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Thread: Queen cups

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Rockford, IL
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    Default Queen cups

    I have what I've been told are queen cups on a frame in my new hive. There are 5 I believe. One is capped, and the other 4 have larva in them. This is a queenless nuc, so I am hopeful that this is a sign they are trying to make a queen. Does that sound reasonable, or do these look like they may be drones. My concern is they appear to be pretty small for a queen. 20140612_172215.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Queen cups

    I would not describe any of them as "cups". Cups, to me, means they have no eggs or larvae in them. Queen cells have larvae. One of your queen cells is capped. One I can see a larvae in... the rest I assume also have larvae. I would describe all of those as queen cells. All of them are emergency type cells in that they are build out from the surface of a brood comb. This means they float the larvae out on royal jelly to the mouth of the cell and then build the cup and then extend it down. It is bigger than you think.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
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    Rockford, IL
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    Default Re: Queen cups

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I would not describe any of them as "cups". Cups, to me, means they have no eggs or larvae in them. Queen cells have larvae. One of your queen cells is capped. One I can see a larvae in... the rest I assume also have larvae. I would describe all of those as queen cells. All of them are emergency type cells in that they are build out from the surface of a brood comb. This means they float the larvae out on royal jelly to the mouth of the cell and then build the cup and then extend it down. It is bigger than you think.
    They all have larva in them. So the capped one will likely emerge first and tear apart the others?

  4. #4
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    Apr 2014
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    Ashtabula, OH
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    Default Re: Queen cups

    If you want more bees setup a split, transplant one of the ripe queen cells. The one shown can be cut out and put into a drawn comb. A three frame nuc would work fine. Also if you have friends with hive, they may need a queen.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Queen cups

    Quote Originally Posted by tomkat View Post
    If you want more bees setup a split, transplant one of the ripe queen cells. The one shown can be cut out and put into a drawn comb. A three frame nuc would work fine. Also if you have friends with hive, they may need a queen.
    This is in lieu of a full split. I want to start another colony, but without sacrificing too many bees in my main hive.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Queen cups

    > So the capped one will likely emerge first and tear apart the others?

    I wouldn't call it a foregone conclusion, but that is most likely.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
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    Aug 2013
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    Rockford, IL
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    Default Re: Queen cups

    I did an inspection today and did not find any eggs or larva. The cells were torn apart. I did not find the queen but I blame that on inexperience as much as anything. At what point should I be nervous that there is no brood? It is exactly 2 weeks since finding the queen cups and we have had many rainy days since to slow mating flights.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lumpkin County, GA
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    Default Re: Queen cups

    Don't get too nervous, too quickly. I would give it another 2 weeks before starting to get concerned.
    Even then, don't buy a queen but get a frame of eggs from another hive and put it in. If they don't create any queen cups in 3 days, your hive has a queen.
    I made the mistake of buying a queen too quickly only to have her balled and killed.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Rockford, IL
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    Default Re: Queen cups

    Thanks... I figured it was still too early to sweat... I'm not familiar enough with the timelines... Part of being a newbie.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    KC, MO, USA
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    Default Re: Queen cups

    Did you shake the bees from the frame before you took the picture?
    How many frames of brood do you have? Are they all spotty like this picture?
    Any pictures of the other frames? Was there any open brood in the hive?

    From the very limited picture this is what I see
    Few bees no where near enough (hopfully you shook them off)
    Shot gun brood pattern, some empty cells that have brown staining in the bottoms.
    Emergency cells with no open brood near them.

    It sounds like you have a new virgin when she is mated and laying keep an eye on your brood pattern.

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