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  1. #1
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    Sep 2012
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    Default Are these queen Cells?

    I went through my hives today and found these.
    Are they queen cells?

    odd cells.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    King County, Washington
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    83

    Default Re: Are these queen Cells?

    Well...at the very least...they are queen cups. Bees will build lots at this time of year. When they have eggs or larvae, I think at that point they become queen cells.

    Keep an eye on that hive..they are prepping to swarm

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    lee county, fl, usa
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    813

    Default Re: Are these queen Cells?

    Wouldn't it be too late at this point to prevent a swarm, as they seem to have made the decision and preparing now? Or would an artificial swarm work?
    Are the cells capped? The one on the left looks like it could be capped.
    "Rule Three of beekeeping...Never cease to feel wonder" Laurie R. King--
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Victoria, Australia
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    660

    Default Re: Are these queen Cells?

    They look too small, look just like cups. You should lift the frame up and see if you can see inside them.

    Also, were there many eggs and young larvae in the hive? If there were I wouldn't worry, especially if they are just empty cups.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Are these queen Cells?

    Will the laying queen on accidentally or intentionally lay inside an empty queen cup?
    Or the worker bees made them just in case for the fun of making them?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    26,121

    Default Re: Are these queen Cells?

    Quote Originally Posted by tristan36 View Post
    I went through my hives today and found these.
    Are they queen cells?

    odd cells.jpg
    Not yet queen cells. These are what are called queen cups. The begining of what may become queen cells. Being at the bottom of the frame/comb indicates they are thewre in preperation for swarming. Colonies make queen cups for future use.

    Do they have eggs in them?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  7. #7
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Are these queen Cells?

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Will the laying queen on accidentally or intentionally lay inside an empty queen cup?
    Or the worker bees made them just in case for the fun of making them?
    Yes, queens lay eggs in queen cups. By accident? I don't think so. But I can't say how much thought queens put into doing what they do, lay eggs.

    I find queen cups in hives all the time. Bees build them and tear them down and build them again. Maybe it's just in case they are needed. But these cells are specifically placed where swarm cells occur, the bottom edge of the comb/frame.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Are these queen Cells?

    should I do anything about them when I see them?

  9. #9
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Are these queen Cells?

    Well, you could cut them off w/ your hive tool or leave them be. I don't know about "should".
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Auburn, NY
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    469

    Default Re: Are these queen Cells?

    Is that two capped drone cells on the side?? (NOT the ones on the bottom..)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Are these queen Cells?

    Tristan, when you see them, you need to check to see if anything is in it. If it's empty, you can remove them if you want, I don't usually bother. Those look pretty small, I'd be surprised to find anything in them.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Default Re: Are these queen Cells?

    Thanks for the help. Going to go and take another look today.

  13. #13
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    Dec 2012
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    Default Re: Are these queen Cells?

    My hive have plenty of those now. Each hive will have 3 of them.
    Just for the fun of it I tear one out yesterday to see if they will rebuild it again. Or might start a new one somewhere else
    on the combs. It is fun to see what they do afterward. Time to learn, learn and learn some more.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Laurel Hill, Florida, USA
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    Default Re: Are these queen Cells?

    In order for hive to swarm a large portion of the hive must be in agreement so to say. If they are not, a queen will lay eggs in a queen cup only to be destroyed by workers. If they are in agreement, the egg hatches. At this point it is very hard to convince them not to swarm. In other words, if a queen cup has eggs, dont worry, simple swarm prevention techniques will suffice. If it has larvae i would split the hive.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Spokane, Washington USA
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    21

    Default Re: Are these queen Cells?

    Quote Originally Posted by tristan36 View Post
    should I do anything about them when I see them?
    Cups on the bottom of the frame like that I will typically crush or slash with my hive tool. Seems to prevent swarming.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Are these queen Cells?

    One observation, the queen cell cups do have new wax on them & appear recently worked. Bit of a leap without knowing anything else about the hive, but based on the pic, my guess is the bees are starting to think about a swarm at some point.

    If you want to split it, go ahead anytime. (Subject to all the things you have not said about the hive, ie, bee numbers, environment etc).
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    DFW area, TX, USA
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    Default Re: Are these queen Cells?

    I've seen many of these queen cups over time and have ignored them. In my experience, its a rare thing not tohave at lease one cup in waiting. Reading what Oldtimer and Mark say gives me pause after seeing close to two dozen queen cups in a very strong hive yesterday. In the case of this hive however, the brood nest is open and the reserves have been turned into bees (no reserves to speak of remaining) with a small flow going on. I'm not expecting them to swarm. I was showing this hive to a second year beekeeper....I told him that with dry cells, there was nothing to worry about. That hive does not have adequate stores for swarming right now, will keep an eye out. :fingers crossed:
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Default Re: Are these queen Cells?

    I really appreciate the added information. Reading the discussion and comments are very helpful in increasing my understanding of what makes the bees tick.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Manning, SC
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    Default Re: Are these queen Cells?

    Bees don't tick, they buzz!
    http://OxaVap.com
    Your source for Oxalic Acid Vaporizers

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