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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had a lot of swarms this season, the story of two hives (both overwintered).

#1 swarmed 30 days ago, with a couple more swarms after that. I added a frame of eggs 7 days ago and no queen cells were made. I didn't see laying worker eggs, but I might want to look harder. Should I keep waiting? Bottom deep has space to lay, top deep is full of honey.

#2 also got eggs 7 days ago and there are 3 or 4 big queen cells capped today. If my bee math is correct, I should expect to see eggs by 6/20. Should I wait that long or get a queen? Bottom deep also has some space and top deep is 90% full of honey.

I hate to loose so much time building up these colonies, or am I just being impatient?

Thanks!
 

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It all comes down to availability and cost. Letting them raise a queen is risky, but free and you get to take advantage of local/survivor genetics. Spending the money for a queen is up to you, but there is risk there as well as the bees may not accept and kill the new queen you just bought. It is up to your preferences and what types of risks and costs you are willing to endure. If you are making a good amount of money with your hives, sure, go buy a queen, but if not, then more consideration will be required for you specific situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It all comes down to availability and cost. Letting them raise a queen is risky, but free and you get to take advantage of local/survivor genetics. Spending the money for a queen is up to you, but there is risk there as well as the bees may not accept and kill the new queen you just bought. It is up to your preferences and what types of risks and costs you are willing to endure. If you are making a good amount of money with your hives, sure, go buy a queen, but if not, then more consideration will be required for you specific situation.
That was my original thinking. But as time wears on I am worried about building enough strength. What is the cutoff time for rearing a new queen and being strong enough for winter?
 

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An option you may not have considered is to move some of those fat queen cells from Hive 2 to Hive 1. If the cells are on two different frames, just move that frame over. If all on the same frame, you can gently cut a couple off and press them into a frame. J
 
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