Beekeeping & Wildlife Supplies, Cornwall, South West UK

Queen Bees

Beekeepers who presume their colony is queenless often ask us if we can provide queen bees.
We do not advise anyone to buy queen bees for many reasons which is why we do not sell them - we only sell queen bees in their own nucleus colony.
Firstly, do not presume your colony is queenless because you can see no brood.
If your colony was making its own new queen, she can take 3 - 4 weeks after emergence to start laying, they are not always quick so be patient.
Insert a Test Comb to confirm queenlessness.
A Test Comb is a comb containing eggs and/or newly hatched larvae from another colony - this is just one good reason to maintain a minimum of two colonies.
Check the comb after 3 days. If the colony has a queen, there will be no queen cells.
If the colony is queenless, there will be queen cells being constructed so the colony can rear its own queen.
Note that the only time this test does not work is when the colony has only just swarmed when there might be a newly emerged queen but the colony continues to construct queen cells in any case.

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