6 days ago I inspected a hive and found a high mite count, chalkbrood and an overall bad temperament which has been an issue all season. I decided to pinch the queen as I had raised an extra from one of my strong hives with good qualities. I returned about 4 hours later and gave them the caged queen, then went back in 3 days and released her. Today is day 6 and I went back again to confirm she was accepted. I saw plenty of eggs and young larvae, so she was accepted and has gotten to work, but there were also 2 capped emergency cells and one open queen cell with a larva in it. Any thoughts on why they would have continued making emergency queens when there is a young healthy queen present? I know some might suggest that perhaps the queen I gave them was poorly mated but the colony I removed her from looked great. Lots of nice brood, no obvious problems. Have any of you seen this in your bees?
Often, once a hive has invested in a queen cell they often finish it unless the new queen kills the one in the capped cell. It seem so in our. Early years we seldom introduced queens into hives with growing cells where the new queen hadn’t chewed out the side and killed the competition within a day or two. In the past few years we see more queens who seem to fail in this area. We like to first locate the active queen and then destroy any emerging cells. Many times if we don’t, a Virgin will hatch and she almost always, kills the active queen. With lower brood numbers you need to impact your issues as quickly as possible. You can impact both the mite and the chalkbrood with a Formic acid treatment. The Formic has a 97% mite kill, including in capped brood, over a 7 day period (ABJ study in the late 1990’s) and as chalkbrood is a fungal disease the increased acid in the beehive atmosphere will impact that as well. Good Luck!