Not sure capped queen cells are really queen cells
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  1. #1
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    Default Not sure capped queen cells are really queen cells

    I did a walk away split on April 13. I put the queen into the hive I relocated into another spot in my bee yard. I left the remaining queen less part of the split in the original spot. The original hive did have a successful re queening. Today I looked into the split that I relocated into another spot in my bee yard with the queen to find no eggs or capped brood. I found 5 capped queen cells and some capped drone brood. My question is this: are these capped queen cells viable or just a laying worker thing gone wrong. Should I do something or let it be, no pun intended!

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Not sure capped queen cells are really queen cells

    If they capped the last of the queen's young larvae, then the cells should have queens.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  4. #3

    Default Re: Not sure capped queen cells are really queen cells

    If you see capped queen cells and no capped worker cells….then I’d guess that those queen cells are not viable.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Not sure capped queen cells are really queen cells

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    If you see capped queen cells and no capped worker cells….then I’d guess that those queen cells are not viable.
    So what is my next step? Put in a frame with eggs from another hive and destroy the existing capped queen cells, shake them out, or do a newspaper combine with another queen right nuc that is low in numbers after destroying the capped queen cells?

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Not sure capped queen cells are really queen cells

    Quote Originally Posted by Falconite View Post
    I did a walk away split on April 13. I put the queen into the hive I relocated into another spot in my bee yard. I left the remaining queen less part of the split in the original spot. The original hive did have a successful re queening. Today I looked into the split that I relocated into another spot in my bee yard with the queen to find no eggs or capped brood. I found 5 capped queen cells and some capped drone brood. My question is this: are these capped queen cells viable or just a laying worker thing gone wrong. Should I do something or let it be, no pun intended!

    You never said what happened to the queen in the split?

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Not sure capped queen cells are really queen cells

    It would seem a combine of some sort is in order. There are lots of options.

    Stories like this are why I switched to flyback splits but that is just personal preference.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Not sure capped queen cells are really queen cells

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve in PA View Post
    It would seem a combine of some sort is in order. There are lots of options.

    Stories like this are why I switched to flyback splits but that is just personal preference.
    Just curious why do you like fly back better? I did a split a couple days ago and today I found the queen outside the hive barely moving. She was in the split that I moved to a different spot in the yard. Just like was done here. Put her back in the hive and she crawled right down the frame not really sure what’s going on?

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Not sure capped queen cells are really queen cells

    Quote Originally Posted by Sickdog5 View Post
    You never said what happened to the queen in the split?
    2nd sentence of my original post. I put the queen into the split that I relocated to another spot in my bee yard. This is the hive that I am having problems with. No eggs, larvae, or capped worker brood, just capped queen cells and capped drones. I'm not very experienced and wonder what I should do with this hive.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Not sure capped queen cells are really queen cells

    Quote Originally Posted by Falconite View Post
    2nd sentence of my original post. I put the queen into the split that I relocated to another spot in my bee yard. This is the hive that I am having problems with. No eggs, larvae, or capped worker brood, just capped queen cells and capped drones. I'm not very experienced and wonder what I should do with this hive.
    Oh I am sorry I assumed because you had capped queen cells and no eggs or larva that they went queenless after the split. If you had capped queen cells or even charged queen cells which are queen cups with eggs in it when you split they probably already had their mind made up to swarm. You usually want to split before you have capped queen cells. Are there a lot less bees in the hive now? Personally I would leave it one of those queen cells will emerge she will then go and kill all the sister cells and she will fly out of hive and mate.

  11. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sickdog5 View Post

    Just curious why do you like fly back better?
    If I am going through the hassle of finding her I find it easier to leave her on a frame of eggs & brood in the original spot and fill the rest of the box with empties.

    The returning foragers take care of her and draw those frames in short order.

    The other box that is moved is jam-packed with young bees and resources. They will build a strong queen and recover quickly. Last year the 2 hives I did flybacks on gave a good honey harvest.

    My fly back split hives are stronger to build up than the walk away splits in my yard.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Not sure capped queen cells are really queen cells

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve in PA View Post
    If I am going through the hassle of finding her I find it easier to leave her on a frame of eggs & brood in the original spot and fill the rest of the box with empties.

    The returning foragers take care of her and draw those frames in short order.

    The other box that is moved is jam-packed with young bees and resources. They will build a strong queen and recover quickly. Last year the 2 hives I did flybacks on gave a good honey harvest.

    My fly back split hives are stronger to build up than the walk away splits in my yard.
    Funny I’ve had people tell me the exact opposite they like to move the queen to a new location with some young bees and let the parent colony make a new queen. They say the parent county will make us stronger queen,whatever. Did you see my post above about the queen I found out front of my split? Any idea what that might be about?

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Not sure capped queen cells are really queen cells

    Quote Originally Posted by Sickdog5 View Post
    Funny Iíve had people tell me the exact opposite they like to move the queen to a new location with some young bees and let the parent colony make a new queen.
    I didn't know there was another way of splitting a colony ...

    If you split a colony and place the queenless 'half' on a new stand, then that mini-colony is "up a creek without the proverbial paddle" - for it has neither foragers nor a laying queen, and will be a ripe target for robbers while a new queen is being created - which takes some 4 weeks from egg to laying. (unless the beekeeper provides a mature queen-cell, of course)

    If, on the other hand, the existing queen is included in the 'half' on the new stand, then - providing enough bees remain of course - some nurses will be elevated to forager status much earlier than usual, and with the queen on-board life will return to normal fairly soon - albeit with a smaller workforce for a while.

    In the other box - still on the original stand - there will be both the nurses which have remained together with the full workforce of foragers. Some of the foragers (the younger ones) have the potential of reverting to nursing functions should there be a need for those. All-in-all, that 'half' of the original colony remains a powerhouse, well able to create a new queen and defend itself until such time as she becomes fully functional.
    Without a queen, that 'half' of the colony will of course be set-back by around 4 weeks - that's the price to be paid by not engaging in the practice of queen-rearing ... and which is why beekeepers do it.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  14. #13

    Default Re: Not sure capped queen cells are really queen cells

    Quote Originally Posted by Sickdog5 View Post
    Personally I would leave it one of those queen cells will emerge she will then go and kill all the sister cells and she will fly out of hive and mate.
    The split is over a month old. Those queen cells didnít come with the split. There is no worker brood. How can the queen cells be viable? If the introduced queen laid any fertilized eggs, there would surely be worker brood as well as the queen cells. The queens would have emerged before the workers. I donít see any way that those queen cells can be viable.
    There is the possibility that the bees made an emergency queen and she hasnít begun to lay yet. Otherwise, unless Iím missing something, this colony is hopelessly queenless.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Not sure capped queen cells are really queen cells

    Quote Originally Posted by Sickdog5 View Post
    Funny I’ve had people tell me the exact opposite...
    I am coming to realize that a lot of beekeeping is personal preference. There are many ways to do a lot of things. Read and learn from others' methods before trying them and you can avoid lots of mistakes. I'm certainly no expert but just sharing what I have read and works best for me.

    In the meantime, you need to get that combine done.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Not sure capped queen cells are really queen cells

    No worker brood means there has not been a laying queen for 3 weeks.
    It is possible a new queen stung and killed the other cells and hasn't starting laying yet.

    But also possible you now have a laying worker and the Drones have been made into Queen/King cells. These type of cells look like Queen Cells but still have a Drone type cap.

    So either add a frame with eggs, or combine back to the original hive with a Queen Excluder between boxes.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Not sure capped queen cells are really queen cells

    I have fought a laying worker before and never had success re-queen-right'ng them. The only successful method I have had is to shake out the entire hive in front of another queen right hive and then perform a split off that same hive. If you give a laying worker hive a frame of eggs/open brood they will simply raise it and never draw queen cells as they feel they have a queen. If you introduce a new mated queen they are likely to kill her as they wont accept her.

    As for which half of the split the old queen goes into. I perfer to move the queen in the small half of the split. If you graft queens you'll know your cell builder colony has to be VERY strong in order to produce all the royal jelly needed. So the idea that the larger half of the hive is left to raise the new queen does make some sense, but technically it can be done either way (queen put in either half of the split)

    If your going to dabble in splits as a beginner you REALLY need to know your bee development cycle times down.
    You need to know this chart by heart

    From this site http://beespoke.info/2014/06/25/queen-rearing-timeline/

    So as a quick reminder for a queen cell 0-3 days egg - hatches - capped at 8/9 - emerges at 16. Should be mated and laying by 2 weeks after you see the chewed out cell.

    If your 5 weeks after you made your split and you still have no new eggs, then 99% of the time you have failed to queen successfully and need to peruse other options before they go laying worker and you wind up at the start of this comment. (the other option is a drone layer - remember that drones come from non-fertilized eggs)

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Not sure capped queen cells are really queen cells

    This part of the split had the original queen. It didn't need to re queen itself although I may have damaged her while making the split (one possibility I considered). Anyways being that there is no worker brood, would I be risking the queen if I tried a newspaper combine? As these could be eggs from a laying worker in the capped QC. I have a small nuc I made that isn't big enough to do much, but does have a laying queen. Risk the small nuc in a combine or dump them out? After my splits, a few nucs, and 2 swarms, I now have 23 hives and I am into my 8th year of beekeeping. Also I have downloaded Michael Bush's bee math from his website www.bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm . Thanks beemandan for noticing the timeline and I agree this hive is hopelessly queenless. I'm leaning toward the combine with the small nuc (maybe 3 full frames of bees).

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Not sure capped queen cells are really queen cells

    Yes you could do a combine. Put the Queenless spilt on top of the Queenright Nuc with a sheet of newspaper inbetween. Removing the "Queen" cells.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Not sure capped queen cells are really queen cells

    Go here and put April 13 in the date section. You aren't in too much trouble yet. Using that calendar as a guide, if you don't see larvae on Monday you need to do the combine.

    I started doing the screen combine someone on here wrote up last year and thought it worked really well on the 2 I had to recombine. Newspaper works too. Like I mentioned earlier, everything is personal preference.

    Update... It was FlowerPlanter that wrote up the screen combine. The only thing I do different is rotate the top hive box so the entrance is the opposite direction of the bottom. After I take out the screen in a week I rotate it back they share the same entrances. I use top and bottom entrances on mine.
    Last edited by Steve in PA; 05-17-2019 at 08:24 PM.

  21. #20

    Default Re: Not sure capped queen cells are really queen cells

    Give this nuc a very careful inspection before combining. If the original queen was damaged and the split had any eggs or young larvae they may have made an emergency queen. Before combining you want to be sure that isn't the case.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

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