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What happens if

a queen is out mating, and she comes home and a new (bought) queen has been introduced?

So we split our Hive a month ago, and just to mock me, they swarmed anyway. That Hive now seems to be queenless. No eggs, no larvae, but still a decent population.
Since our failure last spring which resulted in a slime out, I’d like to err on the side of caution and buy a queen.
What if I do that introduce her and then a mated Queen returns home?
On the upside the split has made its own queen and eggs are present. 1 Victory out of 2.
Cheers
Ron

They will fight to the death most likely, but the queen isn’t gone that long so you would have to get pretty unlucky with your timing.

You know you can recombine the two halves when a split doesn’t work?

Are the workers in the queenless hive going to last long enough to restart the broodnest with a newly introduced queen?

Hey Ron, time to chill out and have a wine. relax mate. Give her time to kick her heals up, a week away is fairly common.
While it is accepted 20% of queens don’t make it back from a mating flight it doesn’t mean the end of the hive, you have a second hive so use it to donate a frame of eggs and the bees will make a new queen.
As for jumping the gun introducing a new queen then the mated queen returns ask your wife what might happen – and listen. :laughing: :laughing:
Cheers mate

Thanks Peter,

I hear you, I know where your coming from.

Here is my thinking.

It’s 4 weeks since we split that hive.

There are no eggs, larvae or brood of any kind. The queen was 100% definitely in there when we split it.

My wife said she could smell a slight sour smell. (I couldn’t)

Frames have lots of nectar, pollen and honey.

There are lots of drones.

It feels to me a lot like last year when we slimmed out.

If we let them make a new queen with eggs from the other hive, it’ll be another 4 weeks. That feels like too long. That’ll be 2 months without a queen.

Our second hive (the split from 4 weeks ago), has re-queened itself. We saw a few eggs starting to appear today. Not a lot, I think she’s just started laying.

Don’t think it’s anywhere near strong enough to take frames to save the other hive. Population is still low.

My wife agrees with you . She likes the romantic notion that our hives are all descendants of our original queen.

I’m not so sentimental, I just REALLY don’t want to lose another hive.

What say you?

Cheers as usual.

Ron

ronmolnar.com.au

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If your wife detected a sour smell you should be doing a thorough check and tests for AFB if you haven’t already.

It’s currently spreading across multiple Sydney postcodes.

Any photos of your brood frames?

I’m a little confused, lets talk about the hive with the issue, are you sure the queen remained in that hive?

If so she should have continued laying, if there is nothing in the brood then she simply isn’t there. But even so the colony should have made a new queen from available eggs.

While a hive is best if it is queen right constantly two months is getting close to the limit for a strong hive to be queenless without brood being added.

The sour smell is ringing alarm bells, do an inspection as a priority ASAP checking for wax moth and SHB and the start of a slime out. That is the only cause of a sour smell unless you dropped one on her while she was bent over the hive and you tried to blame the bees.

If the frames are OK then as you are concerned about taking frames of eggs from the other hive then buying a queen makes a doable option. But only buy a queen you can pick up yourself, Australia Post at the moment is so slow she would likely be dead before you get her. A very small parcel from Parramatta to me took 21 days exactly. A mate had 5 queens posted from the gold Coast to Noosa 18 days and all were dead.

Keep me updated

Cheers

Peter

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I’m a little confused, lets talk about the hive with the issue, are you sure the queen remained in that hive?

Yes, 100%. We shook the frames before doing the split, then put the brood box above a queen excluder above the old brood box and let the nurses go into it overnight, then separated them.

If so she should have continued laying, if there is nothing in the brood then she simply isn’t there. But even so the colony should have made a new queen from available eggs. Despite the split, that hive swarmed anyway just to spite me. I think that’s when things went wrong.

While a hive is best if it is queen right constantly two months is getting close to the limit for a strong hive to be queenless without brood being added. That’s why I’m thinking it’s best to buy a queen.

The sour smell is ringing alarm bells, do an inspection as a priority ASAP checking for wax moth and SHB and the start of a slime out. That is the only cause of a sour smell unless you dropped one on her while she was bent over the hive and you tried to blame the bees. Inspected today. No beetles or pests of any description. We have a beetle trap under the base board and one in the super. There was one dead beetle in one of the traps. Not sure about the smell, I couldn’t smell it. No I didn’t drop one……

Good to know re the post, thanks.

I’ll update as I travel down the road….

Cheers

Ron

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RonM
October 15

Thanks Peter, I hear you, I know where your coming from. Here is my thinking. It’s 4 weeks since we split that hive. There are no eggs, larvae or brood of any kind. The queen was 100% definitely in there when we split it. My wife said she could smell a slight sour smell. (I couldn’t) Frames ha…

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