Rolled Queen and hive's longevity

During an inspection on Mar 16 I rolled my queen, I think. I found her dead on the ground while inspecting frames. I did not see any brood so maybe she had been dead for a while. I have 1 hive.
So, no queens are being raised. I won’t be able to re-enter the hive due to wrist surgery until mid to late May when I plan to install a 5-frame nuc.
So, how long will the remaining drones and workers live without a queen? I believe I have some laying workers.
Thanks, do Bee do Bee do in Colorado, Eric

You can get temp queen for a while, not sure how long but you’d probably be better off ordering a queen and having someone help you open the hive while you put her in… Or if you know someone who has hives have then give you a frame with eggs so yours can make a new queen. Might be kind of early in Colorado for her ti mate well though.

If you’ve let the hive go to the point of laying workers you’ll have a bigger mess to deal with. In addition, the population of your hive will be dropping quickly so there may not be enough workforce to succeed with the new queen once you get rid of the layer workers.


The maximum life expectancy of a drone is 69 days (L.L. Langstroth). But drones don’t really count.
The life expectancy of a worker in the active season is 34-45 days (G.F. Taranov).

This means that in mid to late May you will have to start from a blank page.

However, there is an interesting phenomenon. In presence of abundant pollen storage, laying workers become long-living bees, like wintering bees but in any season. (A. Maurizio). Unfortunately, in your situation, it is rather academic knowledge.

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thank you. A blank page is what I am hoping for in mid to late May. And a strong wrist.

Can you get your hands on a Nuke then marry the hive? That might get you a better start for the honey flow.

Hello…I will be installing a nuc as soon as my wrist allows (mid to late May). I don’t know how the current residents (they have been queenless since Mar 26 or before) will “accept” or be accepted by the nuc’s inhabitants.

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Hey Eric, you can use the newspaper method to blend the nuc and your existing colony. Pretty simple to do with another box and don’t use a queen excluder.
You may find that you get an invasion of wax moth if your colony gets too weak to be able to defend the hive.

thanks I’ll try that technique after I have the cast removed from my wrist and purchase a nuc–mid-May.

That’s a long time to go without a queen because most of the workers will be geriatric, at best.

You may have a hard time with the old colony merging because they might think they already have a queen in a laying worker and subsequently kill the new queen.

good input…thanks. Do you recommend that I let the old, queenless hive dwindle? Or euthanize it outright? Eric

You can just let it dwindle I guess but make sure you don’t develop a pest problem, SHB and moths, in the mean time. It’s a shame you can find someone to help you sooner! Good luck with the wrist!

thank you. Judging by the number of drones, the colony is at a point of no return.