Missing queen

Once again there is another beekeeping disappointment to report. In my last post, I mentioned that we had a colony with slightly aggressive tendencies and had forced them to replace the queen with some larvae from a frame provided by another colony of very nice bees. Hopefully, offspring from the first crossing will still retain their gentle characteristics. We did a similar thing with another small colony to give us a further queen should it be needed. When we recently checked the donor hive, though, we could not find the queen, nor any sign of eggs. It is not clear what might have happened. There is always a possibility of damaging the queen by accident when inspecting a hive although we were very careful and have not spotted her on any of the recent occasions, although she had clearly been there, given the presence of copious quantities of eggs and young larvae. There were several supersedure cells – those queen cells generally built on the face of the comb – so we are hopeful of a successful replacement. The loss of the original queen, though, is a rather disappointing.

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