Are these Queen Cells? What now?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Fred & Shelley's Bees, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. Fred & Shelley's Bees

    Fred & Shelley's Bees New Member

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    Hey all,

    It's been very wet and rainy here on the Coast since we started our hive. But we've been feeding them and they've been busy making comb and raising babies. This Summer seems to have finally arrived and they are very busy. Our one brood box is maybe about 70% full of comb with lots of eggs, larvae ect. But now we have what I think are about a dozen queen cells? Picture below. Is that what these are....or just wacky cells? And if they are, what do we do about them exactly? Squash them? Scrap them off? Something else? And would adding the second brood box with frames stop them from doing this?
    Queen Cells.jpg

    Thanks for any advise.

    Shelley
     
  2. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    Yes well from what I can see, queen cell cups, one appears capped, from their location towards middle emergency or supercedure cells, did you notice if the cells had eggs or larvae aside from the one that is or apparently capped. Should have actualy read your entire post, if your seeing a dozen or so then are in all probability swarm cells, if one is infact capped then the parent queen either has or will in short order leave with a swarm, thats going to happen no matter what precautions you take at this point, better to prepare for the upcomming swarm, having brood chambers and frames of foundation ready the swarm is hours if not days away. Adding a second brood chamber at this point will not prevent the swarm, but may prevent the next one, are all the frames in the first brood box fully or mostly drawn if so a second chamber was in order. Good luck.
    Barry
    Barry
     

  3. Fred & Shelley's Bees

    Fred & Shelley's Bees New Member

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    Well, last time we saw our Queen was about 5 days ago. After this post we went and did a better check for her. Can't find her at all. 5 of 8 frames are full. Of the other 3 they are only about 1/4. There are lots of uncapped larvae and some eggs.....so she must have left very recently. Also our population does not seem to have decreased? So she's dead? MIA with a few close friends?

    Yes there are larvae in the uncapped Queen cells, and yes, one is capped. So I guess at this point we hope that our bees are busy making a new queen for us? *sigh* That was fast.....from a small swarm in less than 8 weeks. With nothing but raining weather as well.

    Shelley
     
  4. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    My guess would be that something happened to the queen when you went into the hive and saw her last, 5 days ago. Maybe she dropped off a frame while you were looking at it and got lost in the grass...maybe you accidentally rolled her when putting the frames back. The timing of 10 or 12 new queen cells seems to be an emergency effort to replace a suddenly lost queen.
    You say the brood box is only 70% full, so i would guess they are not trying to swarm.
    I certainly would advise against destroying the queen cells- you might well wind up queenless if you do. My advise would be to leave them all alone for 2-3 weeks and check for a new queen then. A new queen could take a couple weeks to start laying, so be patient.
     
  5. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    You last saw your queen 5 days ago. If you went in yesterday and saw eggs, she was there within the last 3 days.
    Omie may be correct here. The bees know best what is going on, I would trust them at this point.
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Ditto what Omie said. She covered it well.
     
  7. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    iddee-
    "Ditto what Omie said. She covered it well."

    perry-
    "The bees know best what is going on, I would trust them at this point."

    ditto the advice! also shelley, a good thread on queen cell identification and a link to a helpful pdf:
    there are queen cells in my hive, what should i do now?
     
  8. Fred & Shelley's Bees

    Fred & Shelley's Bees New Member

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    Thanks Riverbee, that's good reading. I'm positive we have emergency cells. Still no Queen to be seen and all of the brood that were remaining have now be capped or hatched out, with no new eggs or larvae seen.

    Today all but one of the Queen cells have been capped. I'm still a little confused as to what to do. The document Riverbee linked to seems to suggest picking one or two Queen Cells to leave and destroying the rest. Or follow Omie's advise and leave well enough alone. The bees sort themselves out? If more than one Queen emerges will they kill each other off? Swarm? Hold an election?

    Shelley
     
  9. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    shelley,
    if you have queen cells as you have described, capped or uncapped i would follow omie's advice, and leave well enough alone, do not destroy any of the cells, let the bees sort this out and choose for themselves and they will :grin:
     
  10. bamabww

    bamabww New Member

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    Exactly what I've been advised to do in a similar situation. Easier said than done though. I still have a hard time just letting the bees do bee things without my "help".
     
  11. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: Triple ditto! :lol:
     
  12. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Back off, Bugaloo. The bees know best,



    [​IMG]
     
  13. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    As soon as the first one hatches, she will immediately commit regicide and slaughter all other unhatched queens That's how it will be sorted out. I see in one of the pics that one cell was capped, other was still open. the capped one will of course will hatch first even if by a few hours.
    Barry
     
  14. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I carefully put a frame that had about 8 capped queen cells into a new nuc box a couple weeks ago, along with 2 more frames of nurse bees and brood, and 2 empty frames. I didn't even bother including a frame of honey or pollen, cuse lots of flowers are now blooming here.
    I just looked in two weeks later and there is one very beautiful plump new queen walking about in there. She has not started laying yet, but she's large and obviously mated already and I have no doubt she will be great.
    All the empty cells on the side frames have been filled with nectar already, and the bees seem very happy. :)
    By leaving all 8 QCs alone, I figure the best one survived and eliminated the others. The bees and the queens know better which is the strongest, I can't be sure from just looking at the queen cells.