Queen cells in new comb of captured swarm.

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Jeem, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. Jeem

    Jeem New Member

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    Two weeks ago I was fortunate to capture a large swarm (my first) and successfully establish them into my bee yard. After the first week they had drawn comb on 8 out of the 10 foundation-only frames in their hive and I added an additional hive box with several frames of already drawn empty comb to give them plenty of room. When I checked them today (at the end of the second week) there were two partial frames of brood (some capped), and plenty of capped and uncapped honey in the lower box. I actually sighted the queen, but not on any of the frames containing brood. She was walking across a frame of freshly drawn but so far unused comb. I also noticed 8-10 newly formed queen cells throughout the freshly drawn comb, one of which appeared to be capped. I'm wondering what this might protend. Are they planning to swarm again? Replace their queen? And what should I do about the situation? I've been told I need to destroy those cells to prevent the colony from leaving. I've also been told that bees usually know what they're doing and I should just leave them alone and watch carefully. Any tried and true advice?
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Do not destroy queen cells. Doing so greatly increases the risk of ending up queenless. If these cells are not along the bottom edge of a frame then they are probably supercedure cells. The bees have decided that something is amiss and want to replace her.
    As a general rule of thumb, swarm cells are produced and located along the bottom edge of frames. Supercedure or emergency queen cells are fewer in number and located on the "face" of frames, where eggs or appropriate age can be found and raised.
    In this situation I would go with "the bees know what they are doing".
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    When a hive swarms, the old queen goes with the swarm. She is then replaced with a young queen to prepare for winter. The old hive is left with queen cells to give them a young queen for winter.

    Destroy queen cells and the old queen will be gone, so the hive dies.
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a lot of times when the old queen leaves with a swarm she is pretty well worn out and the hive is simply rearing a replacement that hopefully will be on board and totally functional prior to winter setting in.
     
  5. Jeem

    Jeem New Member

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    Thanks all. You've reinforced what I was inclined to do - let the bees be. It'll be interesting and educational to watch it unfold. Jim