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Queenless

1106 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  beegee
Our bee club installed 4 new 8-frame hives at our ag extension complex 3 weeks ago. I checked the hives about 10 days ago and filled the hive-top mason jar feeders. All was well. I found all 4 queens and eggs and larvae, pollen and nectar. The bees were drawing comb fairly quickly. I inspected them this evening before our bee meeting. All the hives had 3-4 deep frames nearly covered on both sides with capped brood. The outside frames were filled with nectar and pollen but were not fully drawn. In one hive, I found 3 frames of capped brood, but no eggs and no larvae and 15 or more very small supercedure or emergency cells, all capped and several button cells uncapped. I opened one of the cells and found a purple-eye queen, which I'm thinking is 12 days of development. I'm assuming the queen died or was injured, but I know I didn't harm her when I last inspected the hive. She was a marked queen and found her easily and I know she was still alive when I slid the frame back in. I could not find her today. I'm going to let it go and see if a new queen appears in the next week or so.

it is a puzzlement.....
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I've been doing this for quite a while and have never killed a queen before, especially when I'm looking right at her when I reinstall the frame. I always pull at least two outside frames. These are new 8-frame hives with no propolis and no burr comb.

I went back in today and lo and behold, I found a new queen. She was tiny, but still a queen, unmarked. The original queen was marked with blue paint, so I can't figure out what happened unless there were two queens in the hive, and the younger one killed the older one and then mated, because I found the marked queen on the 10th, queen cells on the 20th, and a small queen today, the 21st of May. The timing just isn't working....
 
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