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Discussion Starter #1
How can I be fairly certain there is no unmated virgin in the hive when I requeen?
I always have this nagging at me.

I've got a hive with no eggs, no larvae and some capped brood. Really clean, empty cells.
I've gone through the hive, every frame and haven't seen a queen.
I've still got a pretty good population, they even oriented yesterday.
I added a queen. No aggression toward her, but no real fanning or excitement.
The bees are cranky and noisy, like they are queenless.

I found the queenless state when I removed the Apivar strips after the treatment period.
I found hatched queen cells, one with cap still attached.
 

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I have shook them all through an excluder till I found her. How long has it been since you saw the busted cell? if it's been a week or two there oughta be a queen in there, or she didn't make it back.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It hasn't been even a week. I'm down to the very last of my capped brood and just felt yet another week at this time of the year would be too long to wait. I am not really seeing many drones around, so I took the chance.
Do you shake through excluder often. Can a virgin still get through an excluder?
 

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Can a virgin still get through an excluder?
like all queens it can rarely happen, the bigger worry is she is out on a mating flight when you shake so time it appropriately... the other worry is she is very flight capable and can just fly off, on like a laying queen
 

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.... Can a virgin still get through an excluder?
It is the queen thorax that does not go through the excluder (with very few exceptions).
The excluder is meant to stop the queen's thorax, not the abdomen.

The thorax size does not change with the mating status changes - it is the same for the virgins and the mated queens.
 

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I had a few keep swarming and I put the flight ready queen in the box with an excluder, the whole hive just left and left her in there by herself, so ya that excluder works. I would wait a week or so to make sure there is not a virgin, or your purchased queen will be toast. A virgin is out to kill, kill, kill, a mated queen just wants to lay.
 

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I've got a hive with no eggs, no larvae and some capped brood. Really clean, empty cells.
Clean and empty cells in the center of the frame are normally a giveaway that you have a queen. Bees would fill the cells with something if they knew they are queenless. Of course if you have no nectar/pollen flow it may be different...
 

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Clean and empty cells in the center of the frame are normally a giveaway that you have a queen. Bees would fill the cells with something if they knew they are queenless. Of course if you have no nectar/pollen flow it may be different...
Concur,, when the cells in the center of the nest are cleaned and polished they are getting ready for a laying queen, not generally pretend.

I had a couple this year where I seen the clean and shined cells and did not even after 3 times thru the hive see a queen, all ended up with laying queens.

GG
 

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I had a drone only laying queen this summer that took a while to find. I shook the hive thru a queen exluder to try and catch her. I saw her on the excluder several times and tried to catch her, but she eventually slipped thru after several minutes of trying. The next time I caught her on a frame and the hive has now raised a new queen. The second time I was searching for the hive I stacked up 3-4 queen excluders to reduce the chance she made it thru.

I have also seen the cleared space the week before the queen started laying.

I still have one hive that I have not found the queen in, but she is laying and it is sitting at 4 boxes high (1 deep+3 medium) packed with bees so I am thinking I may just wait until spring to find and mark her.
 
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