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  1. #1
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    Jan 2013
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    Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
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    Question This post went through beekeeping 101 & unfortunately only got 1 reply

    Does the presence of queen cups support a swarming enviroment in the hive & should queen cups be removed or left alone & is it normal for bees to put Royal Jelly in a queen cup as a preparation "in-case" it is needed?

    Also, should queen cells be destroyed during inspections?

    A Beekeeper once told me to remove them during inspections after confirming the presence of the queen. But its starting to seem like that doesnt add up based on a few questions I've been asking... Please, let's hear some opinions!

    Thanks Everyone

  2. #2
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    Aug 2005
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    Washington County, Maine
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    Default Re: This post went through beekeeping 101 & unfortunately only got 1 reply

    Queen cups on there own are nothing to worry about. Queen cups full of Royal Jelly suggest that the cup will soon be used.

    Cutting Queen Cells is a potentially dangerous thing and should only be undertaken by a beekeeper who understands the biology of what is happening in the hive. For example if you cut a queen cell in early swarm season and take no action to keep the colony from swarming, you may very well end up with a queenless colony. Some beekeepers don't cut queen cells but rather move them and the adhering bees to a queen castle or nuc.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: This post went through beekeeping 101 & unfortunately only got 1 reply

    queen cups are small and dry when they start putting royal jelly into them it means they are drawing out those cups to make queencells with the purpose of either swarming or supercedure.

    Generally if preparing to swarm there will be many queen cells and they are often but not always located on along the bottom of the frame.

    If you only have one or maybe 2 it's generally a supercedure.

    In a hive preparing to swarm it is usually very full of bees brood and food and can get a bit testy when opened the queen is usually at least a year old.

    In supercedure the bees aren't so crowded and the queen is obviously failing with patchy brood and more drone cells scattered amongst the worker brood.

    Depending on whats happening in your hive and how you want to manage it will determine whether you destroy the cells or leave them.

    Obviously if it's supercedure cells you leave them. If it's swarm cells you can leave them and let the hive swarm you can get rid of them but if the hive is too far gone in it's swarm preperation it will still go or you could make a split utilising the best queencell and culling the rest.

    Removing queencells more often than not wont stop swarming.
    For the best results you need to split and weaken off the hive so it feels like it's swarmed already and the pressure comes off.

    But thats just my opinion and how we do it here

  4. #4
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    Jan 2013
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    Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: This post went through beekeeping 101 & unfortunately only got 1 reply

    I have about 6 swarm cells & a few superced. cells (prob. misplaced because brood is strong with perfect pattern) & fall is fast approaching so "splitting" doesn't sound like the best idea, they will never build up in time & this is only a double deep... I would make a Nuc but our winter here gets down to -40 celcius, they would never make it... Is there another course of action that would potentially alter the swarm behavior?

    (Newbee)

  5. #5
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    May 2010
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    Default Re: This post went through beekeeping 101 & unfortunately only got 1 reply

    You could do a split and then reunite. you dont need to keep it split.

    That way if it swarms you only lose 1/2 to a 1/3 of the bees you would have lost if you kept it together.

    If you successfully get a new mated queen in one or both of your units you can select the best one and sell or give away the other before uniting with paper.

    If you do split you need to make sure theres no queencells in the unit that has the laying queen in it

  6. #6
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    May 2010
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    Default Re: This post went through beekeeping 101 & unfortunately only got 1 reply

    Chances are by splitting you will stop the old queen from swarming you will get a new queen mated in your split then you can knock off the old girl and unite with a brand new queen with all the original stores etc still available.

  7. #7
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    Lincolnton, NC
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    Default Re: This post went through beekeeping 101 & unfortunately only got 1 reply

    I am definitely no expert but I want to add a few points: Since the brood pattern is great, the queen is not near failing. They must be wanting to swarm because the hive is overcrowded. Maybe too much feeding. What would happen if you added more room by adding another deep or shallow? If the hive is very overcrowded, would it have enough bees and honey to split in half and then add more room to each? Can you still feed any?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Oshkosh, Wisconsin
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    Default Re: This post went through beekeeping 101 & unfortunately only got 1 reply

    Quote Originally Posted by heaflaw View Post
    I am definitely no expert but I want to add a few points: Since the brood pattern is great, the queen is not near failing. They must be wanting to swarm because the hive is overcrowded. Maybe too much feeding. What would happen if you added more room by adding another deep or shallow? If the hive is very overcrowded, would it have enough bees and honey to split in half and then add more room to each? Can you still feed any?
    I have bee reading about hives that have three deeps for the Northern climates. This may be the best way for you to go at this point.

  9. #9
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    Dec 2010
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    hinesville ga usa
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    Default Re: This post went through beekeeping 101 & unfortunately only got 1 reply

    I am far south of you and this may or may not work. I would put on another box and do an equal split into the new box, put on a queen excluder under the new box ( does not matter where the queen is as long as open brood is in both brood areas) recombine later by taking the excluder out. You can do away with either queen, but I would leave both, there is a good chance they will tolerate each other for a good while and help in building up the population.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: This post went through beekeeping 101 & unfortunately only got 1 reply

    with an additional top entrance

  11. #11
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    Default Re: This post went through beekeeping 101 & unfortunately only got 1 reply

    I would suggest you strike all "nubbins"(started but dry cups), and hang up above an excluder all cells. We have seen cases where there where no apparent clues that the queen was failin, but she was. The hive top notation is "WTS", wants to swarm. The open frames removed wil give her more room and supress swarm tendencies. If she fails, you are covered. If she does not, well that is a good problem, deal with it then.

    Be careful, you are approaching the witching hour, when it is too late for them to recover from much. You are north of me, and out cut off point is coming soon.

    Crazy Roland

  12. #12
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    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: This post went through beekeeping 101 & unfortunately only got 1 reply

    The Witching Hour.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: This post went through beekeeping 101 & unfortunately only got 1 reply

    Thank You all 4 the advice, much appreciated...

    I went in today to do a split per frazzledfozzle's advice and my marked queen was gonzo, a new un-marked medium sized queen was roamin' around... I still did the split though, I took a very close look & I actually had 9 swarm cells & 3 superc. cells... Whatever colony needs these bees the most will get combined in about 5 weeks

  14. #14
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    May 2010
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    Default Re: This post went through beekeeping 101 & unfortunately only got 1 reply

    They are probably all swarmcells Yvesrow1 you dont get swarmcells and supercedure cells at the same time because they are two different responses to two different scenarios going on in the hive.

    Not that that matters right now.

    Just for next time a supercedure cell is a queencell usually only one but sometimes 2 they wont swarm in a supercedure situation.

    If your old queen has gone has your hive swarmed already?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: This post went through beekeeping 101 & unfortunately only got 1 reply

    The hive population didn't seem to have changed much, which confuses the hell out of me , but there was still a whole load of "capped" swarm cells & one capped one along the top of the frame which may also be a swarm cell. Either way you're right though, worst scenario I'll just reintegrate the split later, in the mean time I consider watching & learning fro this "golden", I am after all a first year beekeeper...

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