Greetings . . .
4/12/03 - Installed first package.
5/16 8:00PM, 70F, 70RH - 3" cluster on front of hive.
5/21 - Destroyed 3 queen cups, located mid-frame(s).
5/26 - Destroyed 5 cups, no eggs. 2 in 'communication holes' at frame bottom. No cup(s) on bottom-bars.
Do bees ALWAYS build queen cups this time of year? Are they "preparing" in case the need to supercede and/or swarm becomes necessary.
Queen cups are something that bees build and have on-hand all the time in case they need them one day. They will continue to build so let them. Its when an egg is layed that you know changes are happening. Don't waste your time worrying about cups. Its when they turn into queen cells that measures should take place depending on desired results.
yes, don't scratch the cups out lifes too short. Also if your thinking about cutting cells down for swarm control might be OK for a quick fix to buy time but don't rely on this for swarm control. You need to get at the root of the thing for good swarm control and prevention.
My basic philosophy is go with the bees. If they want to make new hives by making swarm cells, then split them and let them have new hives. You usually lose when you try to fight them.