Queen less hive

I posted another thread about buying a 4 frame nuc in a 5 frame box and having really wide frames.

Well in cleaning them up, I realize the hive is queen less. I’ve read a lot the last day or so and some of the clustering at door…etc that I thought odd all points to this. In cleaning up the frames a bit, I also noticed there is no new brood, and the bees are filling in the brood cells with nectar and pollen. I did however see 2 emergency cells. Since this is a new nuc though, I doubt there was any new eggs for them to use if the guy gave me capped brood frames and new queen didn’t have room to lay. When they got into my hive 4-5 days after going in their nuc box, she may have already been dead… I don’t know… but there was nothing in my cells either.

So today I want to buy a queen. The seller of the nuc however says they may have raised on though and I should wait. I’m not really willing to and lose it all and find this out a month down the road when I can’t get another Nuc. The emergency cells were rounded at their openings. Looking at pics online it seems if there was something inside, the lip would be jagged from when they chewed out.

So my question is, IF there is a possibility of an emergency queen roaming inside, would she be laying eggs right away even though she has not been mated? Are there any other signs to imply she exists? I looked at every frame in box, no eggs, nothing that looked like a queen although she could have easily been missed I guess.

Maybe you have access to a frame of eggs and very young brood? Maybe the person you got the nuc from would give you a frame?

If they don’t build emergency queen cells from those eggs/young brood then there is probably a queen in there somewhere although possibly not mated.

Unmated queens don’t lay eggs, actually even mated queens take a few days to start laying after they’ve completed their mating flight(s).


The clustering at the entrance could be on account of bees getting out of the road of the bees that are cleaning up the mess inside. Bearding seems to happen straight after honey spills during Flow harvest.

Photos of the queen cells will help determine whether you have a virgin queen or not. It’s important to learn basics of queens etc. Those basics tell us that queens don’t lay until after they are mated. If they don’t get mated, they’ll eventually lay unfertilized eggs that produce drones.

I agree on the frame of brood. The supplier should be able to help you out there.

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