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Hello group. This is my second year beekeeping and things were great up until two weeks ago. My experience in the first year was great - both hive grew two brood chambers and full two supers each - resulting in 85lb of raw honey. Real easy......right :)

This year, everything was going great until I found HIVE1 swarming. I tried to catch them but the clustered on the tallest tree in the area and did not like the two swarm boxes I had up. This was may 29. I checked them out and no eggs yet - I still have some time before the queen is fertilized and laying right?

HIVE2 - after the HIVE1 swarm, I perform a routine inspection of this hive (HIVE2) and found no eggs and no brood. I inspect all middle frames of the deeps and do not see any queen. I don't want to waste time so I grab a mated queen and insert the queencage in to hive to acclimate to the hive. After 3 days I check on check on her and the worker bees do not seem to have any ill feelings - not stinging or clinging to the cage. So I release her. The next morning, I find her killed outside of the hive. I then perform another inspection of the hive, and do not see any eggs or sign of a queen. Attempt two, I go through the same steps and today is day three where i just uncorked her. I looked very carefully at the bees on the cage and honestly cannot tell if they are accepting her or not. I still have a few days while the candy plug is dissolving. Does it normally take more than 3 days to a hive to accept a caged queen? Here is a video of how the bees are behaving before I release the cork - it will play - you don't need to download it.

https://ngsdata365-my.sharepoint.co...lJr22wCQa-4HEBcSTxFltonXUPWrZ6eSpeuQ?e=lYQrIR

Both hives have two deeps and a single super on plus the entrance fully open. Should I consider pulling the supers or consolidating the deeps?

Any chance of getting a honey crop if my queens start laying in the next week or two?

Appreciate any advice and insight.

-JT
 

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Leave it at least a week. I just went through this and had an introduced queen killed after 5 days. They hadn't really even bothered with the candy plug so I released her. Killed her right away and made their own queen cells. No cells to begin with.
 

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Leave it at least a week. I just went through this and had an introduced queen killed after 5 days. They hadn't really even bothered with the candy plug so I released her. Killed her right away and made their own queen cells. No cells to begin with.
Will they eat the candy out to release her once she is accepted - giving a few extra day? Did you get another queen introduced successfully?
 

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This year, everything was going great until I found HIVE1 swarming. I tried to catch them but the clustered on the tallest tree in the area and did not like the two swarm boxes I had up. This was may 29. I checked them out and no eggs yet - I still have some time before the queen is fertilized and laying right?
It is too early, give them at least another week and don't bother them with frequent inspections- observe the landing board- when the pollen starts coming in, then you can check for eggs.
As far as making honey crop- impossible to say without knowing your locale/conditions. Generally in our area I would not worry- still plenty of time to get honey and you still have all those foragers doing nothing else but bringing nectar (assuming there is a flow where you are).
 

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Will they eat the candy out to release her once she is accepted - giving a few extra day? Did you get another queen introduced successfully?
They should, that’s why they do it that way-2-3 days to get through the candy is about the time it takes the bees/queen to get used to each other. Inspecting too soon even if she’s released and accepted can cause them to turn on her and kill her.
Right now I’m not going to try another queen, they’re on the way to working it out naturally with queen cells.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Cool. I'll check on them on Monday and post the results. Good luck with your new queen build!
 

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You should update your profile with your location. It helps people with any recommendations they might give. Beekeeping is somewhat local.
 

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People should learn some beekeeping basics.

As that goes with swarming, bees natural behavior is they swarm, and at that time have a new queen in the works. Within a few weeks that queen will be mated and laying, at least 90 or more percent of the time.

While waiting for that process to happen, any mated queens the beekeeper forcibly introduces into the hive will be killed, in favor of the queen they have produced themselves.
 

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Yes, I put the mated queen in my other hive that did not swarm. The swarmed hive hopefully will be queenright shortly. My big rookie mistake was not checking for eggs. Saw tons of brood in the top box and didn't look any closer. That will never happen again!
 

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Cool. I'll check on them on Monday and post the results. Good luck with your new queen build!
Here's my update. I did find the second queen dead last Monday. I figured they must have a virgin or perhaps newly mated queen since they aren't interested in an outsider. I inspected the hive today and unfortunately no eggs or sign of a queen. Would a queen cell graft be a better option? Thanks for any advice.
 

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You might want to transfer a frame of uncapped brood and eggs over to the "queenless" hive. In the outside chance they didn't start a queen cell in time, at least you are giving them the resources to get it done. My guess there is a virgin queen or newly mated queen that just hasn't started laying yet. On the other hand if they did create a queen she might have been eaten by a predator.
 

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You might want to transfer a frame of uncapped brood and eggs over to the "queenless" hive. In the outside chance they didn't start a queen cell in time, at least you are giving them the resources to get it done. My guess there is a virgin queen or newly mated queen that just hasn't started laying yet. On the other hand if they did create a queen she might have been eaten by a predator.
Yes, that is "safe", but unfortunately not foolproof strategy. I have done the same to one of my hives a couple of weeks earlier and when I checked them a week later there were 3 capped cells on that frame... and a laying queen. If I stopped my inspection after just looking at the donor frame, I would have thought that the hive was queenless. Fast forward another 2 weeks and they are building supercedure and swarm cells while the queen is laying, so obviously they are not happy with her. removed her to a nuc for now as it makes no sense fighting against bee will...
Back to the topic- I would give them a bit more time- if they did not take foreign queen, most likely they have one. Did you look for a nice empty area in the center of some of the frames? That is another sign you have a queen even if she is not laying yet.
 

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Yes, that is "safe", but unfortunately not foolproof strategy. I have done the same to one of my hives a couple of weeks earlier and when I checked them a week later there were 3 capped cells on that frame... and a laying queen. If I stopped my inspection after just looking at the donor frame, I would have thought that the hive was queenless. Fast forward another 2 weeks and they are building supercedure and swarm cells while the queen is laying, so obviously they are not happy with her. removed her to a nuc for now as it makes no sense fighting against bee will...
Back to the topic- I would give them a bit more time- if they did not take foreign queen, most likely they have one. Did you look for a nice empty area in the center of some of the frames? That is another sign you have a queen even if she is not laying yet.
Actually, I did notice the bottom brood box had some very empty cells in the middle with lots of bees on them; which now seems like a good sign :). The top "brood" box was very full of honey and pollen. So, hopefully they are making room for copious bee reproduction. As a safeguard, I'll grab a frame off eggs from my friend and add it to the mix. Think it's ok to put the egg frame on the top brood box to minimize the disruption?

I really hate breaking into their house to inspect things. Wish there was an easy way to observe extraneously. I try to look for pollen intake etc, but I haven't noticed a significant difference and it's hard to quantify. Anyone hear of knocking on the hive an listening to the bee's response? A pheromone detector would be a nice invention.

Thanks for the help!
 

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As a safeguard, I'll grab a frame off eggs from my friend and add it to the mix. Think it's ok to put the egg frame on the top brood box to minimize the disruption?

I really hate breaking into their house to inspect things. Wish there was an easy way to observe extraneously. I try to look for pollen intake etc, but I haven't noticed a significant difference and it's hard to quantify. Anyone hear of knocking on the hive an listening to the bee's response? A pheromone detector would be a nice invention.

Thanks for the help!
Frame of brood can go into top box, should be no problem during warm season. There certainly are external signs- bee behavior on the landing board is much more efficient when they have a queen - they just come and go instead of "hanging out", although when it is very hot young bees come out to chill... Also the sound the hive makes is different, they certainly are louder when queenless, but again during heat wave even queenright hive sounds like a fan stuck on "high".
 

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Today's update. Hive1 (swarmed 6/4) is now queenright with lots of capped brood in the bottom and top deep. I found the situation with HIVE2 and why they killed the two queens I tried to introduce. They have laying workers. I did not see any eggs but a few frames have capped drones at the top - nothing else.

Looking at options to resolve - don't see any easy ones. I don't want to bother my recovered swarm hive. Any chance to introduce a new queen? Do the layer works have to irradiated? I am looking for a NUC but not hopeful.

Thanks again for all the advice and feedback.
 

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Good for you finding the issues, and at least you have one good hive. :thumbsup:

It's all learning, you have now learned how long it can take for a swarmed hive to requeen. :)

I can't say what to do with the LW hive, because pretty much every option would involve the other hive.
 

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How many bees are in Hive 2? You could possibly take a frame of mostly capped (with some eggs and larvae as well) brood from Hive 1 and if there's any queen cells in Hive 2 - squish them. There was a big study I just read about queen introductions using mated and virgin queens. The method that had the highest rate of success (100%) was a hive queenless for 2 days, then smoked heavily before introducing the new queen directly, NOT from a cage with a candy plug. I guess you could try that. The frame of brood should simmer down the laying workers and keep the nurse bees busy. Hopefully. I'm not very experienced with LW but I've read a few articles that note hive don't usually go LW unless there's absolutely NO brood left to rear. I'm sure more experienced beeks here will have better advice but established laying workers (if you indeed have that) is a tough situation. A few drone cells doesn't necessarily mean that's the case though, usually you can see multiple eggs in cells. That's really the only sure way to tell I think.
 

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How many bees are in Hive 2? You could possibly take a frame of mostly capped (with some eggs and larvae as well) brood from Hive 1 and if there's any queen cells in Hive 2 - squish them. There was a big study I just read about queen introductions using mated and virgin queens. The method that had the highest rate of success (100%) was a hive queenless for 2 days, then smoked heavily before introducing the new queen directly, NOT from a cage with a candy plug. I guess you could try that. The frame of brood should simmer down the laying workers and keep the nurse bees busy. Hopefully. I'm not very experienced with LW but I've read a few articles that note hive don't usually go LW unless there's absolutely NO brood left to rear. I'm sure more experienced beeks here will have better advice but established laying workers (if you indeed have that) is a tough situation. A few drone cells doesn't necessarily mean that's the case though, usually you can see multiple eggs in cells. That's really the only sure way to tell I think.
I took some advice from a local long time beekeeper. I was debating adding a NUC, but the cost seemed to outweigh the benefit as the honey season is mostly over. I got another mated queen to introduce. Before adding the caged queen, I took the LW hive about a 100 yards out and shook out all the bees. Then moved my good hive in place of the bad hive and replaced the bad hive where the good hive was located. I also took two frames of capped brood and added it to help stimulate and calm the hive down. This should fix the LW issue as they cannot fly far, plus allow some equalization as the good field bees will return to the bad hive to add some strength.

So far so good! Queen not killed and the hive is working away. I also added some sugar water to help jump start them.
 

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Good result so far. Is the queen laying yet?
Some here will say what you did shouldn't work,but sometimes it does.
If you have the resources, I would add a frame of open brood until the queen starts laying, if she hasn't already. Larvae help suppress laying workers. J
 
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