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Discussion Starter #1
I installed two nucs on May 19th. One of my hives seems to be coming a long great, the other I have always had concerns about. Especially since there seems to be a lot of SHB in that one as well and it seemed much weaker than the other.

About a week and a half ago, I had inspected the weak hive and noticed a lot of drone brood. Which I suspected was because it was queen less, yet there seemed to be brood so I wasn't too concerned just yet.

Flash forward to today. I opened up this hive and again there were tons of SHB. Then I noticed two queen cells as well as what looked like two other small ones that weren't on the bottom on frames yet were off to the side in the middle of the frames.

My question is this, do I just leave all those other queen cells? From what I understand, the first queen that hatches kills the other queen cells. Or do I just leave it alone?
 

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if you dont have eggs -- NEVER touch a queen cell or cup !!!!!!

if you have e frame of eggs from your other hive - put the frame of eggs in the queenless hive - if they are queenless they will make cells for queens from the eggs --
after you put the eggs in the Qless hive check again in 10 days - there should be capped queen cells

good luck
 

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It takes about a month for a queen to hatch, get mated and get into laying eggs. She may not survive the natural challenges of the nuptial flight. If you are sure your queenless, you could get a store bought one going in less than a week. Just an option to explore if you like.:)
 

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I would put a frame of eggs from the other stronger colony. Be careful not to transfer the queen over to the queenless colony. You can brush off the bees to make sure you don't transfer the queen and then put the frame of eggs into the weak nuk.

I have purchased queens and the bees superceded her within a few weeks. I like the idea of purchasing queens and will do so again in the future. Right now, I'm allowing my new cutouts to process and raise their own queens. I have a queen that was produced from a cutout where the bees raised up their own queen. She is the best egg-laying machine I have. I cannot speak to the quality of the hive yet as she has just begun, only to her ability to cover a frame in eggs. She is just unbelievable.

Queen cups and cells are the bees ability to know and sense things we cannot.

I would trust the bees everytime.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So, should I buy a queen and put her in or is everyone suggesting just to put in some brood from the other hive into this hive and then wait it out and see if the other queen cells hatch and she goes on a mating flight?
 

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A few options for you that I can think of off the top of my head...

Your weak hive needs some strength of bees to be able to defend themselves against the shb. Adding a frame of eggs with adhering bees will help give them a boost and give them resources to make a queen from if needed.

If you have, or can make, or have made, a follower board, you can take out any unused frames from the weaker hive and install the follower board so that the bees will have less frames to defend. A follower board is just a board cut to the size of a frame to set up next to a small number of frames in a large box to help reduce the space the bees can't cover and defend. This can be done in conjunction with the above mentioned added frame of eggs with nurse bees.

Or instead of the above, you can swap positions of the weak with strong hives to give the weaker the strength of field bees to help them get up to speed. This will also weaken your stronger hive of all it's field bees, so you need to decide whether to do this or not depending on the projected outcome of the weaker hive. Maybe do this while also adding on frame of eggs from the stronger to insure you get a queen made.

I myself would say to try to get a new queen going from what you already have, instead of buying a queen. I say this because it sounds like you have the resources to do this and then you'll have two hives of local queen stock, and of the experience of doing this that you will get.
 

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if you want to learn the process first hand - let them raise a queen
if you want to get things rolling fast - buy a queen

the bought queen will have worker bees in about 22-25 days (depending on your release delay)
the virgin queen will be about 6-8 weeks before you get workers
so .... if you have a flow coming in 2 months and want bee count - buy a queen - if you are early -let them make a queen
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you for all of the suggestions. I have company in town at the moment and had a free moment to check on them and this was what I found today. They will be leaving on Wednesday and by then I will be taking all suggestions into accord and following through. Although I will be putting a frame of eggs into this hive tomorrow. Thanks again I truly appreciate it.
 

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If you already have cells why would you give them eggs? The hive is weak; you need to give them some capped brood with the adhering bees. Let the cells emerge. The bees always know best! And, BTW, you need to get some SHB traps into that hive ASAP, or you can quit worrying about queens and bees and other such stuff!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm sorry... newbie here lol got confused with the capped brood/eggs. Thought one were in the same almost. But, yes I meant that I gave them capped brood.
 
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