Queen cells in a cut out.
I did a cut out yesterday. The householder said they swarmed a few days before, but the cavity was still crammed full of bees.
While I was cutting out the combs with brood I found lots of queen cells, maybe 30. I didn't want to destroy them because I had no way of knowing whether there was a queen, or whether I'd damaged the queen cells I transferred to the new hive. They were pretty aggressive.
I'm hoping that if there is a queen they will destroy the other queen cells now that they have more room and will establish themselves in the box. If there was no queen they have the chance to accept a new one.
What do other people do in a situation like this? To make it more awkward the owner is just starting beekeeping and so is keeping them. I'm hoping I haven't left her with a big problem.
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