Is it okay to buy a queen to place into a nuc that is two weeks old? At the moment there are no signs of a queen within the hive. Please any advice would be appreciated
Hi @Shnelly, welcome to the forum.
The short answer is yes. However…
How certain are you the nuc is queenless? We’d hate to be wrong and have a new queen get balled or killed by the colony or existing queen…
Did you kill the queen by accident? If so, if she was mated and laying, the colony could make their own queen.
Did you purchase the nuc recently? Is it worth going back to the seller?
Thanks for your response. At this stage I am waiting to determine if there is a virgin queen in the nuc box. Looking for her or general evidence. But I am holding off in purchasing a queen through the mail.
What is your strategy in determining a virgin queen? Were you sold a virgin queen? Have you moved the nuc?
Virgin queens need to orientate before they go on a mating flight. Moving a hive with virgin queen is not recommended as she could not make her way back home…
I assume you are looking to see eggs or brood to establish if you have a laying queen. If you see a small queen and no eggs you may have to wait a little longer to see if she’s laying - say ten days. If you see none of the above then you have two options. Either give the nuc a frame of brood with eggs so that they can make a new queen (this assumes you have another hive or access to one through friends/supplier) or alternatively you can purchase a new queen.
If you have access to a brood frame with eggs you can give it to a small colony without needing to look for a queen. If they need a new queen they will attempt to raise one from those eggs. You can check about four days after putting that frame in to see if they build queen cells.