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Hive raising queen(s)

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Ok, maybe my claims of success and luck are over. I did a complete inspection of my calm hive about 3 weeks ago. And all was fairly quiet. A piece of brood foundation fell out of a frame, but I ended up clearing this up.

Yesterday I pull several frames out of the top super, (I have 2) and find several queen cells attached the the bottoms. 2 Cells have holes in them, I rip 2 open because I have never seen a queen cell and thought they might be drone, but in the back of my mind, knew them to be queens.

The first one the queen was actually done, but lethargic and crawls around in my hand. The 2nd, she pops out and tries to run and hide.

What causes this queen production? I know soe of the obvious, but I'm thinking the original queen might have gotten crushed when the brood foundation fell out; I have not tried to find her. I don't have a smoker and right now and though normally calm, they are agitated. The hive is only a year old

The boxe(s) are full of bees, top and bottom, but 2-3 frames in each box are virtually empty with no drawn comb, so space shoudln't be an issue.

First, is everything ok? Did I do something wrong? The honey is flowing, there was brood all over the place... I'm just wondering if they they are thinking about swarming; my hives sit more or less in the middle of a field, and I have no additional boxes at the moment, so if they go, they make just get to go!

Also, I didn't see any drone in the hive, yet my hot hive is overflowing with drone.

In one sense, I have a lot of old trees with hollows in them about 75 yards away and wouldn't necessarily mind if a group moved into one, I just don't want to loose my honey source this season in this hive.

Ideas? Questions? I had 3 pkgs on order, but am reconsidering now as I don't know if I am in a position to handle the 2 I have!

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1,888 Posts
As you said the hive consists of (2) boxes and they are full of bees. If as you said the queen cells are soley located at the bottom of frames, they are preparing to swarm. Yes, there is space in the hive to still draw out comb, but as far as the queen is concerned she is running out of room to lay.
Watch them over the next several days because by openning the queens cells, you have changed their timing.
Did you find any eggs? The queen stops laying shortly before they swarm.

[This message has been edited by MountainCamp (edited April 29, 2004).]

188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
didt look for eggs, I was properly suited, I was primarily looking for honey. The queens I released I squished.... Like I said though, 2 cells were already open and this was on the bottom of ONE frame. Gosh knows what was on the other.

I need to find some boxes QUICK!
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