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Installed 2 packages today, different behavior from each hive, WHY?

Good luck Lorne- I’ll be interested to hear what happens.

Yes - all the best Lorne in talking to the apiary and after that. I am just a bit confused with the terminology in that article you refer to as I thought that once the queen is dead (and you have no queen laid eggs left in a hive) and then you add eggs from another queenright hive, that the queen being raised is an “emergency” queen, not a “supersedure” queen. I thought a supersedure queen was one that was made (by the bees) to replace (for example) an ageing or damaged queen whilst that original queen was still alive in the hive.

Multiple eggs MIGHT be laying workers. It also might be a queen who hasn’t got the hang of what she’s doing. The clincher would be when you see some scattered drone caps and no worker caps. Stealing eggs from a colony costs them very little if you swap it with another drawn comb, or take one that is only a small comb. Bees have very little invested in eggs. They have a lot invested in capped brood. I would steal some eggs from a hive you have reason to believe is queen right for the one you have reason to believe is not. IF you have laying workers, it will take open brood every week for three weeks to set it right.


So, I have to steal open brood from another hive once a week for 3 weeks to fix the problem? The website I referred to in the earlier post said I only needed to do it once and then introduce a queen once the hive decides to start a supersedure cell. Please advise.

Michael, would 4 or more eggs in 30% of the cells be an errant queen? My understanding is that an inexperienced queen wouldn’t result in so many eggs per cell and so many cells with that many eggs. Is my understanding correct?

This is why pics of the eggs would be good. If they are on the sides of the cells that’s usually a worker because she can’t reach the bottom. You’ll know in a week once these cells are capped.

Hi Lorne, when I read the article you refer to it doesn’t differ much from what Michael is saying does it? I don’t think it says just do it once? Are you looking where she says “Saving the colony”?
If it were me, I would be inclined to follow Michael’s advice on this one and give it a go. Introduce the eggs from the other hive, replace with decent drawn comb (assuming you have some) and come back after giving them the appropriate time and see what they have done. If no emergency queen cells at that time, repeat the process and see what happens. This is assuming you are not getting anywhere etc. with the vendor you mentioned you were going to talk to.

This is also assuming you have a strong donor hive. Which Lorne doesn’t have… :blush:

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I found someone who might be willing to trade me 2 frames for some of my poultry. I was thinking I could take one of his frames of brood and install it right away. Then, take the second frame and put it in my strong hive for safe keeping for one week. On week 2, use that second frame and steal a frame from my strong but young hive on week 3. Does that make sense?

Also, I have a lead on a queen. But, I won’t be able to use it for 3 weeks. Can I keep a queen alive that long in the box?


Hi Lorne, I reckon it is really excellent that the bees can make themselves another queen. They generally don’t hold back on queen cells once they get going. I hope it works out for you - a really fascinating and enjoyable part of beekeeping.

If a hive isn’t too far down the laying worker path, they MAY accept a queen sooner than three weeks. Them starting queen cells is the clue. Yes, if they start queen cells, you can introduce a queen (destroy the queen cells) or let them raise a queen. But if they started queen cells before you gave them brood those won’t develop into viable queens if you have laying workers.