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Hive re-Queened itself...

2085 Views 14 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  G3farms
I installed a 3 lb. package on 4/11/09 into a brand new hive with undrawn foundation) and upon inspection today, I have swarm cells present... (One of them emerged from the cell during inspection!)

I didn't see any larva or eggs really, just lots of capped brood (I'd attach a photo if I could!)... so I think (?) that I lost the queen somehow? If I did, wouldn't I have seen supercedure cells at the top of the frame instead of swarm cells at the bottom?

Also....There was still plenty of foundation left to be drawn out. I was under the impression that swarming is generally a hazard when the hive becomes overcrowded. How is that possible when there's still so much foundation left to be drawn?? Or is this just breed instinct? (they are carnolians)

Since I didn't find the queen and didn't see eggs or larva, only capped brood... I left the queen that emerged into the hive as I was inspecting alone and am thinking I'll watch for eggs/larva in 7-10 days or so.

Do they swarm before or after the new queen has emerged?? There's still LOTS Of bees in the hive, would there be noticeably fewer bees today?
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Well, on the 13th day following the observed emergence of a virgin queen, the hive has no evidence of a queen in residence. We observed no eggs (normal or not) and no larva (brood) at all, so I'm thinking that something happened and the new queen was unable to return to the hive and start laying.

So, I ordered a new queen that arrived today (day 15) and am looking to install her tomorrow.

Here's my question: When we inspected the hive on day 13, we also did not see any queen cups present....
Should I be worried there's a queen in there somewhere (even though we can't find her and see no eggs to suggest she's there) that might kill this new queen I've ordered?
Can I smoke and inspect the hive (to look again for a queen) prior to introducing this new queen or will that increase the likelihood that they'll reject her?
Okay, good thing I did that......this morning, the inspection resulted in seeing normal larva and eggs (laid in bottom of cell, not on the sides) in a pretty tight brood pattern. So, I now have a queen with no home.... wonderful.

Recommendations on how to care for her to keep her alive until I find her a new colony? She's in one of those california mini cages and came in the mail yesterday (was shipped Wednesday morning).
Okaaaay.... so here's my update (and I'd like some feedback, too please!)

I was able to get a 4 frame nuc of bees/brood and a frame of capped honey.
I put the 4 frames into a deep along with the frame of honey and the queen with her candy plug facing up.
I placed an entrance reducer on the deep and covered it up.

Here's me hoping the new hive can get strong enough for winter. Any tips?? Experiences?
Today, July 1st. She's still in cage with candy in new hive. I'll check in 7 days and let you know!
Okay, so I obtained a 4-frame nuc of bees/brood to unite with my homeless queen. I'm happy to report she did not die while awaiting her court.... :D

So, July 1st the new hive was established with 4 frames of bees/brood, 1 frame of honey, and 5 empty (undrawn) frames of foundation. Everything looks to be going along pretty well. Two weeks later, July 15th, I added the 2nd deep of undrawn foundation. Things seem to be looking okay.

Here's my question....Is there enough summertime left for this new hive to get strong enough and store enough honey to over-winter? Any suggestions on helping them along?
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