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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Auburn, NY
    Posts
    485

    Default What do you all think of this situation

    Kind of weird situation in my hives. Here's the story. 2 weeks ago I found four or five queen cells in one hive on the bottom of the frames. Taking frames out ripped open or otherwise damaged every queen cell I found. I split anyway and tried to do a walkaway. After the split my last hive I found a nice frame with young larvae and I suspected eggs, though I can't ever see them. I stuck in the split, not the original hive, thinking maybe the queen was in the original. Fast forward to about a week and half later. Opened up original hive. No larvae to be found. Capped cells, some drone, some not drone. No new larva. Opened up the split. The frame I had stuck in there had maybe 8 capped queen cells or more, some larvae on that frame only. No larvae anywhere else. Capped brood was around however. I made the judgement call that the larva on the frame meant a queen was present. Also the number of cells told me the queens were not supercedure cells. I moved The frame into the original hive thinking that was queen less and the split had the queen. Looking for verification if my call seems right. Also.... Can I remove say two cells and put them in the split, just in case?? Do I just scrape off cells and push onto a new frame?? I know I have almost no time to do this as they were all capped. Suggestions?? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    271

    Default Re: What do you all think of this situation

    Probably wouldn't hurt anything. If there is a queen, the bees will tear down the queen cells probably. If no queen there the queen cells will give you a good chance to make it queen right. When you cut out the cells give yourself plenty of comb to handle so the queen inside doesn't get injured. I'm assuming all the cells are on the same frame so you need to move only the cells. Push the "handle" of comb onto a frame in the middle of the hive. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    241

    Default Re: What do you all think of this situation

    "Suggestions??"
    Look for eggs or more larvae in the split from which you removed the frame. If there are none and if the period of "about a week and a half" was nine days or less, I suspect that the original queen swarmed just before you ripped open the queen cells and that the open larvae that you saw on the frame with the capped queen cells came from eggs that had just been laid by the queen in the hive from which you took that frame. In other words, you may well have no queen in either split until the new queen emerges. The developing wings of queens in cells that are soon to emerge are very delicate. So you risk injuring the wings (and preventing a successful mating flight) if you remove or work with that frame at this stage. In other words, you have a mess. You can hope for the best, buy a queen, or add a frame of eggs and very young larvae to the split from which you took the capped queen cells. I would do the latter. I hope that this turns out well for you. This is animal husbandry, and they are just bees. Cheers.
    Aren't they supposed to be the ones feeding me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Auburn, NY
    Posts
    485

    Default Re: What do you all think of this situation

    I got into the hives today. I was ready to remove a few queen cells and press gently onto another frame. To my dismay, every cell had been opened or destroyed, I think. One mature cell had a bee in it still, a very small opening in the bottom. It lookd like a worker was in cleaning it out. Or.. A queen was still there. I'm guessing worker as it was clearly the backside of a bee sticking out.

    So.. I took this cell stuffed it in the split on a frame and took two frames from my booming hive. Both had various stages of larva and capped brood. They should be able to make a new queen if needed and have a boost of young bees.

    Bottom line original must be queen right, split has 2 frames to make a queen from, if not queen right. This will bring me up to 4 hives. I hope my split makes it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,465

    Default Re: What do you all think of this situation

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan. NY View Post
    2 weeks ago I found four or five queen cells in one hive on the bottom of the frames. Taking frames out ripped open or otherwise damaged every queen cell I found. I split anyway and tried to do a walkaway. After the split my last hive I found a nice frame with young larvae and I suspected eggs, though I can't ever see them.
    If you can't see eggs why are you killing queen cells? There might not be any eggs if they are building queen cells.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,096

    Default Re: What do you all think of this situation

    > If you can't see eggs why are you killing queen cells?

    Ace, bees use larva to raise queens, not eggs. Eggs hatch into larva 3.5 days after they are laid. If there are young larva that are 4 days old (counting from the egg being laid), the bee will use those to raise queens, if all the bees have is eggs, they have to wait for them to develop into larva before the 'queen raising' feeding regimen starts.

    The larvae that make a good queen are worker eggs that just hatched which happens on day 3 1/2 from the day the egg was layed. On day 8 (for large cell) or day 7 (for natural sized cells) the cell will be capped.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesbasics.htm

    Aside from that, the way I read Dan.NY's post was that he did not intentionally destroy those queen cells, it was an inadvertent consequence of removing the frame.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

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