While inspecting my hive today I found a number of queen cells on the bottom of several frames in the upper hive body. Last fall I found the same thing and destroyed all the cells only to find out a couple of weeks later that my queen was already dead, and the bees were replacing her. I was forced to buy another queen. Today I reversed the hive bodies for the second time this year, because the top was very congested and the bottom was very empty, no brood. Will this have an effect on the queen cells that were built by placing them in the bottom. Also, will the reversing help to convince the bees not to swarm now or is it too late once the cells are made. This is my second year with this hive and I badly want to harvest a honey crop this year, which would be my first crop. What advice would someone have for me?
First thing make sure there is a queen. If certain there swarm cells, well reversing won't help usually as its a bit late. You need to reverse before the bees get a sense they are crowded. Mark down when you saw the cells and next year reverse 2 wks before that time. This is one reason I use unlimited brood nests (3 deep).
Do you know how to demaree a colony for swarm control?
I'll tell you.
Find the frame w/ the queen. set it a side. Starting from bottom board. put empty box add the frame with queen in the center. Put all those empty combs in to fill up, adding a frame or two of pollen and honey to the out side. Next place queen excluder on top. Add a honey super on top of this (empty. Next Put all the brood in the top box eggs and larvae to the center and capped to the out side. Now you have two choices. Cut all the cells in the top box and do it again in seven days until all the larvae are to old for queen rearing.
OR... option two. Rear a queen from these cells in the top box. So on top of the honey super put inner cover for queen rearing option and staple a piece of screen over the hole or lots of duck tape. use a stick to prop up outer cover so the queen can mate. When laying you can run a two queen colony with the young queen heading up the colony in the fall. I'll post info on two queen colony if you should opt fot this.
If you don't want to rear a queen the just put the covers on like normal. Switching them back to there normal positions when no more cells are built and the capped brood in the top box are emerging. Keep an eye on the lower box to make sure no cells are being built down there in a week.
Thanks for the info Clay,
I think I might try that method and just get rid of the queen cells for now. Maybe I'll try a two queen colony in the future. Thanks again.