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Author Topic: Queen Cells  (Read 318 times)
Karstifer
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Location: Windsor, Virginia USA


« on: July 28, 2013, 11:26:48 PM »

We took a look today and there are a few capped queen cells in the upper brood box.  Can we leave them there and just let the bees figure it out or do we need to take any action?  This is our 1st hive and we are totally inexperienced in beekeeping.  Any help will be appreciated -
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sc-bee
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Location: Edgefield, SC


« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2013, 12:57:46 AM »

Not enough info. Need to know conditions of hive. Two deep I presume? Strong-----weak? capped cells- uncapped?  a few cells 3, 5, 8?

Also go to your profile and update your location. Knowing Location sometimes helps with recommendations.
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John 3:16
Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2013, 09:28:29 AM »

As sc-bee said, it depends on the condition of the hive (crowded, sparse, strong, weak?) and how many cells (2, 8, 12, more?) compared to the number of bees.  Time of year and location might also play into the answer.

Basically if the hive has a high density of bees and a lot of cells for the number of bees and boxes, I would assume they are swarming.  If the hive has a low density of bees and few cells for the number of bees and boxes, I would assume they are superseding.  If they are swarming and you don't take action you will lose at least half your bees.  Action at the point of having cells, is to do a split and make sure the resultant splits have room in the brood nest.  If they are superseding and you don't take action they will raise the new queen, replace the old one and odds are good they will do fine.  If they are superseding and you do something foolish like destroy the queen cells, they may be doomed to failure when the current queen finally fails.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm#supersedure
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Karstifer
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Location: Windsor, Virginia USA


« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2013, 09:49:23 PM »

Thank you for your reply.  We are in Windsor, Virginia.  I have 3 mediums (8 frames) for brood (the two bottom ones are packed with open brood, closed brood, some honey and pollen.  It seems to be a strong hive (I have little to compare to) and I am guessing there are fewer than 8 queen cells (I did not inspect the entire hive this time).  All of the frames in the 3 (medium) brood boxes are covered with bees.  The top or 3rd brood box is being drawn out with honey (every frame is being worked - It is a beautiful light honey.  I added a queen excluder and 1 medium super just in case they go crazy with the cotton, however, I was not planning on taking any honey from that 3rd brood box....I figured they could use one full box for the winter.   These girls are absolutely amazing to watch - My wife and I go out in the afternoon and just watch them going to and fro. 

As a note, I saw three enormous beetles (about 1 inch long and .5" wide) with a yellow pattern on their back on the grass under the hive - have not ID's them yet.   

Thanks again - I really appreciate your help -
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