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Thread: Queen Cups

  1. #1
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    Default Queen Cups

    I noticed a couple of queen cups in the middle of the frame (first picture). I didn't think much of them, but then noticed some shiny stuff in two queen cups on the bottom of a frame when I was looking at the pictures on my computer (second picture). It's hard to see in the small picture but there is a shiny jelly substance in the cups. Are they getting ready to swarm? What do I need to do? Thanks in advance...

    IMG_1643.jpg

    IMG_1646.jpg

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Queen Cups

    The ones on the bottom are swarm cells starting withing a very few days, they will be capped and a good portion of your bees will be going to live in a tree. I would take the queen if you can find her and a few frames of brood and bees and put them in a nuc box and let the bees hopefully think they have swarmed and raise those new cells into a queen. Search taranov swarm board or go to dave cushmans beekeeping site and read about a good not too complicated way of artificially swarming your bees. Bottom line, they will swarm if you do nothing.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Queen Cups

    To add to Vance's comments; As you get used to inspecting the hive check how much space there is for the queen to lay in. That frame appears to be filled with capped brood. If most of the others are filled with capped brood, larva, and pollen then swarming is likely.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Queen Cups

    Lovely. I started with 5 hives last year and this is the only hive I have left. The idea of simulating a swarm is a little overwhelming. I don't own a nuc box.

    How much time do I have? If I can't find the queen, does that mean they've already left? The population seemed pretty strong.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Queen Cups

    Well, I don't feel good about that at all.

    When I went to capture the queen, I pinched her with the edge of the cage. I immediately let off and she walked in. I watched her for a sec and she seemed to be moving around inside the cage ok.

    I moved over a couple of frames of brood, a couple of frames of honey and I didn't really have any frames I felt were loaded with pollen but I moved two.

    When I went to dump the contents of the cage in the new hive, I expected to see the bees walk in. Well, it seemed like everything went flying. I'm afraid the queen flew off right then and there.

    What did I do wrong? What's the worst case scenario? The six frames I moved over had bees, but do I need to add more? Do I need to feed either hive?

    Thanks for your help. I'm afraid I've ruined the last of my hives.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Queen Cups

    Also, when I spotted the queen she seemed to be walking around dropping eggs, even on the outside of the cells. Why?

  7. #7
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    lee county, fl, usa
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    Default Re: Queen Cups

    The bees left? They may come back, I had that happen with 2 new starter hives that had brood--within a day or two they came back. My situation wasn't exactly the same but it may happen that way for you as this was their home and you have the brood frames there. Keep us updated.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Queen Cups

    No, just the bees in the queen catcher and the immediate area. Also, I put on a reducer to the smallest opening.
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 04-01-2012 at 04:38 PM. Reason: UNQuote

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Queen Cups

    I put some 1:1 on the "swarm" hive. Should I feed the donor hive too?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Queen Cups

    How did this turn out? Did the 2nd hive settle in? My thoughts are that if the donor hive has honey and pollen you wouldn't need to feed. Do you have a flow on now?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Queen Cups

    I'm not sure how it's going. I went out yesterday and the activity from the donor hive has been greatly reduced. The activity at the split hive is near non-existent. I peaked underneath through the SBB and saw bees but not much flying.

    I'm trying to resist the urge to crack in to them until Sunday.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Queen Cups

    I think everything will be fine. You know that you have a queen cell in the donor hive so that hive will at least make it. If the old queen doesn't come back, then you can just recombine the hives and you are back to where you were. I only had my bees for about a month and I tried to split them since I say a queen cell. The queen never hatched so I put them back together and they are doing great.
    Disclaimer: I know enough to know I don't know anything yet.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Queen Cups

    Thanks for the encouragement.

    Do I need to be inspecting them more often than once/week right now?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Queen Cups

    I just checked them.

    The donor hive has a bunch of activity. Tons of bees coming and going.

    The split hive looks dead. I did open the cover and saw lots of bees on the frames. Why wouldn't the bees in the split hive be flying?

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Queen Cups

    Because they're mostly nurse bees from the capped brood you gave them. I'm willing to bet that there are some bees out foraging though. They don't just give up and quit being bees!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Queen Cups

    I hope others have answers because this is just a guess--could foragers have gone back to original hive and you have only nurse bees right now?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Queen Cups

    Quote Originally Posted by mbcpa View Post
    The donor hive has a bunch of activity. Tons of bees coming and going.
    The split hive looks dead. I did open the cover and saw lots of bees on the frames.
    As has already been said, you likely don't have many foragers in the split hive yet, mostly nurse bees. I think it might be a good idea, assuming they have enough bees in there to cover it, to give them a frame of fresh eggs/brood from the donor hive (if there are any in there yet), just in case.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Queen Cups

    Ok. I went back in the hives on Sunday. I did the split last Sunday.

    The donor hive looked good. Lots of bees. I also noticed closed queen cells. One thing that surprised me was the young larvae. See below pic. Are these larvae from the eggs that were laid last Sunday? I was originally concerned that the queen returned to the donor hive. I don't need to do anything with the queen cups, right?

    IMG_1667.jpg

    The split hive had decent population but I didn't see a queen. I did see eggs and larvae. I suppose the below larvae could just be from the previous Sunday eggs? How do I know if I have a laying worker?

    IMG_1673.jpg

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Queen Cups

    Quote Originally Posted by mbcpa View Post
    The donor hive looked good. Lots of bees. I also noticed closed queen cells. One thing that surprised me was the young larvae. See below pic. Are these larvae from the eggs that were laid last Sunday? I was originally concerned that the queen returned to the donor hive. I don't need to do anything with the queen cups, right?
    The queen cups should be fine; just try to resist the urge to "peek" in between when the queens emerge, and when the one who survives & mates starts laying...that's prob. the hardest part there.

    The split hive had decent population but I didn't see a queen. I did see eggs and larvae. I suppose the below larvae could just be from the previous Sunday eggs? How do I know if I have a laying worker?
    Laying worker hives don't develop in a week, and the pheromones from all that open brood will suppress any laying workers from becoming a problem while there's still open brood. Also, I saw what might have been some fresh/unhatched eggs in that 2nd picture (resolution was a little low to be more than about 60%-75% sure though); any way you look at it, with all that young brood around, if they didn't have a healthy adult queen, they would have started a few queen cells by now, so I wouldn't be at all worried yet. The queen's probably still in there & you just missed her during your inspection.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Queen Cups

    Quote Originally Posted by robherc View Post
    The queen cups should be fine; just try to resist the urge to "peek" in between when the queens emerge, and when the one who survives & mates starts laying...that's prob. the hardest part there.
    Can you elaborate? Are you saying I shouldn't inspect again in a week? What's the danger?

    thanks again for the help.

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