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Queen cell in nuc

1655 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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I'm not going to give you advice, I'm too new and full of questions myself, but this is what I would do:

I would pull the queen cell out and get the new queen. If there is no capped brood in the nuc they are going to sit still for a long time, waiting on the virgin to mate and start laying. You need a laying queen. She should be mated and ready to lay. You'll have to pull the queen cell out before it hatches. You'll also have to put the queen cage in with the bees and let them release her, or at least leave her cage for a few days. If the queen cell hatches find the virgin queen and pinch her, or give her to another beekeeper in your area. Leave them queenless or queen cell-less for 24 hours or so then put the new queen cage in. You could use the virgin to make a split with, but I your good nuc may not be strong enough to split yet.
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