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Discussion Starter #1
I was in my hives yesterday in the 100 degree weather. In one of my strong hives, I saw tons of swarm cells. It doesn't seem to matter how many boxes or how soon I put them on, I just have that luck. Anyway, in a desperate attempt to keep them from swarming, I split the hive into three hives. I thought I remembered reading on this forum that it might help. But maybe I was supposed to kill the queen too? Regardless, it was too hot to look for her, so I just split them.

Another question. Are larger queen cells necessarily better? There were some HUGE ones in there.
 

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You don't have to kill the queen but if you want to create an "artificial swarm" you should move the queen to one of the new hives rather than leave her in the old hive with the swarm cells and in the old location. Removing the queen and a good part of the bee population but leaving some queen cells behind is what will make the remaining bees think that the primary swarm has already left and they have the extra space and resources they need.

If you split into three, obviously the queen can only be in one place. Ideally you would have left her in a new hive/location with no queen cells and left the other two with some queen cells in each.

Don't think (but don't really know) that the size of the queen cell really counts for much.
 

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I saw a queen cell last week in a commercial operation that was probably 2 1/2 inches long. It was on very old combs. The commercial beekeeper told me that sometimes the bees keep drawing a cell longer and longer to get it completely outside the old combs.

IIRC, queen larvae sometimes doesn't get fed as good in cells that are more L shaped coming out of the cell. Some royal jelly sits in the back of the cell, and the queen larva can't get to it. Cells drawn perfectly straight down from the bottom of the comb get fed better.

Drawing longer cells may be a way for the bees to make sure the queen larvae is able to be fed better by being able to access all the royal jelly.

And maybe long queen cells are nothing more than the bees just reading the blueprints wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info guys. Very interesting.
 
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