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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I checked one of my strongest hives (one deep, 4 supers), and found 7 old open queen cells, but also not a single cell of capped no brood.
The bees are bringing in nectar, but I also noticed a few bees that were bringing in pollen. I suspect that they swarmed about one month ago (based on the very dark brown color of the queen cells). The question is this: if some bees bring in pollen, does this imply that there is a (virgin) queen around? What do you know? Thanks a lot, Stavros
 

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Perhaps you are in the 12 day span between emergence of the queen and the beginning of laying...
 

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The bees usually don't bring in pollen if there is no queen.Check on the queen in a week or so if the weather is good enough for her to get out to be breed
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The dilemma is this: this Thursday I am picking up some queen cells which are due to emerge Friday or Saturday. I was planning to put one in the queenless hive. If the hive has a virgin queen, she will probably kill the one in the queen cell (if she gets to it). But maybe I should add the queen cell as an extra assurance and then look in a couple of weeks for brood? The weather has been great: 80's, sunny, no rain. Perfect mating weather. Still, I was curious if bees bring in pollen to a queenless hive.
 

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In my experience bringing pollen in isn't a sign of anything. Not bringing pollen in when others are could be a sign.
 

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The dilemma is this: this Thursday I am picking up some queen cells which are due to emerge Friday or Saturday. I was planning to put one in the queenless hive. If the hive has a virgin queen, she will probably kill the one in the queen cell (if she gets to it). But maybe I should add the queen cell as an extra assurance and then look in a couple of weeks for brood? The weather has been great: 80's, sunny, no rain. Perfect mating weather. Still, I was curious if bees bring in pollen to a queenless hive.
I have found that bees will bring in pollen no matter what the situation is. The amount of pollen being brought in can indicate how well the hive is doing with brood rearing. It can also tell you if there is a possible problem. If you have another hive sitting next to it you can sort of judge how well one is doing compared to the other. I've found that a problematic hive will not have many foragers going in and out compared to a solid hive. I've found that when you have laying workers that they will continue to bring in pollen as well to rear those drones. However, there is a period when they don't bring in pollen when the queen is killed off and the workers haven't started laying yet.

Most of the time when a hive is bringing in good amounts of pollen, it's a good sign. If they don't bring in good amounts, there's normally a problem.
 
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