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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ladies and Gentlemen, first a quick hello from a longtime lurker - first time poster.

I have a hive that came out of the winter queenless. I immediately gave it some frames of open brood whilst I ordered a queen. That queen I installed with a push in cage and released her a week later. Sure enough I found her dead the next day. I did this two times with queens I ordered.

Since then I have been giving them a frame a week of open brood including eggs with the hope they would make their own. No dice. I even gave them two queen cells which they destroyed. Later l gave them a frame with a queen cell on it which they tore out from the side.

They act queen right when I know they are queenless. There isn't a single egg in the hive that I didn't give them so I know there isn't a laying worker. Has anyone seen this behaviour before and does anyone have any suggestions? It's getting costly trying to requeen.
Cheers, Toby
 

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You have a queen in the hive, find here and kill her, (save her in a bottle of acohol) you can use her for swarm traps. Smash her in the bottle.
Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for the replies. Sterling - I know it! Sometimes you keep pounding your head against the wall out of pure stubbornness. In any case - after 3 months of queenlessness they have decided on their own to make a queen cell - mid frame. As I type this I realize it may be more of a supercedure cell as opposed to an emergency one and that I may have had a queen all along but just not laying. In any case there is progress finally, and just days before I was going to dump them. . . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't know what's going on. I went into the hive to check the status of the cells and they are gone, in fact all evidence of their existence is gone. The hive continues to have no eggs, not even one's from a laying worker which surprises me considering they have been queenless for 4 months or more. I really had hope when I saw those cells......
 

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I put a lot of effort into trying to save a colony that came through winter queenless. Like yours, they went at least 4 months before going laying worker. It's hard to give up on what was a big colony but the resources I put into them would have been better spent building up a nuc (or two). Next time, I hope to have more colonies to have more options or to just shake them out to beg new homes. I feel for you on the need to keep on trying… Check Michael Bush's website for a nice breakdown of a number of options. And sifting for a queen is a helpful technique I'm glad to learn about that might have helped me diagnose true queenlessness vs. late start because of late spring early enough to introduce a new queen. Good luck.
 
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