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I'm wondering if anyone has seen a situation like the one below and, if so, what the outcome was.

4 packages with Saskatraz queens from Olivarez Honey Bees in Orland, CA. One of the hives (call it hive 4) arrived without a queen -- there was no queen cage. The other three had queens which were accepted and released, and are doing well: building comb, bringing in stores, queens are producing brood. I expect I will have to super at least one next week.

I called Olivarez about the missing queen. They were very helpful and sent me a replacement right away. Between shipping time and a couple of days of bad weather I did not put the queen in the hive until 6 days after the other 3 were installed.

I inspected hive #4 last weekend. The queen was out of her cage. I located her and she seemed fine.

Today I opened the hive to check for brood and there was none. I was not able to locate the queen, which wouldn't bother me except for the lack of brood. The thing that has me thrown is that there are no queen cells, and the hive appears to be thriving in every way.

How to explain the lack of brood, no visible queen, and the apparent lack of effort on the part of the hive to raise a replacement?

TIA,

Stu
 

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Maybe they sent a virgin for replacement
 

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I have the same experience on caged queens being slow getting to work. One nuc I stubbornly watched for over a month to see if that queen would ever start laying! She didn't. I would wait up to two weeks before asking for another replacement. Then I would take a frame of brood with bees shaken off from your other colonies to put with your elderly mob and hope they can raise them. Starting colonies is time sensitive. Another option is to just kill the non laying queen and combine the queenless colony.
 

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I would give them a frame of open brood from the other colony (and make sure no queen is transferred), make a notch (OTS) and check in 4 days to see what they did with that frame and if they raised any queens.
 
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