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Mike a 

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Fishing for consensus on some thing that came up at our last association meeting between two members.

If after several (3) test frames a week apart from each other the colony fails to build queen cells to raise a new queen and the beek didn't have another suitable colony to make up a nuc with plenty of young bees is it worth risking a bought queen for that colony. (The colony is defiantly queenless and no signs of drone laying workers either)

Is it ever too late to requeen a queenless hive if the colony is still reasonable size?

My answer was yes, as long as the colony was still a reasonably a good size factoring in its ever decreasing numbers for the 7 days slow introduction of the queen cage and 21 days for new bees. The three test frames of eggs would be emerging and would keep the colony going as the older bees died out.
 

oliver90owner 

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I would say there is still a queen there.

Is it big enough to split in half and see if both sides are still the same on the frames - quietness etc?

Regards, RAB
 

Poly Hive 

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Definitely not safe no. There is a queen in there of some sort. Proven thrice.

PH
 

Mike a 

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I would say there is still a queen there.

Is it big enough to split in half and see if both sides are still the same on the frames - quietness etc?

Regards, RAB
That was the conclusion after the second test frame was put in so the hive was moved off some 50 ft and thoroughly shaken out and replaced in the same position on top of a QE before a 3rd test frame was added. At each stage the bees were very quick on the comb and very feisty which is not nice for the newbie bee keeper who owns them.:(
 

susbees 

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Wondering why it would take three test frames to determine queenlessness ...
Quite so. One only surely?! I had one this year where they moved the newly hatched larva to the next frame and hatched her there. I wonder if that happens quite often?

And for the third time in 24 hours, polished cells?
 

Mike a 

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Quick update on this one.

The new bee keeper decided to ignore all the advice he was given and buy a new queen and followed the advice Norton put together which I gave him about keeping the candy plug on until they stop balling the cage etc etc.

I had an email last night saying he bought a marked & clipped queen who is running around laying a nice pattern, colony is calm and gentle and he is very happy. I guess after all the colony was queenless and clueless about raising their own queen from the test frames.

Personally I think the bees played a game of chance and won, they gambled the beek would cave in before the colony collapsed and buy them a new queen and they were right... :sifone: :leaving:
 

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