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MJBee 

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My manic colony is still throwing up surprises. There is just a hint of a queen cell on the test frame given on 13 Aug - will wait and see.

Meanwhile the top super had had a clearer board under it for 6 days so I took it off and brought it home. When I took the coverboard off there were lots of bees still in it so I started to brush them off and put the beeless frames in an empty super. About half way through I came across 2 frames with all 4 sides having an area of drone brood about the size of a saucer:mad:

There is still 1 super on the hive which I have not looked at and which may well be full of drone brood, but at least I seem to have a drone laying queen somewhere above the excluder.How she got there is a mystery as I am always careful and check the underside of the excluder before putting it anywhere near the supers.

I put the two frames in a nuc with a dummy board and tipped all the bees in, within a minute they were fanning and in 5 minutes all were in and quiet. Tomorrow the great queen hunt begins - again:smash:
 

Hivemaker. 

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Is the comb in the supers drone comb Mike....you could have a hive of laying workers if it is.
 

Heather 

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Or an unmated or poor queen, let us know the eggs appearance- if any..-single or multiple
 

MJBee 

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My supers are all worker foundation Hivemaker, - the reason I'm careful with the queen excluder is I transferred a queen into a super of drone comb and she had a field day - I saturated the area with drones that year:coolgleamA:

I only checked one frame Heather, single egg at the bottom of the cell. - looks like an unmated queen to me, just got to find her.

As an after thought would the workers be fanning and calm with a laying worker?
 

Hivemaker. 

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As an after thought would the workers be fanning and calm with a laying worker?

Very often...yes, to them everything is fine.
 

Midland Beek 

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How she got there is a mystery as I am always careful and check the underside of the excluder before putting it anywhere near the supers.
Drone laying queens do not just 'happen'. They quite usually do not mate because they are weedy undersized specimens ... just the type of queen to easily pass through a queen excluder.

Look for a small queen and be sure to squash her before she wriggles off.
 

MJBee 

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I thought it was the "queen substance" that kept the colony on an even keel. Does a laying worker produce something similar or is it just the fact that the nurse bees have brood to tend and therefore think all is well?
 

MJBee 

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Today is "great queen hunt" day.

I started by checking the super left on the hive - all clear. The bees were still flying out everywhere but not so aggressive. the queen cage introduced yesterday had bees on it but no sign of aggression so I have allowed them access to the fondant and I will now leave them alone for at least a week.

The two frames with drone brood and bees were examined carefully, they were all calm and not moving - no sign of a queen. I was still sure she was in there so I shook/brushed all the bees onto an excluder, replaced the frames and put the excluder over them. The bees slowly went down onto the brood and when there were only a few dozen left there she was - eureka!!

Legs, wings and antenna all looked fine she was a little small but otherwise looked fine, just not mated/mismated. She is no more - the queen is dead, long live the queen. Hopefully all will now return to normal:hurray:
 

oliver90owner 

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Congrats. Was simple in the end. Find queen, remove, requeen. Hope they accept (they should) the new queen and everything goes back to 'normality'.

Regards, RAB
 

Polyanwood 

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Today is "great queen hunt" day.
The two frames with drone brood and bees were examined carefully
Great you found her. Well done.:hurray:

If I had 2 frames that were all drone brood at this time of year especially, I would get rid of them. Who want more drones? Good opportunity to catch the varroa in the cells and dispatch them. If the drones emerge there is more chance the queen will lay more drone in those cells, when what you want is workers.
 

MJBee 

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I agree. The two frames with drone brood and eggs were kept intact purely to entice the bees back through the queen excluder so that I could find her Maj. I will shake all the bees back into the hive they came from then the drone brood will be checked for varroa, the sealed honey extracted and the comb will then be melted down.
 

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