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My queen died sometime last winter on one hive. It was very strong last fall and fed well.
Now the numbers are low and no eggs, brood or queen. I added a frame with eggs and all stages of brood but after 2 days they didn't start queen cells. The numbers are low enough that I am positive there is no queen there.

If some workers are soon to become laying workers would this hive never build queen cells if I continue adding more frames of brood?
 

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Add a frame of eggs once a week, they'll draw out a cell sooner or later. Sometimes takes three or four weeks. It needs to be a frame of eggs and just hatching eggs. It helps if you put a feeder on to stimulate nectar flow, incase you're not in one or the one you're in slows down before the queen hatches.
 

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Are there no queens available for purchase at retail bee supply there?
Georgia beekeepers have or are about to start shipping packages with queens in them north. I know we don't have them here in NY area yet but does the supply generally work its way north like springtime does?
Possible snow flurries tonight in the local forecast.
 

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Even out here in Calif, I'm told that queens won't be available for another 3 weeks. Kona told me that they were only filling standing yearly orders and won't have any available for the public til July.

Craig
 

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The downside of adding frames of eggs, if your population is low, is that there may not be enough bees to incubate the developing brood...especially on a cold night. You may want to consider adding bees as well....if you're certain that there's no queen. The other problem in making a queen this early in the season is that you may not have drones yet. Buying a queen this early in the season is going to be tough. Most are spoken for very early on....many going into package production. And even if you could find one, are there enough bees left in the hive to get restarted?
You may want to consider letting this colony go and start entirely fresh later in the spring with a nuc or split.
Best to ya
 

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Letting it go? How can you learn if you don't at least try. I've got a weak hive that is queenless at my dad's house. Two weeks ago, I added a frame of bees, eggs, and brood, the amount of bees I added easily doubled, if not tripled the population of the hive. All hatched and with that I have doubled the population of the hive again. They did fail to create a queen with the egs and brood I provided. Ok, but they are still there and still cleaning up the hive they are in. Some bees are even bringing in pollen. I just moved another frame of bees and brood over, that also included a swarm cell that the bees were creating, nice big pool of royal jelly in there too, so I will see if they do something with that. If not, there are a few places that will have queens for sale in the middle of April, so if I just keep adding bees til then, if they don't create a queen, they will get one then. I would think just for the experience, it's better to try and fail, than not try at all.

Craig
 

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A few years ago I was in the market for some summertime packages so I compiled a list of package bee producers. (a May/June package dumped onto drawn comb is a pretty good deal) When I looked at my list I noticed that every one had the same area code! Sounds like a pretty tight little group. If one could not help me (if I could get them to answer the phone) they’d give me the name of another to try.
 
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