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Discussion Starter #1
Hey there, on 5-27 I installed a 5 frame nuc of carnolians! I have been feeding since installation and Its rained 3 of the past 5 days. I was curious why there are so many queen cups and if this is typical? There seems to be a decent amount of honey, pollen and capped brood. Im new and basically curious if any of you more seasoned beeks see anything out of the ordinary !? Also I didnt spot my queen, which i was hoping to spot to feel a little more reassured.
Thanks for reading and sorry for this probably being a typical newb thread
 

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It looks like they might have been without a queen for quite awhile. Seems like not much open brood correct? Most cells seem filled with nectar.
 

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Stop feeding them, and give them a frame to draw wax on if you can. Check the cups, they might get used with all that nectar in most of the available cells, if not, tear them down if they're empty, probably remnants if that nuc requeened itself when it was made.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the advice it is very much appreciated.
I took down the feeder and was able to find the queen today which is in the first picture. That is also capped brood correct? or am i being mixed up?
I destroyed about 7 queen cells, 5 of which had larva in it. My only worry is that they were trying to supersede the queen and I stupidly destroyed the cells.
I didnt see any eggs or larva though.


On the positive side they seem to be drawing out new comb nicely. This is a decent speed for 6 days on foundation-less frames correct? IMG_0333.jpg IMG_0329.jpg IMG_0302.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ive been doing google searches and looking up pictures in my bee books. Im positive i saw capped brood. I should be using the search function more. Hopefully when I check back in a few days ill find some eggs and larva, Again thanks for the advice guys
 

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They seem to have made up their mind to replace the queen. Once the cups have larvae and eggs in them its sort of a done deal. I agree with others that you don't appear to have a lot of open brood and they seem to be back filling. Cutting out cells is not a huge deal because they will probably make more, but you are setting the bees back if the queen really does need to go. The bees usually know whats best. I don't know if you have much choice but to let them supersede or perhaps requeen, maybe those more experienced than me will weigh in.
 

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I had the exact very thing happen to but I didn't believe in my self enough to take quick action, I'm a newbie, but spend at least a half hour a day learning about bees, I didn't see one egg on my first inspection, that was on may 24, gave them 10 days, bees weren't building a queen cell, I never thought of the fact that they didn't have any eggs to start a new queen, ddaaahhh, so spent last week tracking down a queen, and she's on her way to me right now, no laying workers yet, I check every day. I worried about the bees doing the job for me, but was more concerned about the mortality rate of the bees till the queen was out and laying, I for requeening, thanks
randy
 

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PS, that is capped brood on pic 6 of 6, mine had it also, but it was put there buy the guy I bought the nuke from, don't know if I ever had a queen, or maybe a virgin and she flew and never came back, I do know it wasn't operator error, that's why I waited the 10 days
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So i believe im now too far past the point of them rearing their own new queen if in fact my queen isnt laying since they dont have any young eggs and i stupidly destroyed the queen cells.
My newb mistake was that i didnt understand the difference between the bees trying to supersede a queen by building queen cups and the warning signs of swarming being queen cells built on the bottom of the frames.

Hopefully a new beek learns from this rather than having to go through this themselves.

Anyways My plan is to inspect the hive for the next two-three days to verify im correct in the fact that the queen is still not laying. From there i will either have to purchase a queen or when i pick up a second nuc see if i can get a sixth frame of just new eggs to put in my original hive. or would this not work because of the lengthy process and mortality rate like umchuck said?

If im wrong please correct me with any of this. Thank you Margot and umchuck for your responses
 

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Putting another frame in with your bees that has eggs and young brood will most likely fix the problem. That is as long as you remove the old queen first. Get her out of there when that frame is put in, and they will raise a new queen pronto. If you were closer to me, i'd sell you a frame now of young brood/eggs to get it fixed with.
 

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Jesse, superceder cells are usually one or two. More likely swarm cells from being crowded in the nuc, you have installed in 10 frame?
That may stop swarm urge or may not. Keep a close eye on them, kind of hard picturing a shook swarm back into the nuc leaving enough bees to keep the two growing. Follower board might work if you do not have another nuc.
 

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My newb mistake was that i didnt understand the difference between the bees trying to supersede a queen by building queen cups and the warning signs of swarming being queen cells built on the bottom of the frames.

Hopefully a new beek learns from this rather than having to go through this themselves.
I have found that I can read about thing in books and in the moment I will still make the mistake. For me I have to learn from the pain of making the mistake. Only then will I not make the mistake next time. I don't know why you hear people saying to cut out queen cells. I makes no sense to me. If you the weren't in a ten frame they could have been crowded. Give them some eggs or buy a queen.
 

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<My newb mistake was that i didnt understand the difference between the bees trying to supersede a Queen by building queen cups and the warning signs of swarming being queen cells built on the bottom of the frames.

Supersede and swarm cells often can look alike.

Either way you should never destroy them all, even queen cups there's no point the bees will just make more. Or you will more time than not end up queenless.

In your case I think they were swarm cells, you were feeding and they were back filling the brood nest, looks like plenty of capped brood, and I see open brood on pic #2. The queen cups are on a frame by themself pic #1 that means the queen had to go on that frame specifically to lay egg in those cups.

Your queen stopped laying cause she is getting ready to swarm.

Once you find swarm cells the hive has made up it's mind and you can't stop it, cutting out queen cells will just leave you queenless. It may also cause more bee to swarm with the queen cause there are no queen cells left in the hive.

If they have not already swarmed yet I would do a cut down split - take the queen, a few frames and a few shakes of bees to a nuc make them think they swarmed. If she starts laying again I would recombine them back to the original hive.

Even after a cut down split this late in the game she still could swarm, but she will be taking fewer bees with her. If she does then I would recombine and give them a queen or a frame with eggs.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I inspected the hive today and found 3 more queen cells and some eggs/larva.. so i took the queen and put her in a nuc with a few empty frames, some stores, and a few shakes of bees. I plan on giving both the nuc and the hive a few more days for another inspection.
Hopefully this will work out
Thanks flower !!
 

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Good deal.

Once they cap the queen cells in the original hive, I would remove all but two and keep them as close as possible. You want the first new virgin to kill the other cell. Also give them a foundationless frame between brood nest, this will give those nurse bee something to do to get their mind away from swarming.

I would feed the nuc as long as they take it.
 

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I would seriously consider giving some bees from other hives to both splits. A few shakes of bees is going to be too few to keep the queen going much. Eyeballing from those photo, which is not very much to go on, I would be dubious of # s to support QC's and brood after removing a few shakes, cold and wet can happen fast.
Just saying.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I agree 100% saltybee but thats where this entire situation puts me between a rock and a hard place. I purchased the original 5 frame nuc from someone on craigslist. I have another nuc that was purchased from someone in Mass. but have yet to receive it yet.. This leaves me with only the resources from the original hive.
The point of two different sources was to hopefully diversify my bees but leaves me screwed in this scenario because i need more resources that i do not have.
I wish i had another established hive that i could use to donate frames/bees into the new nuc and understand that I have i may have doomed my new nuc.
With that being said from my understanding the original queen was going to swarm either way, getting her out of the hive seemed to be my best bet.
However i was watching both today and the original hive seemed very active, and yesterday I did exactly that flower and put an empty frame in there.
The nuc also seemed busy, obviously less than the hive but we will see how shes doing soon.
The weather is forecast to be nice so lets hope the weatherman isnt a liar like usual.
I want to inspect both tomorrow but will try to refrain and wait till the weekend
 
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