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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few years ago during my first season both of my hives swarmed. I was advised to leave the colony alone for 5 weeks, after which I should inspect for a laying queen. The advice paid off and I found laying queens in both hives.

Fast forward to now. I found capped cells in one hive and partial cells in another. I transferred extra capped cells to the hive with partials and destroyed all but a few partial cells. So on that day I had two hives with capped cells present. How long should I leave the hives alone until I check for a laying queen? I have read about two weeks after emerging a queen will be ready to lay. Can I safely check in 3 weeks? Or should I wait a full month (5 weeks minus the 7-9 days it takes the bees to produce the capped cell)?
 

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My personal suggestion is to leave them alone for 4 - 5 weeks. There is nothing to see before then. Two weeks ago, I was at the 4 week mark on a hive and thought it was totally queenless. Bees were roaring when I opened the hive and there were no eggs and the bees were backfilling the brood area with nectar. I though for sure it was a lost cause when I checked it today. But there was a queen and she was laying.
 

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Queens stay capped for 7 days so worse case she'll emerge in a week and with good weather, will take two weeks to develop and mate. As such, if e give it 3 weeks and check for eggs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Queens stay capped for 7 days so worse case she'll emerge in a week and with good weather, will take two weeks to develop and mate. As such, if e give it 3 weeks and check for eggs.
I'll give it at least another 2 weeks until I think about peeking in
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My personal suggestion is to leave them alone for 4 - 5 weeks. There is nothing to see before then. Two weeks ago, I was at the 4 week mark on a hive and thought it was totally queenless. Bees were roaring when I opened the hive and there were no eggs and the bees were backfilling the brood area with nectar. I though for sure it was a lost cause when I checked it today. But there was a queen and she was laying.
I think I will leave them alone for at least two more weeks. My only concern would be them packing the brood nest full of nectar in the meantime. I have supers on which they are working on. I would hope they would choose to store the nectar in the available space in the supers before the brood nest but a few years ago I had some hives swarm that packed the heck out of the brood box which led to another swarm down the road.
 

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Definitely something to keep an eye on. I like to keep an empty super or two on queenless colonies so they have something to do, as they certainly like to store nectar.

However, once you have a mated/laying queen they tend to open up the nest and although they won't move honey, they can certainly move nectar.
 

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I think I will leave them alone for at least two more weeks. My only concern would be them packing the brood nest full of nectar in the meantime. I have supers on which they are working on. I would hope they would choose to store the nectar in the available space in the supers before the brood nest but a few years ago I had some hives swarm that packed the heck out of the brood box which led to another swarm down the road.
not as big of concern as you think.

GG
 

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the reason some say 5 weeks is the first week to 10 days of laying is "hard" on the hive and queen.
she is starting and they are sensitive to "change" if you go in too soon the bees may ball the queen or supersede her blaming her for the intrusion. Also she is trying to get started and the interruptions do not help. Just a bad time to inspect if not needed.
I know there will not be any bees hatching for 21 days from egg laying start, I try to size the split to allow the extra week delay in checking to help them thru the first week timeframe with out interruption.

GG
 

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As in all things timing is everything. The advice that GG gave in post #8 will help you a lot. I second 5 weeks, give them time to do what they need to do.
 

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another reason,
i placed a couple frames with cups and eggs into a large split 8X8 went in at day 12 to maybe get some extra Queen cells to use in other hives. there were 7 cells, the biggest and best 5 were ripped in half as they were attached to the lower bars, was a disappointment for sure.

Can also,, see no queen, and no eggs and panic your self into ordering a queen or giving "strange" bees with a frame of eggs to the hive to "rescue" it. the new bees may go after the virgin.

the last week of capped cell and first couple weeks of a queens life has lots or room for human caused issues.

resist the urge..... :)

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
another reason,
i placed a couple frames with cups and eggs into a large split 8X8 went in at day 12 to maybe get some extra Queen cells to use in other hives. there were 7 cells, the biggest and best 5 were ripped in half as they were attached to the lower bars, was a disappointment for sure.

Can also,, see no queen, and no eggs and panic your self into ordering a queen or giving "strange" bees with a frame of eggs to the hive to "rescue" it. the new bees may go after the virgin.

the last week of capped cell and first couple weeks of a queens life has lots or room for human caused issues.

resist the urge..... :)

GG
Thank you for the great info. I will leave them alone for 5 weeks. I will only pop the top to check to see if the supers still have space available. I will keep my fingers crossed that all is good in a month
 
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