At the start of the series, probably a few dozen. In "Poisoning the Well" Grodin estimated that there were 81 "or more" total Hives throughout the galaxy and as we learned later in the series, far from every Hive had a Queen of its own.
Originally Posted by cpmcpm13
I'm not even sure if Pegasus Ancients had it. There was a flashback scene in "Echoes" where they were treating burned Lanteans medically and the device was nowhere to be seen. It's possible that it was something that the Ancients dying from the plague in the Milky Way created after Atlantis left, so the Pegasus Ancients never knew it existed and didn't independently invent something similar. Hard to know either way, though.
I donít know if the Ancient Healing Device might help preserve the lives of Lanteans. Apparently it only really worked on the more advanced physiology of the Lanteans and not humans, Iím guessing if nothing else that means the Lanteans were nearly medically perfect humans.
They did try to invent an inorganic virus (the Asurans started off as a nanite virus) and there was the exploding tumor scheme, which at the very least indicates they were invested in biological warfare.
I donít know if the Lanteans ever thought about using a virus, if the Wraith are largely cloned then maybe their immune systems might be vulnerable to certain viruses. We saw a Hiveship got infected with a virus before so maybe Melia could use a virus bomb to infect a Hiveship and let it get away. Maybe this could create a epidemic amongst the wraith and their biological ships. If she canít just destroy the wraith shipyards.
None really. There were probably thousands upon thousands of Wraith ships swarming the galaxy at that point. The only thing someone on an Ancient battleship could've done is the same thing the Ancients on Atlantis had been trying and failing to do for a hundred years: invent a kill all device that doesn't harm humans.
What kind of options/tactics do you think are available to Melia onboard her ZPM Aurora if she wanted to take on a huge wraith fleet and try to turn the war around?
The Ancients tried to negotiate a peace prior to that point in time. The Wraith were not interested in hearing them out and instead used the meeting as an opportunity to ambush the Ancient fleet.
Talking of food problems for the wraith, if Melia negotiates the Lantean surrender instead of fighting then maybe the Wraith might agree not to eat all the population of the galaxy and spare the Lanteans in return for the Lanteans to create billions of human clones to feed the wraith and maybe to make Runners for the wraith to hunt. The Lanteans could agree to disarm so they never threaten the wraith again but keep the interstellar hyperdrive a secret. This way the Lanteans stay alive and keep Atlantis and the galaxy safe and the Wraith get a constant food supply.
ALT-WEIR: The Atlanteans sent a delegation protected by their most powerful warships in the faint hope of negotiating a truce. One on one, the Atlantean ships were more powerful, but the Wraith were so many. After that great battle, it was only a matter of time.
It's doubtful that the Wraith would have been anymore interested in listening after that when they had the Ancients bottled up in Atlantis and a few other outposts. Their food supply issue probably didn't become a problem until after the war, so dangling a solution to a future problem they didn't have the foresight to try to prevent on their own likely wouldn't do any good to bring them to the negotiating table. Also, I don't see the Ancients agreeing to clone humans for the Wraith considering they weren't willing to keep the Attero device on became of its impact on human lives. Sure, they could clone empty shells, so maybe that's different to them morally, but there's also the issue that all you're doing by cloning food for them is making them stronger. Their one weakness is their dependence on a single food source and there's no indication that the Wraith wouldn't still want to violently wipe out potential threats if they didn't have to vie for food.
Also, I don't know why the Ancients would agree to both feed the Wraith and disarm after what happened the last time they tried to sue for peace.