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Beerad

NZBF How long before a queen should lay

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Hi everyone.

12 days ago a queen emerged from a cell in a queenless hive.

I checked the hive 3 days ago and there was no sign of her. So I placed a donor frame in there.

I checked today to see if the bees had created emergency cells but they had not. Then I spotted the queen, so I know she's in there.

How long should I wait for her to lay, before I squish her and let the bees raise another?

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At least two weeks. I have a nuc like that. Patience.

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Woah, pull the horses up ( don't know where that came from):).

 

The queen is there. She needs to mate, then lay eggs. Regardless of whether she mates or not, she will eventually lay eggs.

 

10 days after the first eggs are layed, they will start getting capped.

 

After they are capped, then you assess whether they are drone cappings or worker cappings, and then you decide your course of action.

 

In a nutshell, plenty of time to wait yet

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Woah, pull the horses up ( don't know where that came from):).

 

The queen is there. She needs to mate, then lay eggs. Regardless of whether she mates or not, she will eventually lay eggs.

 

10 days after the first eggs are layed, they will start getting capped.

 

After they are capped, then you assess whether they are drone cappings or worker cappings, and then you decide your course of action.

 

In a nutshell, plenty of time to wait yet

Cheers Matt.

I thought they mated within the first few days of emerging?

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Cheers Matt.

I thought they mated within the first few days of emerging?

Yes they can, but there is a large window and can take up to a month

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Yes they can, but there is a large window and can take up to a month

Ok. Cheers for the advice. I'll hold back.

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If the queen has emerged from the cell it is wise to to leave the hive alone for at least 3 weeks, virgin queens can he scared off and never return.

Patience is part of keeping bees ...

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Mating depends, at least partially, on weather. I wouldn't check on any nuc earlier than 3 weeks after putting a cell in at this time of year and I'd be very prepared to wait 4 weeks if there hasn't been some decent weather. After mating, they should lay 2-3 days later. Don't take them out until you know you have viable larvae, remembering that eggs take 3 days to hatch.

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Do you check capped brood to make sure the queens are laying fertilised eggs ?

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Do you check capped brood to make sure the queens are laying fertilised eggs ?

You will be able to see from the look of them. Large, raised capped brood are drone. Smaller, flatter are worker.

 

 

You will be able to see from the look of them. Large, raised capped brood are drone. Smaller, flatter are worker.

All drone brood = unmated/poorly mated queen or laying worker.

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After the queen emerges, it's 4 - 5 days before she is mature enough to mate. She will only fly to mate when the weather is warm and pleasant - typically 20C and light wind. If the weather continues to be poor for several weeks she will not mate and become a drone layer. However once mated - and most do - it takes a minimum of 2 days and possibly a few days more before the queen starts to lay. (The larger the colony the longer it takes before she starts is a rough rule). Occasionally she pushes out a few drone eggs first before she gets into the swing of things.

Don't inspect the hive between 10:00 and 18:00 hrs in case the queen is out on a mating flight and returns to an open hive - she could get confused by you around the hive and not come back.

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Do you check capped brood to make sure the queens are laying fertilised eggs ?

By waiting 3-4 weeks before checking the nuc we nearly always have capped brood. In 18 years of queen breeding, I've never had a newly mated queen lay unfertilised eggs (drones) in a nuc. There's always a first time with need though! There have been plenty of occasions where queens have been unable to get out to mate and they start laying drones.

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