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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday while doing hive inspections,I found 1 lone queen cell in one of the hives I got at the bee workshop I attend.This hive was started from a 4 medium frame split with queen,and has done very well building up since,I also put on a medium honey super 3 weeks ago in which they've started to draw out new comb nicely and have started filling it with nectar.I also noticed there was a lot of capped brood that filled almost the entire sides of the frames that had capped brood on them with a near solid pattern,also I saw capped drone cells but not too many.

What confuses me is from what I've read that supersedure cells are usually 1 to 5 in number(which I have) in a colony that is not very populous(opposite of what I saw),and sometimes have a scattered to almost non-existent brood pattern,but I read when swarming it's just the opposite.This hive is very populous and has a great deal of capped brood.

So should I just let the queen emerge and let nature take it's course or remove it from the frame it's on?
 

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Is it a cell or queen cup. They build queen cups all the time. Seems to be just for practice. If it is a true queen cell, maybe they know something you don't. I never destroy a queen cell, other than accidentally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Iddee said:
Is it a cell or queen cup. They build queen cups all the time. Seems to be just for practice. If it is a true queen cell, maybe they know something you don't. I never destroy a queen cell, other than accidentally.

It's a queen cup(I think) at the bottom of the frame and looks like a half a peanut,and it was capped.Also I forgot to mention I also saw the queen yesterday in this hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I looked up queen cup pics and they look like this:


And I've seen those before,but that's not what I saw.

What I saw looks like the one you're holding in the pic and was attached to the frame bottom bar.

Does that change your answer?
 

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If your queen is getting weak and the hive is heavily populated. Her pheromones may not be getting to all the bees so part of the hive may think they are queenless. That is if it is a capped queen cell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks as always for the advice and the education guys.
 

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crackerbee writes:
I found 1 lone queen cell.

tecumseh:
1 is a very lonely number don't you think?

unlike Iddee here I look at these kinds of things in very much an individual bases. 1 would tickle my curious nature since that is a low number of cells even for a hive considering superscedure. I would be first scratching my head wondering what had happened 8 to 10 days ago to encourage such an odd thing.

if the queen look healthy (wings look unfrayed and she walks nicely on the frame) and the brood pattern was solid and strong I would likely either 1) harvest the cell for another nuc or 2) cut it down and see what happens. If the hive is failing then by your description the hive should have the resources to make another.

consider this 1) a hive only need be queen less for a short while to begin constructing queen cells and 2) and artificial division by the beekeeper (a solid frame of pollen or a new frame with foundation is often all it takes) that makes even part of a hive think it is queenless will sometime encourage the production of cells (and most times the number of cells is extremely small).
 
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