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Discussion Starter #1
I have two hives that have very little caped brood. No eggs and I didn't see any queen cells. Both are very strong hives with lots of bees. How long should I wait before a virgin queen will start laying? Should I put a frame of eggs in it or wait? Thank you, Jonathan
 

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Jonathan - These two hives that you speak of, did they swarm? Old queen missing? If she's gone then there's a good chance that your hives either swarmed or superseded. In either case, the virgin will go on mating flights in about a week after she emerges as long as the weather is good. She will start to lay about a week after that.

Now if you have other hives that you can take a frame of very young larva, even eggs and donate to these hives it won't be a bad thing. That way if the virgins don't make it back from mating you have a backup plan.
 

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Are you sure you have a queen?

Once the queen emerges from her cell you can expect about 3 weeks to be able to see any signs of her laying.
 

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No I am not sure I have a queen. I could not find her and there are not eggs or larva. I am just trying to figure when I should be worried. I had one swarm, that I am aware of from this group of hives. I was able to catch it but I honestly though it came from another one of my hives. Thank you for the help.
 

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I'd start to worry now. If you see no larvae that indicates the queen hasn't laid in over 5-9 days. No capped brood suggest even longer. Have you noticed any queen cells (which the bees may have created around an egg when the queen was last present)?

If none of the above it is possible your hive is queenless and you should attend to this or you may end up with a laying worker (which is no fun to have to deal with).

You may, if possible purchase a queen (supposing you can find no queen cells) and place her in the hive; that should stop the laying worker from starting but don't release her for at least 4-5 days; I don't even candy plug queens when this happens because I prefer to manage the release and verify acceptance before I remove the cork and candy plug her cage.
 

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Ok I will pull some frames of eggs from some of my health hives and do some swapping. There is still some capped brood so I am not horribly worried about laying workers yet, but I wont give them a chance. Thank you for the help.
 

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Ok I will pull some frames of eggs from some of my health hives and do some swapping. There is still some capped brood so I am not horribly worried about laying workers yet, but I wont give them a chance. Thank you for the help.
Putting in the eggs was the best thing to do. If you have an un-bred queen it will give her time to be bred and begin laying, if not the resulting emergency cells will give you a big jump on things. while at the same time discouraging the development of a laying worker. keep brood in the hive until you are sure you have a viable queen..
 
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