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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I want to see if this has happened to someone else and what they recommend doing at this point.

Has anyone lost 2 queens in the same hive over a short period? If so, what did you do? Is it possible they are trying to replace her, or would they wait until the new queen is mated?

Let me give the full situation to give some clarity. I started a brand new hive with a nuc in late May. After 2 weeks I did not see any new eggs or larvae, but there was capped brood, so I assumed the queen was gone or dead. I bought and installed a new queen and after a week or so I checked and there were larvae although it did not seem to be the most efficient brood pattern there was larvae so I was happy.
It has been a few weeks since I installed the new queen and have checked several times since then still seeing larvae.

It has been about 4 days since I last checked and today did not see any eggs or larvae but saw some capped brood. The hive seems very busy and did see some supercedure and possible swarm cells but have seen those constantly. I know I might have accidentally killed her even though I try to be very careful. Is it possible they are replacing her or would they wait until a new queen is mated before getting rid of the current queen?

Should I buy a new queen again, or wait to see if a new queen is mated and begins to lay over the next few days?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Your queen may be just taking a break in laying if you are not on a flow. Some strains of bees decrease laying activity in summer, some will stop laying for awhile. Why not wait a week and check again, once you find she is still there it may be a good idea to check about every two weeks, when we are constantly in the hive there is a good chance of killing the queen, and if nothing else the constant harassment will retard their expansion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you very much. I was kind of hoping that would be the advice and not rush into anything.
 

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Welcome to Bee Source, Damien!

"It has been a few weeks since I installed the new queen and have checked several times since then still seeing larvae. It has been about 4 days since I last checked and today did not see any eggs or larvae but saw some capped brood."

Assuming you followed the standard practice of releasing a caged queen, this is too long ago to see some new eggs or larvae. I say it is way over due! Right now you should be
able to see some eggs on the bottom of the cells. So make sure to have some empty cells for the queen to lay in if she is still there at all.
A banked queen will take 5 days to a week for her to start laying when your hive is strong and healthy with lots of resources coming in.
A few weeks and 4 days is almost one month already. A normal hive with a good laying queen should have its first batch of broods emerging by now.
I would check the hive again this time thoroughly to see if the queen is there or not. You never know if you have squished her or not when you put
everything back together that time. If she is not there then you have to get a mated queen otherwise you
will be dealing with the LWs soon when the weather is warming up or is hot by now. One month without a laying queen and the broods will give you
LWs soon in the Spring time.
There is such thing called a sudden disappeared queen syndrome. I have experienced that a lot over years of beekeeping. Luckily, each year I raised more
queen to replaced the missing ones. Who knows where they had gone to? All I know is to replaced them when they are not there anymore. About 2 weeks ago, I
had a hive that suddenly gone queen less on a hive check. Who knows maybe I had killed her on accident. This queen is my breeder queen too. Don't worry, I have many to replace her. Then the hive made a few replacement queen cells. I cut these cells and put them in another nuc hive to hatch. And combine this hive with a newly mated queen on her 4th day of laying. So far everything is holding since last week's hive check.
 

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Thank you very much. I was kind of hoping that would be the advice and not rush into anything.
Damien, welcome to the forum. can you post a pic of the brood? I am not saying you don't know how to read brood but there might be something that escapes you. if they have a drone layer in there or a worker queen, they will kill any good queen you put in there most of the times. sometimes, if there are a lot of older bees, they will let the new queen lay and then kill her and raise their own queen. maybe at this point your choice would be to add capped brood from another hive, maybe 2 frames and some eggs and larvae, then let them be for 3/4 weeks. let them build their own queen. it might be your best choice at this point. I would actually add the bees too with those frames, just make sure you don't take the queen away from your other hive.

if this is the 2nd time you tried and it did not worked, you might need to try something else :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone, I am going to try and take some pics of the brood to hopefully post but also for me to get a better look with more time and less movement.
 

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It is time to check for the mite load and take drastic action when possible.
Also, need to find the original queen. It is crucial to find her to make sure that
the hive is queen right before going into the Fall and winter. If no queen then need
to get them one asap. Mites will give you spotty pattern too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I checked again but the pics did not come out so well. This time I did as thorough a check as I could. I did see some larvae but real spotty. I think I found the frame the queen was on because the girls were moving real erratic and clearing a path but I never actually saw a queen. I checked 2 weeks ago and mite count was very low by was of sticky board. I do have SHB but put in a few traps yesterday and hope that will help. The positive, in my novice view, is they are very active and I have several frames full of bees.
I would feel better if I saw the queen or better more concise brood pattern but maybe being so new I am just not that good at seeing everything as I should.
Thanks again everyone for all of your responses
 

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So I checked again but the pics did not come out so well. This time I did as thorough a check as I could. I did see some larvae but real spotty. I think I found the frame the queen was on because the girls were moving real erratic and clearing a path but I never actually saw a queen. I checked 2 weeks ago and mite count was very low by was of sticky board. I do have SHB but put in a few traps yesterday and hope that will help. The positive, in my novice view, is they are very active and I have several frames full of bees.
I would feel better if I saw the queen or better more concise brood pattern but maybe being so new I am just not that good at seeing everything as I should.
Thanks again everyone for all of your responses
A sticky board is a crummy way to measure mites. It does not take into consideration the number of bees in the hive and what you really measure is not how many mites there are, but how many fall. Use a sugar shake or and alcohol shake for a more accurate measurement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
New question:
Is it possible that when I thought I had a dead queen I actually had a queen that was not laying and when I added a new queen they killed her keeping the original queen? I found my queen today but no eggs and not much if any larvae and not much capped brood.
 

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New question:
Is it possible that when I thought I had a dead queen I actually had a queen that was not laying and when I added a new queen they killed her keeping the original queen? I found my queen today but no eggs and not much if any larvae and not much capped brood.
It is more than possible, it is the normal outcome of adding a mated queen to a colony that already has one. She most likely lasted about five minutes. Adding a virgin queen would most likely end in your queen being killed by the virgin. I have played with the idea of requeening by just releasing virgins into the colony, but in my area I have a poor mated queen return rate so I ditched the idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the info, I am starting to think that is what happened and not that one died and this one is of poor quality
 

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Another possibility is that a virgin got into your hive with the cells in it while she
was returning from her mating flight and killed the original queen. I had a nuc hive
that recently requeened itself. But the virgin queen got into the wrong nuc hive next to hers.
The end result was that the virgin killed all the remaining capped queen cells inside the hive.
I recognized the virgin because she was a Cordovan/carnis mixed queen from another nuc hive
that I inspected one week ago. The queen less nuc now has its own capped queen cell to make
up the loss.
 
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