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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a second year beekeeper with 2 hives of Italians. I was planning on splitting my strongest hive this spring but wanted to wait until I could get a new queen from my supplier - well 3 days before I got my new queen, the hive swarmed. Immediate inspection of the hive revealed only a slight reduction in population, but no eggs and no brood and several open swarm cells. So I did not split but closed it up and checked it today a week later. Still no eggs and I can't find a queen. So either the colony is queenless or the new queen has not started laying yet. This colony is still very strong and active (lot of activity - bees coming and going - bringing in pollen) and they are making a lot of honey. I suspect there is a new quuen that I just can't find. Would this colony still be this productive without a queen? I plan on waiting another week and if still no eggs then I will requeen. Also, the original queen supplied with this colony last year was clipped, so she couldn't have left with the swarm. Does a newly hatched queen ever leave with a swarm, leaving the original queen behind?
 

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A new queen can be a couple of weeks after she emerges before she is laying a good pattern of eggs. She's also extra hard to spot early on because she is kind of slender and she is more likely to run from frame to frame while you're inspecting.

My money says she's in there and she'll get going soon. Other's would say to hedge your bets and order a new queen.
 

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In my experience it is 4-5 weeks following a swarm that you have a new laying queen. And about 7 weeks before you have new hatching brood.

But that is just me...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I saw a massive cloud of bees about 20 feet off the ground slowly flying away from the hive area. When I first saw them they were 30 yards from the hive and I just assumed they were from this hive since there are no others in the area. Thats when I opened the hive and did my inspection.
 

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I suggest split your smaller hive.

I expect that the hive that swarmed will have queens that are duking it out or in process for mating. If you introduce your purchased queen, she will most likely go the way of Marie Antoinette and waste your money.

Since your purchased queen is laying, the split should build quickly. You can then transfer brood frames to your swarmed hive to help maintain production population.
 

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They probably have a queen. To test, put in a frame of young brood/eggs from your other hive. If they are queenless they will start queen cells. If that's the case...buy a queen.

dickm
 
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