you should be fine. If the bees are not too thick I can generally find the young queens.
The inspection carries some risk as you may squish the only remaining virgin.
At some point you have to take the evidence at hand and do what you feel is right. You seen a queen so 10ish days after that there should be eggs, and perhaps larvae.
note also the sound of the hive , queen less hives have a low roar that is easy to hear once you have heard it several times. Also queen less bees are more agitated, use these data points as well. If the hive is calm and seems content, they are likely not queen less.

GG
 
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