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Discussion Starter #1
Of the 9 new queens I installed April 12, one has an odd laying pattern and isn't building well. It's been almost 4 weeks, and it took her a while to get going (I blamed it on being the weakest nuc).

She has a good pattern but about 1 out of 20 cells is a drone. It's layed in worker comb and built out to accomodate the bigger drone.

Where "X" would indicate the occasional drone, "O" would be workers and the capped brood pattern is like:
OOOOOOOXOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOXOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOXOOOOO

I figure she's firing an occasional blank, I've got more queens coming in another 3 weeks and intend to monitor but was wondering if anyone has seen it and if it cleared up.
 

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Yes, we have seen it. As it gets worse, the consensus will pick up on it, and they will typically opt to supersede. The supercedure process will complicate requeening. Have a plan in place to work around it.
Walt
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well then my plan looks like: Pinch the queen & do a newspaper combine. maybe scratch open the drone cells.

When my queens arrive 3 weeks from now, I'll pull a fresh nuc together if I need a home for one of them.
 

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Chuck...Don't be so quick to pinch her, and combine. It may not get worse at all. I have seen many cases of shoddy layers at first, and when you think you have a problem, you realize there are eggs in all the cells it looked like "she missed". She may just be the smarter queen, knowing that drones are needed this time of year. Don't be too quick to pinch...JMO. If she's not performing when the new queens are definitely arriving, make the pinch decision 3 days before. Again, JMO. (ask 10 beekeepers the same question, you will get 12 answers.) I'd rather have an under performing queen, then the chance of having a laying worker. 3 weeks is a long time in bee life time. Leave the queen for now, at least. JMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'll be back at that outyard in a week so she's got a little time. She doesn't have a colony size to be thinking she needs drones around, just a little 5 frame medium, the rest that were set up with her are into 8 frames and looking for another box.

I've seen patterns with an occasional empty where the queen comes back, and no problem. If it's a little drone comb worked into the edge of a pattern, again no problem. In this case, it really looks like she is unintentionally dropping drones. Also the pattern is too small, she's laying too slow, I had a full frame of stores - When I pulled the first frame, I figured they'd gone queenless. All the other hives are really taking off, even the few that I let requeen themselves. Writing it, I realize that's part of what I was picking up on to - the nucs that requeened themselves are further along than the one that got a mated queen.
 
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