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Queen Cells

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This topic contains 0 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Teri Hannigan 4 months, 3 weeks ago.

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    Teri Hannigan
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    I added 5 frames of feral bees from a trap-out on April 1 in the hopes of re-invigorating my hive (2 10-frame medium boxes). On the frames of new bees, there were a couple of drones and several queen cells, some open, some closed, and we left them there after dispatching the old queen.

    When I checked 2 weeks later, there were 4 capped and 7 open queen cells. The openings were at the end of the cell and perfectly round–nothing was torn open at the side.

    When I reinspected 2 weeks after that–yesterday (a total of 28 days since seeing the first capped queen cells), there were 11 queen cells, all open at the bottom. Most–not all–of the queen cells are at the bottom of the frame, and when I looked inside I saw nothing. I haven’t evidence of eggs or queen on any of the frames, but it’s possible I missed her.

    My questions:
    -I have assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that a queen cell with a perfectly round opening at the end means that a virgin queen has hatched If this is true, where have all the queens from 10 queen cells gone? Were they rejected by the colony and killed? Did they get lost, eaten or otherwise killed on their mating treks? If so, those are horrible odds! At any rate, on Friday I will have extra eyes helping me look.
    -According to Michael Bush’s bee math, it takes about 28 days (+/- 5) for a queen to develop, hatch and begin laying, but he doesn’t live in Southern CA. How does this math change for our area? Ruth Askren said she once waited 38 days for a queen to develop and begin laying! What is your experience?
    -Have you ever experienced feral bees that failed to raise a productive queen? Can they be “encouraged” to produce one?
    -What are my options if the hive is still queenless after another week or two?
    -How long can a hive survive without a queen?

    Thanks in advance for your answers!

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