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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Elwood, Illinois
    Posts
    38

    Default Two Questions: Queen Cells and Supers

    I bought two nucs back on May 4th, 2008 and immediately transferred them to regular hives. They are NWC and did well in May. One of the hives has filled two brood boxes and a super. There is a lot of activtiy at the entrance and they are bringing in pollen. They need another super now.

    The other one is the issue. Over the past two to three weeks the activtiy has become less and less. Today I opened the hive and could not find any eggs, larve, or queen. I did find about 5 queen cells 2/3 of the way up on frames in the bottom brood box. They have filled the second brood box about 80% with honey and have not really started on the super I gave them. Here is question number 1: Do I immediately order a queen and introduce her to the hive and in the meantime destroy the existing queen cells? Or do I let them raise their own queen with the queen cells already in place and check back in one to two weeks?

    Question number 2: The other hive that is doing well needs more room. Can I take the super from the hive that is not doing so well and put it on the hive that is doing well?

    Thanks for your experience, wisdom and assistance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Darrington, WA, USA
    Posts
    544

    Default

    If you can destroy EVERY queen cell and not miss one...that is the better way to go because you will be a few weeks ahead. Also you have to be sure the old queen is not in the hive somewhere still. I introduced a queen a while back and missed a small cell. Well there went $23.

    Yes, you can take the super off the weak hive and put it on the strong. Just shake all the bees out before placing it on the other hive.

    JoeMcc
    "Slow Down and Taste the Vanilla" - My Grandma

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

    Default

    How much room does the queen have to lay. you mentioned the top box being 80 % full. What is the bottom box like. It sounds like your hive is honey bound leaving the queen no where to lay the workers are blaming her for not laying eggs thus they started supercedure cells. If this is the case introducing a new queen will not help. She has to have room to work. I would suggest opening up the brood chamber to give the queen room to lay first before requeening

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Darrington, WA, USA
    Posts
    544

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat View Post
    How much room does the queen have to lay. you mentioned the top box being 80 % full. What is the bottom box like. It sounds like your hive is honey bound leaving the queen no where to lay the workers are blaming her for not laying eggs thus they started supercedure cells. If this is the case introducing a new queen will not help. She has to have room to work. I would suggest opening up the brood chamber to give the queen room to lay first before requeening
    He said, "Today I opened the hive and could not find any eggs, larve, or queen." So i would guess they swarmed or the queen croaked for some reason. True 80% would be a good reason to swarm. Thats the problem im having. Spring was too cold to pull foundation. Once the weather got warm the nectar flow was strong and the brood comb got back filled. Most of my hives that swarmed had cells on the face too. Riverratt it's interesting that the bees would supercede the queen due to lack of brood area. I had never thought of that before. Sort of like it's the queens fault but the problem was created by workers storing too much in the brood area.

    Im curious about the population. Does it look like they swarmed?

    JoeMcc
    "Slow Down and Taste the Vanilla" - My Grandma

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Darrington, WA, USA
    Posts
    544

    Default

    Riverratt.....

    after reading my own post... will the bees kill the old queen when they supersede her or do they let the queens fight it out?

    JoeMcc
    "Slow Down and Taste the Vanilla" - My Grandma

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,336

    Default

    The bees are well on their way to resolving their problem. I would let them. A bought and banked queen may take longer to start laying than the ones from the cells they have already started. A bought queen may be rejected anyway, and the quality of bought queens has deterioated in recent years greatly. I trust the bees more.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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