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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, I’m a first time beek with a 3x3 OH. I bought a 3# package of bees last spring that came in a plastic Bee-bus container. The beek that sold them suggested I put the queen cage on the middle frame so I didn’t have to look at it and said I wouldn’t need to open the hive till about Aug. to treat for any pests. So that’s what I did. At first I was nervous bc I couldn’t see the queen but after several weeks the hive was doing alright. I noticed that in June hive productivity was dropping but otherwise things looked good. Never saw the queen or any brood though. I opened the hive (for the very first time) Sept 2nd to find no brood and the queen still trapped in the queen cage. There was plastic covering the sugar wall that I didn’t see when I placed her in the hive face palm. After removing the plastic door and gently picking away at the sugar I watched the queen emerge. She looked healthy and I was absolutely floored. How did she keep the hive alive that whole time??! I’m stumped.
Fast forward to yesterday when I checked again to see how she was settling in. I open the hive to find no brood and I couldn’t spot the queen. I did find what looks like the start of about 6 queen cups.
Questions 1) how did she manage to keep the hive alive this whole time? 2) should I re-queen since I found no brood about 11 days later?
Ty!
 

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My guess is she started laying and the workers immediately started supercedure cells. Rather an amazing situation. I think someone has not been doing their homework!:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My guess is she started laying and the workers immediately started supercedure cells.
If she’s laying then why am I seeing zero brood? Productivity has been low and there’s only about four frames with honey and pollen, so I don’t have a lot to look over. Any advice is appreciated.
 

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If the started cells are viable either a queen laid them or laying worker. If laying worker they will not develop. Were you not concerned that there was no brood all summer as must have been the case if the queen was unable to exit the introduction cage.
 

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she did not keep the hive alive, it slowley reduced in size, had you not gone in, it would have been dead in the spring.
As it stands, now is the "winter bee " raising time, if they do not get winter bees built they will not make the winter.

BTW I check after 4-5 days and release any still cadged queens, just for this sort of delima.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Were you not concerned that there was no brood all summer as must have been the case if the queen was unable to exit the introduction cage.
That’s my #1 question? Since my hive has stayed about the same size all summer I’m confused as to how she did it. I assumed she was laying on the inner frames where I couldn’t see. I considered opening the OH but local beeks said they’re hive production was low due to dearth so I let them do their thing bc I wasn’t running out of bees. Now that I’ve had a look inside I’m confused as to where they’ve been coming from.
she did not keep the hive alive, it slowley reduced in size, had you not gone in, it would have been dead in the spring.
As it stands, now is the "winter bee " raising time, if they do not get winter bees built they will not make the winter.

BTW I check after 4-5 days and release any still cadged queens, just for this sort of delima.

GG
Thank you! The hive still looks about the same size as it did almost 5 mos ago so I really thought she was laying. This will never happen again, if it had been a traditional hive I would’ve caught it on the first hive inspection.
 
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