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Emergency Queen Cup despite productive queen?

1634 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Mbalboa

First year beekeeper here. My hive seems to be finally getting on it's feet and yesterday I found a queen cup. I haven't opened this hive for two weeks, so I'm not sure if it's new or old. It didn't seem to have anything inside it, but it was a bit overcast so I can't be sure. There's a link below that should show some pictures I took of the hive. I found the queen and she seems to be doing a really great job (not that I have anything to compare her to). There are 4-5 frames front and back of capped brood. I did not complete a full inspection because the bees in the lower deep were starting to get a little testy. I wonder if it's because the queen was in the top box and I took it off. I also noticed them fanning quite a bit, so I cut things short rather than agitate them further. Not knowing what to do, I thought I might buy myself a little time by removing the cup, so I did. I'm sure they'll make another if that's what they decide they want. What should I do? Is this normal? Is it common to build queen cups and not use them?

Some other observations and thoughts: I added ten PF120s two weeks ago. Other than one side of one frame in the lower box and the one frame shown with the queen cup, they have not drawn the plastic frames out at all. They've basically drawn out all the foundation first, which I guess is to be expected. There's almost no pollen, despite tons of capped brood. I did not notice much larval stage brood, though I did see a few eggs. To be honest, I stopped looking for eggs when I found the queen. Could they have slowed her down because of the lack of pollen? Some of the pictures also show a little bit of weird capping along the top bar. I'm not sure why it looks a little dark and not like the rest of the cappings.

Some background on this hive: It was started in April from a package. The package queen was a drone layer and was replaced after about a month (end of may). The second hive body was added two weeks ago. There are about 8-10 framed of bees at mid-day.

Please let me know if the link below doesn't work and I'll try and post some pictures directly.
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Hives build queen cups just because. You have nothing to be concerned with until there is an egg, larvae, or royal jelly. They will build them and sometimes turn around and tear them down only to build them in another spot.
Every week my observation hive has a queen cup in a new location, and one that has been in the same place for months. I know it is dry runs because I see the queen almost daily, she is hard at it and lays a super pattern. Some bees particularly Russians just seem to like to build them.
Thanks very much to you both for the reassurance.
your doing a great job RELAX....let it BEEEEEEEe
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