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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You'll recall that in May, all 4 of my hives had no brood, no queen and you all were thrilled and confirmed my thoughts that amazingly all 4 had virgin queens. You were absolutely right. However, today upon examination, one of those 4 once again has only capped drone brood. No sign of eggs, queen, worker brood, but the hive is not acting queenless. . .sweet as sugar and calm. The colony is very large and strong. Should I:
1. Assume there's a virgin queen again, wait 10 days and look for eggs? (Getting late in the season for this nonsense.)
2. Order a new queen and install her, but watch for rejection?
3. Put a frame of eggs from another hive in and see if they raise a queen? (Once again, getting late in the season).
4. Other? Please tell me what.
 

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#3.....

Then if they don't have queen cells in 5 days, shake them out. It's not too late to raise a queen. She will lay all of Sept. and Oct. and be ready to go strong in the spring.
 

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I also vote for #3, You will be able to tell in a week if they are going to raise a new queen. If no queen cells then there must have been a virgin running around some where. Not too late in the season yet, a frame of brood and a little syrup will make up for some lost ground.
 

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not sure what your weather is like there but around here its been hot for an exteded period of time. I have seen queens shut down laying in the heat. Not sure if its your case but Im willing to bet after the last 3 weeks of 100 degree days there isnt much brood in some of my hives. and a few would appear queenless.
 

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I would vote for #1 but #3 would be a good fall back position.

ps... if you have capped drone brood you are a bit early in that particular hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
#3 it is. Thanks all. riverrat, we were cooking for an extended period of time, but we've been luxuriously cool (mid-80's) for about 4 days now. . .one day left and we'll be back in the cooker (mid-90's here on the water) with lots of humidity. Tecumsuh, just a few cells on about 3 frames, but you're right. . .I saw no drone cells in the other hives!
 

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Iddee said:
#3.....

Then if they don't have queen cells in 5 days, shake them out. It's not too late to raise a queen. She will lay all of Sept. and Oct. and be ready to go strong in the spring.

Iddee what do you mean when you said"Then if they don't have queen cells in 5 days, shake them out"

Thanx Cracker
 

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With a lot of drone cells, no worker cells, the hive is most likely queenless. If not, there should be eggs within a week. No eggs, no queen cells a week from now means workers are putting out queen pheremones even if not laying yet. The best remedy for a laying worker hive is a shakeout 25 feet from the other hives.
 

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drone require about 26 days or so. once the old queen is gone they will always be the last kind of bee to emerge. a queen requires 16 days plus another 16 to mature and mate. therefore all the drones in a hive should emerge prior to the time a new queen will begin to lay.
 

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On average, I agree, but I have seen queens lay on day 21. She would be laying the same day the last workers emerged. Also seen some not lay until day 30 or more.
 
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