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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I have a nuc that was a successful walk away split. Was really strong and now have 2 deeps and partial 3rd deep. Swarmed 2 weeks ago and at time had capped QC's. Today did a look and see all open QC's, no queen, no eggs larvae. Plenty of honey/stores, no evid queen.

Question: how long should I wait to see if I have a queen (maybe I missed her and she's just not laying yet, maybe she died on mating flight vs no drones to mate) before combing with whichever of 2 other hives is less populated? There's a lot of bees in the nuc, if I had a laying queen I'd try to overwinter. But I think at this point I'll combine- just not clear on timing. If I wait too long I run risk of laying workers, yes?

And, in terms of how to combine-- this is a 5 frame deep-- should I just pick 8 of my best frames, put in 8 frame deep box, shake as many of the other bees into it and then put on top of other hive's top deep with newspaper/holes? I feel like I'll lose a lot of bees- but I guess I don't have much option. And- how important is it to remove the supers from the other hive? Can I just put that new deep on top of the supers instead or removing them (I would rather not disturb the other hive so much since doing well)

thanks
 

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it would take almost a week after the queen hatch before her mating flight and almost another week before laying egg. You saw the capped QC about 2 weeks ago but don't know when it was hatched so technically it could take a week after you saw the capped QC until it hatched. I would wait another 2 weeks prior to make any decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
ok thanks- so really she could be out flying now. And- I want to be 100% sure before combining nuc that there's not a virgin queen in there that could then kill my good queen in other hive. Ok- I'll sit tight and see how goes , just didn't know how long it would take before getting laying workers if indeed hive is queenless
thanks
 

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it is hard to say about how long but from my limited observation, it takes couple weeks. However an easy way to see if colony has a queen is to give it a frame of egg or freshly hatch larva. If you are using foundationless, you can just cut a small piece of the comb that has egg/freshly hatched larva and give it to the nuc. In couple days you can check to see if they are building queen cell out of that.
 
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