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no eggs, no larvae, no queen ?? what to do.

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Petewhite 

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Had a look in my hive this afternoon to find plenty of busy bees, stores and pollen, and some sealed drone cells but no sign of a queen, eggs or grubs. I also found 2 queen cells, 1 complete and sealed and 1 half made with a fat grub at the bottom.

Do I presume my queen has gone - what do I do next? Will any new queen hatching find any drones? Will I be able to obtain a new, mated queen from anywhere at this time of year?

This is my first hive and any advice will be most welcome.
cheers
Pete
 

Mike101 

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IF the QC's have proper queen larvae in them you might be in with a chance, they could be a couple of weeks away from being ready to mate plus a two to three week window in which to do so taking you into May by which time hopefully there will be drones about.

My concern however is that the old queen had become a drone layer over winter (hence no worker brood) and the occupants of the queen cells are boys!

Queens are hard to come by so early, if I was you I would try and borrow a frame of worker brood (with eggs) so the bees can make a real queen and hopefully not too early to get mated.

Good luck

Mike101
 

Midland Beek 

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My concern however is that the old queen had become a drone layer over winter (hence no worker brood) and the occupants of the queen cells are boys!
Yup, I would guess that too. Your bees are hopelessly trying to raise queen cells on drone larvae from a queen that is laying unfertilized eggs.

Your colony has had it.
 

SixFooter 

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Hi,

I just removed a drone-laying queen. Would it be worth me putting a frame of brood in from an OK colony then? The advice last week was to merge with another colony as it is too early.
 

Poly Hive 

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As north as you are I would bite the bullet and merge.

I shook one off two days ago in front of a nuc to give it a boost as they were hopeless. the colony not the nuc...LOL

PH
 

Mike101 

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You would be looking for a queen to mate around 27th April with a couple of weeks on top of that before she turns stale. I would normally expect there to be drones around early May but Spring is late this year.

I suppose the straight forwrd option is just unite them but if there are plenty of bees in the hive you might think it worth a go, bearing in mind those bees are all oldies and dying all the time now.
 

oliver90owner 

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SixFooter,

It is basically your call. Unite or try for a queen.

But, think ahead a little. If you unite now, you may well have a much better chance to make an early split with what will be a 'very strong colony'? Go for broke and fail, and you will have nothing except a weakened colony where the frame came from.

I would hedge my bets and unite, all things being healthy, before you finish with laying workers, dead colony, or other maladies (with a weak colony).

Advice from last week was good. You should have heeded that advice and already united - and already be that much further ahead of the game - and had less likely problems, as above.

Regards, RAB
 

Midland Beek 

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I just removed a drone-laying queen. Would it be worth me putting a frame of brood in from an OK colony then? The advice last week was to merge with another colony as it is too early.
Well, well done finding the duff queen. Sometimes drone layers can be hard to spot.

As per previous answers, I think uniting is the best option. After the unite, aim to work out any combs that the drone laying queen has laid in and messed up.
 

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