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Discussion Starter #1
Instead of just wondering, I decided to ask:

Will a non mated ( never flown, OR, unsuccessful flights ) ever start laying?

I ask this because I have a very dicey situation as Ive posted here before, my tiny weak colony, and its likely superseded new queen.

I have them in an observation hive for their own protection, right now --- and I FINALLY did see her lay yesterday. However I have seen no drones in my yard for two weeks or so now, when I first installed, there were tons, now I never see them at all. Not arriving or leaving or buzzing over, and I did. So she would have mated a couple weeks or more ago, this is a month and a week old colony.


My big question is, does her going through the motions of laying, definitely mean she DID mate, or has mated ( if its the original queen) ?
 

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Annabee - A non-mated queen will turn into a DRONE layer if she hasn't mated within a certain time period. After about 2 weeks of not being able to fly out and mate up, she will start to loose the want to do so. This in turn causes her to become a drone layer. However, the only way that you will know this for sure is to wait and see. You basically have to wait for her brood to form into either a drone or worker brood. The easiest way is to wait till they cap cells. If they are all being capped as DRONE, you know it's time for a new queen. If they are all being capped flat as worker brood is, then you know she mated up and you got yourself a functional hive.
 

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Thank you, that really helps :)

Now its just a wait and see ...I'm being really stubborn about giving them any brood from any other colonies since all the others are young too -- and cant really spare it ----- I don't have the best feeling about this queen, but this tiny colony is hanging in there. Giving them pollen feed and they have plenty of nectar still in cells --- will update!!
 

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Annabee - If you have a spare frame that is empty, you can take it from this colony, place it into one of your other colonies brood nest, give it three days, and knock the bees off of it and give it back to this colony. It will give them the needed brood to continue well, and it really doesn't tax the donor colony at all since the queens can pump out the eggs way faster than that. And if the girls in the hive don't like their current queen, they can make a new one while you watch... :) just a thought..
 

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I FINALLY did see her lay yesterday. However I have seen no drones in my yard for two weeks or so now, when I first installed, there were tons, now I never see them at all. Not arriving or leaving or buzzing over, and I did. So she would have mated a couple weeks or more ago, this is a month and a week old colony.


My big question is, does her going through the motions of laying, definitely mean she DID mate, or has mated ( if its the original queen) ?
Research has shown that a queens successful mating is not hampered as long as drone colonies are within 6 miles of the virgin's colony. Successful mating has been accomplished with drone colonies as remote as 20 miles, but the queens egg laying runs out a lot sooner if she has to go that far.

Like everyine has said, just wait and see. I Usually do not expect to see brood until about 35 days after the egg she comes from was laid.
 

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Thank you, that really helps :)

Now its just a wait and see ...I'm being really stubborn about giving them any brood from any other colonies since all the others are young too -- and cant really spare it -----
I fully support your stubborness about this. I would wait a week to see what brood develops before moving any good frames from a good hive to this hive. One can get into throwing good money after bad. Wait to see what you first.

Phil
 
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