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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    4

    Default Capped Queen Cells One Week After Installing Nuc

    I am new to beekeeping and installed my first nuc last weekend. I have been concerned about mites so I opened the hive up this morning for the first proper inspection.

    The Good:
    I saw eggs, larvae, and capped brood
    I saw lots of bees; certainly more than I installed
    I saw comb being drawn out on the new frames/foundation

    The Bad:
    I did not see my marked queen (which I did see during the installation)
    I saw 2 capped queen cells

    I'm not really sure how to proceed. Do I reenter the hive, find the marked queen, and destroy the capped queen cells? If I absolutely cannot find the marked queen, I suppose I'll contact the nuc supplier about getting another queen. Any advice for a beginner?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Capped Queen Cells One Week After Installing Nuc

    Unfortunately, many nucs are now being sold with "package queens" meaning that the queen & the bees/brood *may* have come from different hives. Sometimes you'll end up with a "dud" queen that the girls will decide to quickly supercede, just like with a package, or even a "bought" queen. If it were my hive, I'd consider the 2 queen cells to be 1 replacement queen for the marked one, and let the bees handle the bees' business while I laid back & dreamt of MY business (you know, stealing all their hard-won honey later)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    320

    Default Re: Capped Queen Cells One Week After Installing Nuc

    It is interesting that you have capped queen cells because it takes 8 days from egg laying to capping, meaning that your nuc had decided to supercede her before you got it. Or possibly she was injured when you installed her, and they are concerned about her. New queens take a couple of weeks to "ramp up" to full pheremone and egg laying capacity, and in the interim the bees might think she is a dud. Sometimes they will start replacement, then stop and tear down the cells if they decide the queen is ok. With eggs, you know your queen was there and laying no more than 3 days ago. But they seem to know best, so it's probably best to let them do what they've been doing for thousands of years.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
    Posts
    372

    Default Re: Capped Queen Cells One Week After Installing Nuc

    I know I felt the same way, and I decided to destroy the cells because I didn't want to deal with swarming yet. There were 6 cells 2 weeks after I got them. Destroyed them and they made 4 more. I destroyed them and they didn't make any more and the queen did great and had 8 mediums full of bees the first year. So they might not scents her yet, or they might want to swarm already, but whatever you choose it will probably work out. Another option is to split them and see if you can get two hives out of it. This is a bad option because they will be very weak, but an option.
    Disclaimer: I know enough to know I don't know anything yet.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,306

    Default Re: Capped Queen Cells One Week After Installing Nuc

    Those cells were in development when you installed, as Nancy pointed out. Supersedure is NORMAL for 1st year colonies. And they will often terminate old Momma before the process times out. Relax and enjoy.

    Walt
    Last edited by wcubed; 04-21-2013 at 10:48 AM. Reason: addition

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Capped Queen Cells One Week After Installing Nuc

    I would normally have no problem letting them supersede the queen, but I live in an area where I've been advised to not let that happen because of AHB presence. I also paid more for this nuc because I wanted the genetics of the queen... I guess I'm going to contact the nuc seller and see what they suggest.

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