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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    594

    Default Queen cells in two of my three hives

    These are 10-frame deep hives that started as 5-frame nucs. Two of the three have grown at a rate that i think to be good. the third is growing, but much more slowly. last week i added another deep to both of the strong hives and check over the frames and found all to be in order, with the exception of plenty of burr comb on the bottom bars, but it doesn't bother me much, so i just left it alone. Today i checked the hives again and found that both of the strong hives have queen cells with larvae in them. 3 or 4 per hive located on/near the bottom bar. I don't really WANT them to swarm, but i suppose if they do, thats great for mother nature and i won't be terribly saddened. I'm not into bees for a career or any economic gains. Its just a hobby and to help out my garden. Sure, I'd like some honey out of the deal, but a quart or two would be plenty to keep me happy, and in the first year, i don't even expect that much.

    I have been feeding them continuously with miller style feeders that i made, and i suspect this is the reason that these young hives are wanting to swarm. they think there is plentiful food, so why not procreate. am i correct in this line of thought?

    Though this is my first year beekeeping, and thus I'm not looking to increase my hive count at all, I think I may try to split the strongest hive simply to avoid losing the bees. I would then recombine at a later date. I'm assuming it is best to do this when the queen cells have been capped.

    So, if you have any thoughts and/or recommendations, I'd appreciate the input.

    --Kris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,141

    Default Re: Queen cells in two of my three hives

    I would recommend that you at least make up a nuc or two with some of the frames that have cells, or with the queen if you can find her. Lots of reasons - but especially because not 100% of cells successfully become laying queens. So with just a little bad luck you could lose hives to the process, and a nuc or two make good insurance. Plus it's just fun.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,839

    Default Re: Queen cells in two of my three hives

    With just three or four cells, they might just be supercedure cells to replace the queens, but hey, they might swarm too. I would do as David LaFerney said, especially the fun part!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,974

    Default Re: Queen cells in two of my three hives

    You probably fed too much and they backfilled a lot of the brood area or maybe just a lot of pollen coming in. If the hives are strong, checkerboard them using the second box when you put it on next time. I'd pull a nuc from each hive like David says, probably pull the queens out for the nucs and knock the cell counts down to 2 in each hive.

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