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Discussion Starter #1
So I have a nuc that has been struggling. The nuc is about a month old. I attempted to have them raise an emergency queen. 30 days in they are struggling. I see no evidence of a laying queen. They have one beautiful queen cell and several that have been torn down. No eggs, but there is larva and spotty drone brood on one frame. Numbers are very low, likely less than 3000. My questions are: 1) Will they attempt to raise a queen larva from a laying worker, and 2) Should I give them brood frames from a production hive and more eggs?
 

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If the nuc means that much, why don't you just go buy a queen? Or if you have other hives, move a queen from a strong hive to the nuc and let the strong hive make a new queen.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The nuc doesn't mean that much, but if it can be saved, I don't see the point in letting it wither? I don't want to take a strong queen off of a production hive in a dearth.
 

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I understand. I do not know when your dearth is however. Maybe at this point the nuc is not worth saving and you/(the bees) would be better off combining those bees with something else. Can't save them all tho!!
 

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I would time your events. It doesn't make sense timing-wise to see an intact queen cell. It is most likely no good. The torn down ones are interesting, there may be a virgin running around.... She should start laying very soon. The drone brood could be just about to hatch from original mother hive. Sometimes drone brood is ignored and will die if a hive is very weak. Larva and no eggs is a little unusual. I would look again in a few days.

Yes I often have seen eggs in queen cups and no where else when they are queenless, I believe this is from a developing laying working. Sometimes they will raise the drone egg as if it is was a fertilied egg in desperation. Yes more resources is always a good, pollen, bees, nectar, etc. What they need most are lots of nurse bees to raise a decent queen....at the very least give them eggs and larva see what they do. With a virgin they may very well build cells, but the virgin will eventually teardown them down sometime before the queen emerges, unless the workers decide to supercede her.
 

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So I have a nuc that has been struggling. The nuc is about a month old. I attempted to have them raise an emergency queen. 30 days in they are struggling. I see no evidence of a laying queen. They have one beautiful queen cell and several that have been torn down. No eggs, but there is larva and spotty drone brood on one frame. Numbers are very low, likely less than 3000. My questions are: 1) Will they attempt to raise a queen larva from a laying worker, and 2) Should I give them brood frames from a production hive and more eggs?
Alrighty then, the Doc is in.. lol.. :) Seriously though any hive that you want to keep IS worth fixing. So first we need a question or two answered. This Queen Cell.. How long has it been there and are the bees protecting it "clumping up around it"? If they aren't paying any attention to it, and it has been there longer than 16 days, it's dead. Time to try again.. Now then to answer the two questions 1.. NO the reason being, laying workers can ONLY produce drone eggs as they have no sperm to fertilize the eggs with. 2.. YES the best way if you have other hives to get rid of a laying worker hive and make them queenright is to ADD 1 frame of OPEN young brood each week. The pharamones from the open brood will supress the laying workers.. Then at some point they will create a good viable Queen Cell. Not only will the numbers in the hive increase but they will become queen right again.. Hope this helps you..
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I should have mentioned this queen cell was only capped in the last two days. The bees do not seem terribly interested in it.
 

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Keep in mind that the 3,000 bees are going to need to keep brood warm, tend to the hive, and forage. I wonder if there will be a large enough workforce remaining to keep brood warm from the donated frame, and to then maintain any new brood from a new queen. You might be better off combining, if possible.
 
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