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Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Nov 4, 2009
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Devon/South Hams
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Number of Hives
I have been advising a very inexperienced beginner. He rang me ( he thinks it was 12/7/23) saying there were swarm cells ( sealed) and he could not see queen. ( I had marked her for him about 2 weeks before). I said to choose the best and knock down the rest. When I looked myself a couple of days later I was not impressed with his choice of cell. Anyway I advised to leave well alone for 2 -3 weeks.
Last week he said he could not see eggs, and when I went to look neither could I. I have just read a test frame I put in from my bees and no queen cells. If I rely on his dates it will now be 4 weeks since new queen emerged. Every time I have looked in his hive they have been the quietest bees I have seen, as if there is a queen in there, but I cannot see her. He wants to buy in a queen. Do I give her another week ( I have known them take 3 weeks to come into lay, but it is likely now 4). Do I look again or sieve them through a QX). From their behaviour I think there is a queen in there but think she is duff. How would you proceed? Bear in mind these are not my bees
If he left an open QC on the 12th or thereabouts & you looked a few days later (14th or 15th) and assuming the cell was (just) sealed, you wouldn't expect emergence until maybe 22nd, so 3 weeks 2 days ago. Depending on what the weather was like where you are she may not have been quick to mate.
I'd give it another week.
I‘d give it another week too. Bees have a tendency to sort themselves out and surprise us.