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  • Found Queen Cells - What Next?

  • Beginners forum, ask beekeeping related questions and get help from other experienced beekeepers. Please use the Search Feature please to avoid duplicated threads
Beginners forum, ask beekeeping related questions and get help from other experienced beekeepers. Please use the Search Feature please to avoid duplicated threads
 #3572  by Japey Edge
 14 Jun 2019, 18:39
Hi everyone!

I carried out my inspection today and was quite pleased to see brood on another frame (now 8 out of 11).
I found a capped queen cell on a previous inspection as some members may remember and I took it down to find it was completely empty. Today, I found two queen cells, one capped, one almost finished - both with larvae and plenty of royal jelly.
There was plenty of brood in various stages, the only thing I couldn't see was eggs - cloudy day and the sun wasn't in the best position to help me out. I didn't really like the queen previously as the brood pattern was a bit spotty, but this time it had improved. Just as I'm starting to like her it looks like the bees don't want her.

There's still a frame with only about a third of its comb drawn out. There's also the super with frames and foundation that I prematurely added and didn't dare take off after angering them last time. They have plenty of stores too, to my delight.

I saw the queen. I watched her walking about - all legs fine. Same queen, definitely. I took down the queen cells.

1. Have I done the right thing?
2. What do I do now?
 #3573  by Chrisbarlow
 14 Jun 2019, 18:59
2 cells do suggest supercedure. I would check again for eggs and take a nice powerful pen torch to look properly.

I would suspect you didnt do the right thing but with larave and eggs, they will make more if the queen is failing.

When you go in next, keep an eye out for queen cells and take a plan with you.

some options you could consider.

option one. leave em alone, let biology do its thing and fingercrossed the queen is superceded

option two. raid the box for the cells and make up a nuc with the queen cells (and some brood and bees) and leave the origiinal queen in the original box.

option three. do a dameree/pagden and treat as swarm cells.
 #3578  by Japey Edge
 14 Jun 2019, 19:55

I'm considering letting them get on with it
I'm also considering the nuc option.

Need to get my head around all three options by next week in case they have more QCs
 #3584  by Patrick
 14 Jun 2019, 21:48
Just to confuse you further..

Bearing in mind you have one colony and a queen they seem to think is past it or possibly swarmable, you need to come out of it with at least one Queen and one viable colony.

Option 4. Say goodbye to old queen. Take a nuc with at least one queen cell. Leave rest of colony with a queen cell wrapped in foil.

Outcome will either be a laying queen in one part - which you can reunite or a queen in both parts, which gives you an opportunity to have a colony and nuc insurance going into next year with both young queens - a very strong position to be in.
 #3586  by Japey Edge
 14 Jun 2019, 22:01
Cheers Patrick, I don't mind the extra confusion - I just want to do right by these bees. Unfortunately I went in all guns blazing instead of closing up to check on here for advice.

Lesson learned.

Rather than trash the queen, would she last in a butler cage somewhere? Or a mini mating hive? I wasn't impressed with her at first but her brood pattern is improving and she's last year's overwintered queen.

I see what you're saying with the split then possible unite later. Sounds like a plan.

Will they raise more supersedure cells now?
 #3587  by Chrisbarlow
 14 Jun 2019, 22:06
they should raise more supersedure cells but theyre bees, nothings a given
 #3589  by NigelP
 14 Jun 2019, 22:36
The good old "baptism by fire"....
You now have several options which is probably what you didn't want to hear..
Make an assumption they will draw more queen cells.
Now where do you want to be?

Asking myself what I would do.....

Tricky as new nuc/hive. I'd be totally pissed off with the guy who sold it to me. But if your local bees are like my local bees not unexpected.

I'd take queen and three or four frames (stores/pollen and brood) and stick in nuc... This is your insurance. Do it tomorrow ([or sooner] before they potentially swarm..
Leave rest of hive to get on with it...although I would reduce queen cell numbers. Find a nice open one with fat grub and destroy rest....there will be so e hidden away but don't worry.

Sit back and smoke large cuban cigars like anxious new parent.....4 or 5 weeks of worry ahead...
New queen new decisions to make.
No new queen.... reunite with queen from nuc.
As I said several options...many more than I've suggested
 #3590  by Japey Edge
 14 Jun 2019, 23:10
I don't think there are any queen cells left. I trashed them. Will they raise more?

Otherwise I think I'll do that tomorrow, if not then Sunday after the farmers market.
 #3591  by NigelP
 14 Jun 2019, 23:16
And we all do that when we first see queen cells. It's an act of denial/right of passage.
Next check...if queen cells ...Get queen out of hive into
Occasionally will not draw more....occasionally.l