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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hive 1 - Strong, very aggressive, no active queen since early May (over 21 days). 2 Medium honey supers on.
Hive 2 - Medium size and gentle, New laying queen after the hive swarmed in early May. One Honey super on.
Hive 3 - Swarm caught 2 weeks ago, in a nuc box, laying queen.

My concern is Have 1 seems to be having trouble re-queening. There were a lot of swarm cells in early May, but never saw them swarm. I did see dead queens in the swarm cells, so I assume the new queen emerged and killed them. But I have never seen evidence of her laying.

Last week (early June) I took a frame of eggs and larva from Hive 2 and put it in Hive 1.

Yesterday (June 10), I saw capped brood on that frame and I also saw some new eggs in that same frame! The new eggs were laid around the perimeter of the capped brood. They were laid in worker sized cells.

Nothing indicated laying workers to me, except for a bunch of empty drone sized cells on the bottom of that frame. The eggs were normal, center of cell and one per cell. The bees were still very aggressive. I was expecting that if they were queen-less, they would have raised an emergency queen on that frame. I did not see any queen cells.

For the sake caution, I took another frame of eggs and brood yesterday, just in case the queen is a dud, they can raise another one.

My questions:
  • Are eggs every abandoned? Could the eggs from Hive 2 to Hive 1 been left and never fed or capped? Seems unlikely, but why would a new queen ONLY lay on one frame?
  • How long should I keep waiting for the new queen to lay? Maybe she never got fertilized and is a drone layer?
  • I have the laying queen in the nuc box. I do not intend to buy another Hive body for this swarm and will either sell or give away the nuc, or combine them in the winter to the weaker hive. Can I use this queen? If so, how and when should I go about it? I'll have to take the honey supers off. Could I cage her and see how the bees react to her in the cage?
  • Hive 1 is not completely nectar bound, but is close (like 3 or 4 open frames). That's why the honey supers are on.
 

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It sounds to me as though your Queen was delayed in getting mated which could account for the long amount of time in seeing eggs.
Also, she will only lay as many eggs that can be cared for by the nurses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It sounds to me as though your Queen was delayed in getting mated which could account for the long amount of time in seeing eggs.
Also, she will only lay as many eggs that can be cared for by the nurses.
Thanks. I didn't realize about the nurse bees. Since all of mine are old, there's probably not many nurses. I'll be patient!
 

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A queen's about 16 days from egg to hatch. She takes a day or two before she flies, then a week-ish of mating before she even starts to lay. Even an aggressive schedule has her not laying until 24 days from the egg.

My walk-away split calendar waits for 30 days before making a determination. Even that can bee too early depending on the weather; I checked a nuc at 30 days and no eggs. I went to put a queen in it four days later -- and spotted eggs and a nice-looking queen. The weather had been wet for a few days so I think that delayed her.

Give it a week or two and see what hive 1 is doing and what their temperament is, and then decide what to do with the swarm (and see if their temperament is any better).
 
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