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Author Topic: Surprise!! New queen cells.  (Read 341 times)
uglyfrozenfish
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Location: Saranac, Michigan


« on: July 29, 2011, 08:36:05 PM »

Hi all,
I opened one of my hives today, one that has been going gangbusters this year.  It started as a package in late may and I have a third deep on it already.   I opened it up today and was surprised to see that they weren't building new comb in the new deep.  I opened up the second deep and it was full of honey on the outside.  A few frames in I noticed there were queen cells.  One was uncapped with a worker sticking her head in.  I flipped the frame over and noticed a few more.   All were surrounded by capped worker brood and in the middles of the frame.  All in all I noticed a dozen or so queen cells, some looked capped and some not.  So I am wondering is it possible I killed the queen last time I was in the hive? the queen cells weren't there last time I looked.  Could they be getting ready to swarm this late in the year in MI?  I am new beek but have tried very hard to keep plenty of room for brood nest and there are several frames with open cells and capped brood still.  SO, my question really is; if they are superceding or replacing an inadvertantly killed queen, when the first one to hatch and mate takes over will the workers kill off the other queens or will they skeedaddle with a swarm?   

Thanks much for your input. 
Lee

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uglyfrozenfish
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Location: Saranac, Michigan


« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2011, 08:49:14 PM »

OOOh, afterthought.  Maybe they already swarmed and are not building more comb because their numbers are down??  But I havn't seen any queen cells in this hive before this.  Just a thought. 

Thanks for enduring my ramblings.  grin
lee
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fish_stix
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Location: Palm Bay, FL


« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2011, 09:40:39 PM »

Normally the first one to emerge kills all the other cells. However, like everything else in beekeeping it doesn't always happen that way. Look closely for eggs. If it's a swarm about to happen the queen will stop laying several days in advance of swarming. With a supersedure you should still have eggs right up until the new virgin emerges and sometimes the old queen and the new one will coexist for a while. If you determine that it's a swarm prep then you can take the old queen and a couple frames of brood with bees and make a split. The old hive will still have the cells and a new queen when she emerges. If it's a supersedure or emergency situation then just sit tight and wait.
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