Novice Bee Keeper from Andalucia here! Question about single queen cups in mid-frame

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Clover Queen Bee, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. Clover Queen Bee

    Clover Queen Bee New Member

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    Hi there...
    Im all new to this forum business...so do bear with me!
    Well, its been over a year now that I have been actually keeping my own hives!
    It was an uphill struggle from the outset, and I am always learning... which is why I have joined this forum,
    hoping to get some helpful answers and guidance, as sometimes I feel like I don´t know a thing, and I don´t have anywhere to turn to!
    Anyway... throughout most of the summer, I noticed that on about 2 or 3 frames, in the the centre, there would be 1 or sometimes 2 little Queen cup type cells. These were never cells that became fully fledged Queen cups, as I saw in March, when my Bees made 20+ Queen cells to swarm away, and neither were these supersedure cells due to a failing Queen... It was very strange, and I decided NOT to destroy them, incase they WERE supersedure cells, as I did that before, and then was left without a Queen... which ended in tragedy... well, not quite, but I did lose the whole colony as it had shrunk and shrunk, and Winter came etc etc...
    So I was just wondering if anyone had any advice about these single celled cups in the middle of the frames... should I be getting rid of them... were these actually turning into Queens and I was losing bees to small swarms? or is it just a precautionary measure on the bees behalf, incase they do need to suddenly provide a new queen and replace the old one...? It was very confusing for me. My colonies are doing quite well, or so I thought, but then, as it is all new to me, I have nothing to compare it to. I do not think that they built up as fast as I expected them to, and an acquaintance of mine seemed to think they were growing quite slowly... He showed me a couple of way of spreading the brood, and I did try this...I think it did help a bit. I did not feed them sugar syrup throughout the summer as some people do, as I wanted them to do things in the most natural way, and some permaculture people say feeding sugar to bees is not great... but by the end of the summer, I noticed my main hive, the one that didnt die last winter, had terribly deformed wings, and so obviously varroa had taken hold... they are now being treated with Apiguard... we shall see...
    My other hive was a swarm that I caught in March, in the rain! I just happened to notice some bees flying towards what I considered a strange place for bees to want to be, as it was a load of old dead broom, close to the ground.... no flowers there... and low and behold, as if I was looking at one of those 3D pictures, this small swarm came into focus in front of my very eyes... quite amazing really.
    So now I have 2 hives, and I have never taken any honey... I just hope that my bees will keep growing and will make it through winter, and then I can finally do a honey harvest!!! I can hardly wait! Yumm...
    I look forward to your replies... Thanks in advance!!!:roll:
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    First, Welcome. We love to see folks from around the world.

    Secondly, bees build queen cups all summer, sort of like practicing for the real thing. Just ignore them and go on with your normal beekeeping.
     

  3. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Queen cups are just another variety of cell that the bees will mix in to their construction plan. The queen generally ignores them, as you should. They won't be used unless something happens in the hive to require that they be put in service.
    This comment is not in disagreement with Iddee--carry on as if they weren't there.
    P.S. my original wlecome to you in the forum is on a different thread that I saw before I found this one. Nothing wrong with greeting you a second time--:hi:Glad to have you. :grin:
     
  4. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    Welcome CQB. You've found the right place to hang around and learn.
     
  5. heinleinfan

    heinleinfan New Member

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    Welcome to the forum!
     
  6. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    Welcome CQB, or welcome again if you did not feel welcome enough. It would be risky enough to remove queen cups, or queen clls, unless you have plenty of mated queens standing by to replace what the bees thought they needed.
    "But we really never have had or ever will have a mastery over the honeybees. She is wild by nature and will at all times have her own way and will unfailingly and unerringly follow her instincts. It is up to us to understand her ways and adjust ourselves to her truly marvelous nature, not attempting the impossible of `mastering’ her, but rather doing all we can to serve her needs."
    Bro. Adam Buckfast Abbey
     
  7. Bsweet

    Bsweet Member

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    Welcome CQB, you have come to the right place. Lots of good people here with knowledge to spare and share. As said you may often find Queen cups in a hive, and as you have already found out the removal of Queen cells can cause real problems. Jim
     
  8. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Not much I can add to what has already been said except to say WELCOME to our friendly, helpful part of the beekeeping community! :hi:
     
  9. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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  10. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Welcome also to the forum.
    The bees if they decide they need a new queen will generally float the young larva out the cell and turn the cell the egg was laid in into a queen cell.
     
  11. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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  12. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Welcome to the forum. This is just a thought on the queen cups, maybe the workers are warning the queen what will happen if she dosen't preform well.:lol: Jack
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    welcome aboard Clover. it always puts a smile on my face to see another new beekeeper from somewhere far far away join this forum. it really does promote an international nature of our shared addiction.

    often times what you are describing is called a 'dry cup' and as Iddee suggest these are just a part of the internal landscape of a hive and should be expected from time to time.
     
  14. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    Welcome clover, You found a good place to find guidance.
     
  15. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    It is nice to have another member from this side of the pond.
     
  16. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Welcome tot he forum :hi:
     
  17. Clover Queen Bee

    Clover Queen Bee New Member

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    EXCELLENT! THANKYOU ALL! for the advice and the welcome... how wonderful that I finally have lots of other beekeepers to ask all my questions!!!
    I shall ask you all some more shortly... I am always thinking of things that aren´t in my manual, that I wish I could just get some opinions and advice on...
    so i will be in touch soon! THANKS TO YOU ALL AGAIN! YAY!!
     
  18. ndm678

    ndm678 Member

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    Welcome to the forum Clover, this is a great place for advice