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Discussion Starter #1
This is the first time I have had marked Queens...the start of my second season.

I got 4 packages this year...marked the Queens. When I went into the hives. Few weeks later there were Queen cells ,not many...mid frame. I presumed they were supercedure cells. One hive failed and ended up Queenless. I purchased them a marked Queen. She is no longer to be seen but there were eggs, brood and an unmarked Queen...which I grossly marked with what seemed to be a high pressure Queen marking pen!

On checking the other 3 packages..no marked Queens to be seen but there was brood.

Two of my over wintered hives ended up Queenless. First I purchased them mated Queens, they both dispatched these at some point after a slow release as no brood. I purchased a second set of Queens! One had eggs but occasionally 2 or 3 in a cell. Only on 1 frame. Oddly there never seemed to be Ny brood...just eggs on 1 frame. There was a Queen. The other failed yet again.

In the end I moved the useless Queen to sit in a nuc and gave both hives brood to see if they will make their own Queens. If successful...good weather and lots of drones about ...perhaps they will like them.

I have 2 hives that were doing well. I presume they swarmed...stores, capped brood, no open brood, no Queen and what looked like emerged Queen cells. I don't have dates as never saw the swarm. I gave each a frame of open brood.

How do hives that have virgins out on mating flights treat open brood. Do they ignore it or start Queen cells which I presume get torn down if a properly mated Queen returns.

It would be much simpler if the bees weren't so picky about their Queen!
 

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This is what happened to my currently struggling weak hive.

They had a laying queen and superceded her anyway, one week in from install.

Now they are steps from croaking, and I wish I had removed the supercedure cells. However, they might have just killed the original anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hopefully you have some capped brood you can boost them with.

I find it sooo stressful wondering if they will ever sort it out. It seemed such a long wait through winter to see if they survived...exciting when they did..only to see them unable to sort out keeping a Queen active and useful. This was the time I hoped all thoughts would be towards booking hives and honey excess....not fighting to keep hives from petering our!
 

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Hopefully you have some capped brood you can boost them with.
I've found that uniting all the "mess-ups" works, and allows me to focus a bit more on what's going right. There have been years when 2 hives outproduced 8. Rather than trying to fix 10 problems in 20 hives, reducing it to maybe 3-5 ("bad"), and having more time to nurture both the good and the bad?

Your PM box is full, won't accept any new...
 

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WBVC. What's up with the queens this year? As you may be aware from posts here or on the Mount Baker forum, I've battled queen issues all spring. A purchased nuc with a loose virgin that killed the caged queen, never got mated and never laid, then balled the first replacement queen. At least one rolled queen, two others rolled or otherwise killed. One failed round of emergency cells in April: too cold/no drones, a secong round that produced a queen with Deformed Wings I pinched (then her sister I'm waiting to see if mated). I've lost seven queens in six hives since March 1.
 

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I started 10 hives from packages this year alone. Out of those 10, 1 went queenless and developed laying workers which was fun to fix, then in ALL 9 of the other hives 3 weeks in, I found supersedure cells. I ripped them each one down, and checked back in 1 week. In one case one of the hives was booming and doing great, queen was laying up the place like crazy. But, like so many others have found out, the bees like to blame the queen for everything. So they looked at that period of time without brood as her fault. Once I ripped out the queen cells, i've seen NO more. So with packages you have to watch closely at the 3 week mark. Sometimes marking a queen can cause the bees to supersede as well from what i've read about hygenic stock. Just a thought ..
 

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From "The Hive and the Honeybee" - Management of package bees :

"There comes a critical time in the progress of the package colony, usually about 3 weeks after it is hived when the new brood produced from the eggs of the queen reached a relatively high point in proportion to the number of adult bees. Many of the (package bees) will have died, and no young bees will have emerged. It is often at this time that supersedure ... occurs..., probably because the population is out of balance. This can largely be overcome by giving the package colony a comb of emerging brood and bees from a healthy colony, placing this comb next to the brood combs in the package colony. This should be done about two weeks after the package is installed; colonies so treated will gain surprisingly in strength."

A 2nd "brood injection" at ~3 weeks is advisable. I've come to expect 3 full mediums by 4-5 weeks after install or requeened 1 med splits.
4 for 4 acceptance here, no cells.
 
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