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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a nuc that was queenless. I added a frame of eggs and they built a queen cell. I haven't been back in since I saw the cell (a week or two ago). My only concern there was that the cell was very dark. I don't know what that means - maybe just that it was ready to hatch. But I worried that it might mean it was not a prime cell. I will do an inspection today or tomorrow and see if I can find a queen in there. IF NO QUEEN, it would be basically a standard split and should be no problem, unless laying workers have started. IF LAYING WORKERS, can't I just shake off all the bees in front of the box and then add the queen to the box? Would that be sufficient?
 

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If there is a laying worker, no you can't just shake the bees off in front of the hive, they will all just walk back in and continue as before. You will want to shake all bees off all combs about 100 yards away. Foragers will return home to a new caged queen and the laying worker or workers should now be lost. You shouldn't have to worry about loosing nurse bees, as there shouldn't be many if any at all given the queenless and broodless period to develop a laying worker scenario.
 

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I have a nuc that was queenless. I added a frame of eggs and they built a queen cell. I haven't been back in since I saw the cell (a week or two ago). My only concern there was that the cell was very dark. I don't know what that means - maybe just that it was ready to hatch. But I worried that it might mean it was not a prime cell. I will do an inspection today or tomorrow and see if I can find a queen in there. IF NO QUEEN, it would be basically a standard split and should be no problem, unless laying workers have started. IF LAYING WORKERS, can't I just shake off all the bees in front of the box and then add the queen to the box? Would that be sufficient?
Why do you think you have laying workers? If you had a queen cell a week or two ago you probably now have a queen. If you shake the bees out you will probably lose your queen, assuming they've hatched one. I would give them a little more time. The biggest mistakes I have made with bees is not giving them enough time to take care of their selves. Usually my interference caused more problems than it solved.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Bill, I don't "think" I have a laying worker, just trying to imagine what possible scenarios I might encounter in hopes of being better prepared for what to do when I open the nuc. I know one can develop in several weeks of queenlessness . . . but is that from the point of no queen cell? Meaning, if there is a queen cell, they know one is coming and this keeps that urge at bay? Hopefully the qc has hatched and she mated during our last few beautiful days, cuz the weather is awful right now and don't know if I'll even get in today to check on her. :(
 

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I am with Bill give them a little more time also the weather is not going to be good to work bees around hear for a few days.
 

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Laying workers are supressed by open brood, not the queen. So if you had a qeen cell a few weeks ago you also had some open brood. The chances are it hasn't turned laying worker yet. If you have a laying queen which you may have. The time line you give is uncertain so anything is possible. The only way to know is to inspect the nuc. But if you have a laying worker do as above and shake out 100 yrds or more away and install your caged queen.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Lowe, that helps a lot - knowing the laying worker is a brood thing, not a queen thing. I will know before long and now know my options. Thanks all!
 

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> I haven't been back in since I saw the cell (a week or two ago). My only concern there was that the cell was very dark. I don't know what that means - maybe just that it was ready to hatch.

It means they were using old wax to make the cell. If they had a capped cell a week or two ago (it would be nice to know which... one or two... and if it was capped) then they will have a laying queen most likely by two to four weeks from now.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Michael, checked my notes. I saw the QC on 4/7, so one week ago, As you say, sounds like I won't know for another week or two. I'll just sit tight then with that one. Good to know about the old wax. I was concerned.
 
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