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Author Topic: New queen not laying  (Read 762 times)
gregted
House Bee
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Location: Gowrie Junction, Queensland, Australia

I used to be indicisive, but I'm not so sure now..


« on: October 09, 2011, 09:57:23 AM »

I introduced a caged queen to my nuc Friday 30 September. She was out of her cage on Tuesday 4th October. Today is Sunday 9th October and found queen on frame but still no eggs.

There is also no work on the new frame of foundation i added to the nuc.

My concern is if she doesn't lay eggs soon the present bees will die before she starts laying and her eggs hatch.

If the current bees were born just before the old queen swarmed, they would be already 9 days old.

Is there anything I can do to speed up her laying. I am already feeding sugar water to the hive. Is there another way to stimulate laying?
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OzBuzz
Queen Bee
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Location: Melbourne, Australia


« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2011, 08:44:34 PM »

Is there pollen coming in? What are your food stores like? are you on a nectar flow? Also, why did you introduce a queen if they swarmed? did the swarming queen not produce another? The queen will not lay unless there is sufficient food to feed the young - pollen is that food! if you don't have any coming in then you can put a pollen pattie in.

Also, what ratio sugar water are you feeding? i'd feed 1:1 to promote laying...

How big is the population in your hive and do you have another that you could take a frame of brood from?
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gregted
House Bee
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Location: Gowrie Junction, Queensland, Australia

I used to be indicisive, but I'm not so sure now..


« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2011, 06:26:17 AM »

I noticed some bees with pollen on their baskets so yes they are bringing in pollen.

I am feeding sugar water at 1:1 ratio, 1 liter water to 1 kilo of sugar.

3 frames are covered fairly well both sides with bees and 1 covered about half. They are only in a 5 frame nuc so I guess fairly healthy.

The queen seemed quite content just walking around on the middle frame so I guess I'll just wait another 5 days or so.

The old queen left some queen cells on the bottom of 2 frames but when I got the new queen, I destroyed those.

She left no eggs and only about 20 or so brood in the whole hive.

I looked on all frames and couldn't see a queen anywhere.

I wouldn't be concerned if she left more brood but I don't have another hive to take brood from at the moment.
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Lone
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Location: North Queensland


« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2011, 11:37:30 AM »

G'day,
The bought queen will be walking round checking things out.  I am an expert on weak hives.  I nearly lost 2 hives after I introduced lovely golden bought queens.  The fairly strong hives just got weaker and weaker.  One finally lost the queen and was replaced by a laying worker, so that hive died.  The other was only saved by finally superceding itself and the daughter is a beauty.  It is now a strong hive.  I tried everything to stimulate laying - feeding, moving to a better place, adding more brood.  A weak hive goes in circles for a bit..not enough bees to bring in supplies and so maybe the queen won't produce enough brood so there are enough bees.  You have to get over a certain number of bees usually for things to go ahead.  But don't worry!  You saw a queen.  That is the main thing.  I've tried to requeen and it hasn't taken, and then I also have a hard time spotting queens, so your hive is halfway there.  I think Michael Bush said it can take a couple of weeks for an introduced queen to lay.  If she is a dud, then she won't lay much no matter whether you are feeding or not.  But when she starts and you see a heap of eggs at one time, then maybe you will be adding 3 or 4 supers before you know it.  I really question whether you need to feed.  You are in a good area and it is spring, so they should have no trouble finding their own.  I'd probably just check every so often to make sure they have some honey and are not starving.  Also, keep the space down to the smallest required.  Another thing I learnt from bitter experience is that a weak hive takes longer to recover from inspections, and you have to weigh up whether you are setting them back with frequent inspections but also knowing problems when they arise.  You can tell a lot from the outside of the hive too.  You don't want to be inviting SHB with pollen patties either.  You are correct that normally you add a frame or so of brood to a split, and this helps keep the numbers up.  If things get dire, maybe recombine the 2 hives...but I think you will be all right in a few days when the queen gets going.  Don't worry they haven't drawn out the plain foundation.  They don't need that space yet and need those resources and beepower for other things.
I'm not quite sure either why you destroyed queen cells after a swarming, unless this was on the half you added the bought queen to.  If it was on the original hive you might have lost them a chance of replacing the old queen. 
Sorry this is so rambling.  Thanks for all the updates.  You will be fine once you get those 10 swarm calls in a week and the bees draw out a super in no time.

Lone
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sawdstmakr
Galactic Bee
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« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2011, 11:52:54 AM »

It may be that you missed the new queen hatching when they swarmed and that queen killed your new queen. Wasthe bought queen marked? If you have a hatched queen she needs a week to build up and then she will go out to mate. Are there other hives in your area? Either way give her time.
Jim
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