Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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kerrie@fosterbees.com.au

Queenless Hive? Advice please!

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Queenless Hive? Advice please!

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I think I may have a queenless hive. I am a first year beekeeper. I inspected my two hives today. One hive was going like crazy. Looks like I'll need to add a super on that one. The other hive however was showing almost no growth. minimal new comb, not much honey. Most worryingly there were no visible eggs or larvae. There was a small smattering of capped brood in a few frames, and I even saw a couple of bees eating their way out of their brood cell. (That was cool never seen that before.)

Seeing as I put in both hives at the same time I am assuming something happened to the queen. Either a swarm or my carelessness crushed her on last inspection. Either way I think I may have some queen cells that are closed. Top right of this frame and also two on the bottom of this frame

I need to ask:

  • Will there actually be queens in there? Are they actually queen cups?
  • Is there a way for me to tell if there is a queen in the cells?
  • How long should it take before I start seeing new eggs and larvae?
  • Will the hive survive? I know that's not a definite thing, but given it is July 20 and I'm in east central Iowa will the new queen (assuming there is one) have enough time to build a brood and gather supplies to survive winter?
  • Should I feed this colony? If so what? It is 2 deep boxes with only one really occupied. There is mostly honey in that one box.
  • Should I buy a queen (if one is even available in late July) and introduce it?

Thank you! I really don't want to lose a hive. But I understand that may be the name of the game. Thankfully the other is going well.

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