Queen dramas late in the season

Yesterday I inspected my small colony that was a swarm I caught in December last year. it has always been small in numbers, and requeened early this year after the original queen was killed. Upon inspecting yesterday it seems they are without a queen again. They were noticeably louder, I couldn’t find any eggs, and there were at least three capped queen cups. Because it is late in the season (autumn), is it too late to buy in a queen replacement? My worry is that the new queen will not have enough time to mate etc before winter. I also don’t know if it would be a waste of a new queen given that the colony is still small.

You should be able to buy a mated queen pretty much year around due to the wonders of modern logistics…

As far as whether the queen that your colony produces will be able to mate properly, that probably depends on your local environment - you might ask some local beekeepers if there are sufficient flying drones this time of year.

Thanks for your reply @chau06 I’m leaning towards letting them do their thing and see what happens. If they don’t end up being successful I can just combine them with another colony.

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Could tell from your profile if this was an option - you could combine now as winter prep instead of letting their numbers dwindle going into the winter. Then you could split them back up in the spring.

But again, that depends on their likelihood of success and what your local winter season is like.

By the equivalent time in autumn where I live there would have already been freezing nights and the colony would be doomed if not combined with a queen-right colony.

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Our winters are a lot less brutal than other places in the world. Some nights below 0 degrees (Celsius), but mid 20’s during the day still. I’m really torn on what to do

Practically speaking, are there still drones flying in and out of your hive? Is there drone brood? Do the drones where you are get evicted in the fall?

There is drone brood and drones in my other two hives. This is my first season so I’m not sure if they get evicted.