Package Bees Quick to Make a Queen Cell
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  1. #1
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    Jun 2017
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    New Boston, New Hampshire, USA
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    Default Package Bees Quick to Make a Queen Cell

    Installed 3lb Carniolan package last Sunday. I used hive frames from a langstroth, 10 frame deadout. Also included were 2 frames of honey for food. Some of the deadout frames had pollen. I examined the hive this evening and discovered that the queen had been released. Also observed eggs but unable to identify queen. No capped brood. Forager bees were bringing in pollen. However, I noticed a queen cell, located in the middle of a frame, that was nearly capped. The cell was located on a frame adjacent to the queen cage. The cell was inches from the queen cage. The cell was removed, and I located an egg inside. The egg did not seem to be sitting in royal jelly. The bottom of the cell was glossy but not wet. No other queen cells. See pics:

    Queen2.jpg

    QueenCell.jpg

    Thoughts? Should I be concerned about supersedure or is it that the workers had constructed a cell for emergency purposes and the queen happened to lay an egg in it?
    Last edited by keithdiaz; 04-13-2018 at 05:31 PM. Reason: added photo

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    Yakima Co, WA, USA
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    Default Re: Package Bees Quick to Make a Queen Cell

    Following. I thought it was best practice to let them supersede in this case? I have no experience with this but want to learn more.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Package Bees Quick to Make a Queen Cell

    Quote Originally Posted by canadiyank View Post
    Following. I thought it was best practice to let them supersede in this case? I have no experience with this but want to learn more.
    You may have a good point. If a true supersedure was intended maybe it would be better to kill the queen and buy a new one as I do not have other hives to supply the number of drones needed to mate a virgin queen. Moreover, the weather here in New Hampshire is not so great.

  5. #4
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    Aug 2013
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    Isle of Wight, VA
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    Default Re: Package Bees Quick to Make a Queen Cell

    package bees frequently supercede their given queen due to a perceived imbalance in the new hive that they blame on the queen. However, it is very difficult for a package of bees to wait the 30 days to make a new queen and have her laying as the workers' time is limited. Was the original queen marked so you can find her more easily? I'd look again for her and if she is not found, buy a mated queen.

  6. #5
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    May 2012
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    DFW area, TX, USA
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    Thumbs Up Re: Package Bees Quick to Make a Queen Cell

    Quote Originally Posted by canadiyank View Post
    ...I thought it was best practice to let them supersede in this case?...
    I agree with this thought.
    ...We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are...

  7. #6
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    Jun 2017
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    Default

    Ruthiesbees - Queen was not marked. I’ll take a look tomorrow to see if I can find her. If I find the queen, would it be best to leave things as they are?

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Package Bees Quick to Make a Queen Cell

    If your package was like every that I've seen more than enough drones for mating was included. Most of the time they will settle down, I'm convinced they have completed the superedure successfully when I would not have believed it was possible.
    At a week into it, stay out of it.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Package Bees Quick to Make a Queen Cell

    Quote Originally Posted by keithdiaz View Post
    Ruthiesbees - Queen was not marked. I’ll take a look tomorrow to see if I can find her. If I find the queen, would it be best to leave things as they are?
    If you find the queen and you have already torn down the queen cells, leave things as they are. If there are still queen cells, then you need to decide what to do before a new queen emerges and kills the old one, although some times the bees will remove the supercedure cells before they emerge. Othertimes, they know the queen is a bum and they know to replace her. In a functioning hive, if the bees decide to replace their queen, I let them. Packages are a bit different since they don't have a full compliment of emerging bees, etc.

  10. #9
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    Jun 2017
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    New Boston, New Hampshire, USA
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    Default

    Ruthiesbees- No other queen cells. I’ll look for the queen tomorrow. Hopefully the queen is alive and the nurse bees prematurely panicked thinking there weren’t enough eggs. The package was installed only 5 days ago and one would guess the queen was released a few days later. There was 1 queen cell only and it had no royal jelly in it and the cell was nearly capped.
    Last edited by keithdiaz; 04-13-2018 at 08:49 PM.

  11. #10
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    Mar 2017
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    Mercer, NJ, USA
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    Default Re: Package Bees Quick to Make a Queen Cell

    I have the same issue, but in my case the package queen is laying. I have a single capped queen cell (Supercedure) and brood of all ages. (I can't see eggs because of my eyes, but can see tiny larvae.

    I was considering removing the current queen, a few days prior to the new queen emerging, and putting her in a walk-away split I made this week. I would use a queen cage & marshmallow to introduce her to the new hive. Does this sound like a good idea or should I just let things play out in the hive?
    "Half a bee, philosophically, must ipso facto, half not be." -- Monty Python

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Lincolnton, NC
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    Default Re: Package Bees Quick to Make a Queen Cell

    To me it sounds like a great idea. The package queen may be great, but she is probably not related to the bees, and they want one of their own genetics.
    I would do it ASAP. The bees could get rid of her at any time.
    Lawrence Heafner
    15 hives; 17 years; TF for 12; Zone 7B

  13. #12
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    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    Default Re: Package Bees Quick to Make a Queen Cell

    This week is kind of vague. Means they have probably started their own cells. Getting them to accept her may be a challenge.

    Do not know what you have for resources but you might make a new mating split with the cell. If she mates and looks good then you can decide which queen you like best.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

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