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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went through a hive that is booming yesterday and found the beginning of what I believe to be a swarm cell - only one. It was at the bottom of a frame and the opening was facing down. I looked up in it and saw a larva and a good amount of royal jelly. I'm surprised I only found one swarm cell. I saw quite a few queen cups throughout the brood chamber, but couldn't see anything in any of them yet. I could not find the queen mostly due to the volume of bees. I also just added a 4th honey super as they have been packing it away and there were alot of bees on top of the third super....so I'm guessing they are feeling crowded.

I did do a split from this hive yesterday, but only took 4 frames of brood and shook bees off a couple other frames....I'm sure that wasn't enough to prevent swarming.

My question is, what is the best thing to do at this point? The swarm cell wasn't capped as of yesterday. I was thinking of taking the frame with the queen cell on it and making another split, but would that really prevent the current queen from leaving?

Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks!
 

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You are correct, they are likely to swarm and performing an artificial swarm (split) is one way to manage it.

You need to have a new hive with NO brood, eggs, larvae (you could use old comb, new frames but the important part is nothing that suggests an active hive. Next you move the queen and shake about 1/2 the bees from the original hive into the fresh hive. This simulates a swarm; about 1/2 the hive + queen into a new box with nothing. You can include some honey frames, that's OK; some people feed the initial split; your choice.

In the old hive, leave it alone and the girls will finish the queen, cap and in about 3-4 weeks you should see signs of her success.

The trick is finding the queen.
 

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1 cell is typically supercedure, don't be confused by all that location nonsense people talk about, a queencell is just that, a queencell and if only one, the bees want to replace that queen. How old is this hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This hive was started last April 27th from a package. It swarmed last June 11th - I think b/c they wouldn't move up and felt crammed. I was new at the time and didn't know any tricks on how to lure them up... So this queen is not more than a year old at most...and brood pattern looks solid...

It was clearly the only queen cell as my wife and I went through every frame thoroughly.

My understanding is the presence of queen cups is typical in all hives...it ony becomes an issue if the queen decides to lay an egg in one...this true?

Thanks again!
 

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>My understanding is the presence of queen cups is typical in all hives...it ony becomes an issue if the queen decides to lay an egg in one...this true?

If we define cup as not having an egg or larvae in it, yes, that is true. A cup means nothing at all.
 
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