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Discussion Starter #1
I have a hive from a cutout early this spring. They are going strong and have filled two deeps with open cells, stores and brood. The queen has plenty of area to lay but I noticed queen cups today on an newly drawn frame near the outer edge of the top deep. The frame the cups are on are nearly devoid of brood and only a handful of eggs, the queen was on a frame next door. Do the queen cups necessarily suggest they are going to swarm? There are four cups located between the middle and lower part of the frame. They appeared empty.
 

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some bees just always carry queen cups
 

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It depends on context. A hive that is preparing to swarm will often build queen cups along the bottoms of frames. So, if it is May 1 and I find rows of cups along the bottoms of frames in a strong hive - that's a sign of swarminess. When I spot an occasional cup in an average hive a month later I don't worry too much. I still look at them though.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Beautiful, thanks everyone, the queen has plenty of lay space but the cups still had me concerned.
 
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