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Hello I have 2 single box hives that I have grown on from autumn nucs. One has wintered well and is starting to get busy the other is a lot less active. Today I found no eggs in that hive only drone brood. There were three opened emergency queen cells. I could find no queen. I saw at least one emergency superceedure cell back in autumn so dont know if they hatched back then and I have an unmated drone laying queen from autumn or a virgin dlq who is waiting to go on her first mating flight. I have placed a full frame of capped brood from the busy hive to boost numbers. Should I also place a frame of uncapped eggs and lavae to try to stimulate new queen cell production or should I try to combine the hives into a strong double?

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First thing to do is find out if it’s a drone laying queen or laying workers in your hive.

on a nice day take all your frames out of your hive put an excluder on top of the empty box and shake each frame over the excluder .


Give them a light smoke to get them down through the excluder and have a good look after each shake both on the frame and on the excluder.


its easy enough to put the first two or three shaken frames back in the box but after that it can be a bit difficult with too many bees so leave them to one side until you have finished shaking and looking..


if you find a queen give her the squish and introduce a frame of eggs and emerging brood and they should make a few queen cells. 


If you don’t find a queen it’s laying workers and it’s best to shake all the bees out and pop the box on top of your good hive and split it off again later in the season.

Dont merge it without knowing what you have because it could mean the death of your good queen. 

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