does a queen cup in a tiny hived swarm mean anything?
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  1. #1
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    Jun 2016
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    Question does a queen cup in a tiny hived swarm mean anything?

    I hived a tiny swarm a few weeks ago [in a 10-frame box]. Checked it a week back; minimal done. Basically, just a little comb drawn in 1 frame.
    Today I checked again; a tiny bit more comb added to 2 other frames, and a queen cup on the bigger comb. I didn't bother to check for a queen (had just seen another swarm above my house when I got home this a.m. -- it had to have come from 1 of my 2 big hives -- so I temporarily lost interest in bees).

    Wondering: is there a chance the bees will make anything of the cell? If there's no queen, would they have done a cell in the1st place? Or is it something they just do, even if there's no queen?

    For what it's worth, I added a frame feeder with 0.5 gal syrup to a 5-frame nuc, and placed the 3 best frames of the bait hive into the nuc. Maybe I should take a chance and place a couple of frames of brood (with fresh eggs) into the nuc, along with a few shakes of nurse bees? Or maybe just say to hell with it? My experience last year: with 3 small swarms, they all failed -- even when I added brood frames and lots of nurses.

    Signed: deflated with beekeeping (for now, anyway) .....

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: does a queen cup in a tiny hived swarm mean anything?

    Queen cups with no larvae mean nothing.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  4. #3
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: does a queen cup in a tiny hived swarm mean anything?

    Mitch, even my laying worker hive made a queen cup. Not that they could ever produce a queen. At this point, I see no harm in giving the swarm a frame of brood and a shake of bees. Of more concern is what caused one of your other hives to swarm?
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Murfreesboro, TN (Rutherford Co)
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    Default Re: does a queen cup in a tiny hived swarm mean anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Mitch, even my laying worker hive made a queen cup. Not that they could ever produce a queen. At this point, I see no harm in giving the swarm a frame of brood and a shake of bees. Of more concern is what caused one of your other hives to swarm?
    I've gotta get better at swarm control. I guess that's the 201 class. 101 beeing getting them to live through winter. Last year I was home off work after hip surgery and was able to catch 3 swarms from my hives. Now this year, the 1 hive I didn't inspect (because it showed the least activity at entrance) was the first to swarm lol.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: does a queen cup in a tiny hived swarm mean anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Mitch, even my laying worker hive made a queen cup. Not that they could ever produce a queen. At this point, I see no harm in giving the swarm a frame of brood and a shake of bees. Of more concern is what caused one of your other hives to swarm?
    Howdy, JW -- I wish I knew the reason. The hive made it through the winter with no problem. I've seen almost no SHBs in it, and I treated with OAD back in late Feb or so. Maybe population? I didn't notice major numbers in late winter from the outside, but when I inspected the hive (a deep and 3 mediums), it was packed with bees. Maybe they felt cramped and decided -- even then? -- to break up the gang. Beats me ....

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Edgefield County, South Carolina
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    1,019

    Default Re: does a queen cup in a tiny hived swarm mean anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by mlanden View Post
    I hived a tiny swarm a few weeks ago [in a 10-frame box]. Checked it a week back; minimal done. Basically, just a little comb drawn in 1 frame.
    So a few weeks ago you hived a small swarm in a 10 frame box and no feed? Am I reading this correctly?
    sc-bee

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Default Re: does a queen cup in a tiny hived swarm mean anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by sc-bee View Post
    So a few weeks ago you hived a small swarm in a 10 frame box and no feed? Am I reading this correctly?
    Maybe more correct to state I enticed a small swarm to move into a bait box (of 10 frames) a couple of weeks ago. There was no feeder in it at the time, naturally. When I checked the bait box (after moving it to its permanent locale) a week ago, it hadn't done much of anything. I moved 3 frames of the box into a nuc and put the feeder in there with them. That's the sequence ....

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