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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got 2 new queens in for my hives in SW Montana. I have one queen who is pretty straightforward on replacing.
The other is just an odd situation. We are in what I thought was pre-swarm season; but darned if I didnt inspect and have a hive with 4 capped queen cells 2 weeks ago. My initial idea was to let them requeen, so I destroyed all but the 2 best queen cells.
NOW, I realize there are no drones flying so them building a queen is likely going to go poorly. I have queens in hand, but do I have to go through and hunt down the virgin or newly mated queens the orignial hive made or will the bees choose the new queen when I introduce her in a queen cage.

I dont particularly want to go queen hunting but I can. Those new queens are tough to find.

Thanks for any input!
 

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You will have to go "dumpster queen diving":D Almost a 100% chance they will kill your store bought queen if they are queen right.
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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make a smaller hive to introduce into, maybe 6 frames of bees, you will have less frames to inspect.
Could even find the laying queen , dispatch then split that hive. I have had poorer luck introducing into large hive smaller 5-8 frame seen to go better, maybe just me. Still need to look over every frame could be 2 queens in a hive.
Could pull 4-6 frames from each let the other queen go untill the new ones get accepted and laying.
There is a couple options.

2 weeks ago should be hatched for 3-5 days so she should be almost full size, did you want increase? that can also make a difference.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That got me thinking. I guess if I can find these things I could always introduce the new queen I ordered into the hive and make a couple of 2-3 frame nucs with the queens the original hive made to see if they get mated and laying. I hate to kill a queen.
 

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The packages from down
south always have drones in them so while there may be no over wintered drones yet, it’s possible that people around you have drones. I had drones flying on March 15th in Connecticut ( packages). Before I add a new queen when I’m not sure if I have one I alway add a frame of eggs on a marked frame. If they make QC its pretty safe to knock them down and add a new queen.
 

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That got me thinking. I guess if I can find these things I could always introduce the new queen I ordered into the hive and make a couple of 2-3 frame nucs with the queens the original hive made to see if they get mated and laying. I hate to kill a queen.
right and if one fails you have a back up queen.
:)

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
alright. THis hive is riddling me a bit.
I go in yesterday to destroy the likely unmated or poorly mated queens and I dont see queens. BUT I do see 1 soon to be capped supercedure cell. It is new.... so the egg came from somewhere right? Its been 2 weeks to the day that I first found capped queen cells.
I put the queen I purchsed in a nuc I made from a different hive just to keep her around. I'd like to get her in this weird hive but I want to get a better idea of what is going on before I combine the nuc with this confusing hive.
Ideas? I may go back in tomorrow and check one more time for a queen then give her a go? Im up for better solutions.
 

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That got me thinking. I guess if I can find these things I could always introduce the new queen I ordered into the hive and make a couple of 2-3 frame nucs with the queens the original hive made to see if they get mated and laying. I hate to kill a queen.
No. Because you just do not know if there is a virgin in there that has already taken a flight and learned the location of it's hive. So to guard against that possibility you have to leave the hive she is in at that location as she will return there anyway, and introduce your caged queen to a made up split at a different location.

alright. THis hive is riddling me a bit.
I go in yesterday to destroy the likely unmated or poorly mated queens and I dont see queens. BUT I do see 1 soon to be capped supercedure cell.
Highly likely this queen cell is the result of a laying worker egg and will contain a drone larva, and will die at around capping time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No. Because you just do not know if there is a virgin in there that has already taken a flight and learned the location of it's hive. So to guard against that possibility you have to leave the hive she is in at that location as she will return there anyway, and introduce your caged queen to a made up split at a different location.

Highly likely this queen cell is the result of a laying worker egg and will contain a drone larva, and will die at around capping time.
ah that makes sense.
I will probably go frame by frame and make sure a mated queen isnt on them, and combine then with the new nuc I made in a different location.
 

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The queenright or otherwise state of the hive could also be checked by adding a comb with eggs to it from a different hive, then looking a few days later to see if they are building queen cells. If they are, the bees are queenless and know they are queenless, and you can safely introduce your caged queen to the hive. If they do not build queen cells it means they either have some kind of queen, or they have laying workers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The queenright or otherwise state of the hive could also be checked by adding a comb with eggs to it from a different hive, then looking a few days later to see if they are building queen cells. If they are, the bees are queenless and know they are queenless, and you can safely introduce your caged queen to the hive. If they do not build queen cells it means they either have some kind of queen, or they have laying workers.
Your post got me thinking and I think the simplest solution might be to just do a shake out with that hive if there are no eggs by next week. Then the nuc gets workers and the threat of a virgin queen is eliminated since the nuc is not in the same spot as the other hive. also gets rid of that threat of laying workers.
 

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If it is a laying worker hive, then that is often the easiest way to take care of it. :thumbsup:
 
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