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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did a tree cut out 2 weeks ago. Very gentle, local, survivor bees and what I hoped to base the genetics of my apiary from. One week ago they had 2 capped and 2 uncapped queen cells. I peaked in 2 days ago and all the queen cells are gone. Like they never were. Is it possible the virgin queen already hatched and they removed the cells? My gut feeling is they did not raise a queen.

I am going to wait till tuesday (I leave for a week the next day) then look for the queen. If they did, fine. all is good. but if not I have some options.

Option 1. I have a friend with a hive of local survivor bees about a mile from me. Her hive was split last week. I talked to her and she said I could look in on tuesday and see how many queen cells the split has made. If there are extra I could take either a cell or possibly a frame and put them into my hive.

Option 2 if there are no extra cells in the split I might buy a frame of eggs larvae and let my hive try again to raise a queen.

option 3 I have 2 nucs scheduled for delivery on sat the 26th. Since I am gone that week a local beek is picking up my nucs and installing them for me. I could simply combine the nuc with the queenless colony. But with this option I lose the ability to keep the genetics I want.

What would you recommend? I have to have this sorted before I leave for a month on May 4th. Any suggested are appreciated.
 

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Option 2 (putting in a frame of eggs from elsewhere) does not necessarily mean losing the genetics of the cut-out. If there is already a viable queen in the cutout, then the egg frame will be raised as just another frame of brood.

On the other hand, if there is no viable queen, then they could have another go at raising a new queen. While this does not preserve the cutout lineage, that really doesn't matter if there is no queen and no eggs that she laid earlier - nothing you can do will preserve that cutout lineage.


Put in some eggs, and have the nuc installation person make a decision at that time whether to add another frame of eggs, leave them alone, or do a combine. :) What the bees do with the first frame of eggs may provide additional information that you do not have at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A close inspection found no queen or queen cells. An quick look into the split hive from last week had 11 queen cells on one frame and 4 on another. I took the frame with 4 cells and put it in my queenless hive. I'm hoping they will now raise a queen. Bee Beehive Honeybee Honeycomb Membrane-winged insect
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>One week ago they had 2 capped and 2 uncapped queen cells. I peaked in 2 days ago and all the queen cells are gone. Like they never were. Is it possible the virgin queen already hatched and they removed the cells? My gut feeling is they did not raise a queen.

I would guess they have a virgin queen.

> I am going to wait till tuesday (I leave for a week the next day) then look for the queen. If they did, fine. all is good. but if not I have some options.

I would not look for the queen, you probably won't find the virgin, she will be small, fast and will hide. I would not expect her to be laying until two weeks after she emerged and that is likely two weeks from now. It could even be three weeks. I would not even look until two weeks from now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the reply. I added the 4 queen cells that are on a frame of uncapped and capped brood. I figure if there is a virgin queen they will destroy the queen cells and the brood will only help. If there is no virgin queen, they now have one last chance to raise one. My next option is combining them with my California nucs that will be here Saturday. And that is the opposite direction I want to go. I hope to requeen the nucs from these local bees later in the summer.
 
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