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Queen cell in nuc

1656 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  David LaFerney
I picked up 2 nucs on the 26th of April and installed them the same day, both had capped brood. I didn't see the queen on the first one but saw one in the second one nuc. I put top feeders on both and have seen lots of activity the last week. I opened up the first hive today (the one I didn't see a queen in) and there is a queen cell on one of the frames, the second hive is fine, saw the queen again today. I contacted the seller and he said all nucs were inspected and had a laying queen when picked up but sometimes they supercede. He offered me a queen but I can't pick it up until Saturday. Should I go get the queen or wait and see if the cell hatches? I know I will be a few weeks ahead if I go get the queen but it's and hour and half drive round each way to get it but I will do it if it's best.
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Was the queen cell capped when you first noticed it on Sunday? If so, she will be emerging by Sunday, laying a week or two later. By the time you get a new queen, work through an introduction process you probably aren't gaining much, if anything, in terms of laying days and they might kill your new queen. She (the new caged queen) could also take a week or two to start laying.

That happened to me on my very first Nuc a year ago, it was a devastating start. Brought the Nuc home, put it in the hive, a couple weeks later I saw three queen cells. Panic...I called the local bee store and they had an extra queen on site. Oh great, I went out to the hive, squished the queen cells, drove to town and bought my new queen. Put her in the hive the next day, three days later she still wasn't released so I poked a slightly bigger hole in the candy plug. Two days later I checked again, she was out and dead on the floor. Another queen later they decided to keep her but it was a costly lesson that I'll not soon forget.

Personally I would let them finish making their new queen, they know what they are doing and you don't have to wonder if they will accept her.
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