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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Lees summit, missouri, USA
    Posts
    55

    Question How many Queen cells?

    I'm in the KC Missouri area. I performed an artificial swarm 7 days ago. I inspected the queen less hive today and observed 8-10 queen cells. Question....should I leave all the queen cells or reduce the number down to 2? How do I determine which queen cells to keep?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Jacksonville, NC
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: How many Queen cells?

    If your queen less hive is still very populous, I would leave no more than 2 maybe -3 cells.
    As far as which ones to keep...I would keep two of them on the same frame...or in close proximity. The rest, you can take out and start some nucs. these swarm queens are great.
    If you leave more of them in place, and the hive is strong in bees, they will swarm with possible multiple swarms, all headed by 1,2, 3 or more virgins.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Lees summit, missouri, USA
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: How many Queen cells?

    What your saying is the first queen out won't kill the rest of queens?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,118

    Default Re: How many Queen cells?

    If the hive is big and strong, and the cells are widely separated then often she won't. Natures way of hedging a bet.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Lees summit, missouri, USA
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: How many Queen cells?

    Ok thanks sounds like I need to get back in there and get rid of all but two.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,115

    Default Re: How many Queen cells?

    Bees know what's to say the ones you decide to keep "Fail" ?
    I'd let them work it out
    The time too remove IMHO would be to use for making more splits
    Then I would add the cells to them

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,872

    Default Re: How many Queen cells?

    You can try to keep them all and post an ads on CL to see who want some. Maybe half price each. I'm sure others are looking for them in this early spring to requeen a loss hive.
    It is hard to determine which qc to keep because inside we cannot see, good or bad. Only after hatching that we can see which one is bigger and fatter to keep. So if you take them out now you are losing some good queens. The bees will know which one to keep that sometimes they will destroy the bad one to keep the good ones too.
    The best way is to keep them all if you can with some home made mini queen cells holding cages. This way you can save them all and choose the best one you like to keep.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,958

    Default Re: How many Queen cells?

    I would not cut any of those cells out. It's (almost) never a good idea.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,118

    Default Re: How many Queen cells?

    I disagree - it is a good idea to have some backup queens just in case so use some of those frames with cells on them to start a few nucs, but if you have a hive that is full of swarm cells and you don't get them out of there it almost surely will swarm. And it might swarm multiple times and dwindle to death.

    If you have some queens in nucs as backups and you cut down excess cells what is the worst thing that can happen? They were superceding and go queenless for lack of cells - or - The strong hive swarms anyway and fails to requeen.

    Either way you can requeen your main hive with a backup queen - which you have.

    What is the best thing that could happen? You could make a good honey crop from a strong hive that does not swarm, get some more comb built to help next year, and also get a couple of nucs started on the side.

    What is the downside?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,958

    Default Re: How many Queen cells?

    This hive has already swarmed (he did it for them), so these are emergency cells. I wouldn't cut any of them out. Moving cells to nucs is fine since you can put them back if things don't work out. But cutting and destroying cells is not a good idea in my opinion. When I first started beekeeping I used to cut queen cells for swarm control. Looking back I know that I caused many more problems than I solved.

    Here we are talking about emergency cells and I think that the bees know best how to deal with the situation.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Default Re: How many Queen cells?

    I would leave the cells.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    DesAllemands, Lousiana
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: How many Queen cells?

    I only keep two or three cells in a hive. In my experience if the hive has too many cells it will put out after swarms and you will be left with a very week hive.

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