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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Beekeepers,

Hopefully I'll learn from this mistake:

In the past week my hive swarmed three (!) days in a row. From only 1(!) deep super!

I tried catching each swarm since they settled on the nearby California pepper tree, but each time they were gone by the time I was ready. So I lost a lot of very good, hardworking, gentle bees. I just hope they found a safe home.

Reason? Somebody mentioned that I had given them the extra super too late, and that kind of makes sense. They started leaving about two weeks after I had added the super. So, the bees had probably already made their plans.

Today (Saturday) I opened the hive and saw at least 5 queen cells, some of them had hatched, some I am not sure, one at least was I think opened by the bees (queen), since it was opened on the side (I don't know if this is a correct conclusion).

With so many queen cells, then take away 3 queens that left, I should have 1 or 2 potential queens left in there still. Don't you think? Just doing the math. Didn't see any though. Maybe none. Maybe they killed each other. Saw some capped worker brood, no eggs or larvae, some drone brood and a lot of drones sitting on the frames.

Also, a great number of drones do orientation flights in front of the hive every afternoon, going in and out, with the guard bees acting very erratic but not attacking the drones. I have a number of dead drones outside the hive each morning. All look healthy, though. Just dead. But otherwise the activity seems normal, foragers coming and going, pollen coming in.

Any suggestions as to what to do at this point would be very welcomed.

Thank you so much in advance.
 

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You need to make sure the hive is queenright. Sometimes after a swarm there are problems and the appearance of a lot of drones might mean laying workers.

Hawk
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How do you do that? I looked for a queen very carefully. Didn't see her. But I also read that virgin queens can be very small and get big before they start laying. Also, because of the number of queen cells, isn't it likely there is one in there and all I have to do is wait? (please say yes)
 

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Waiting is your only choice at this point! With that many cells chances are excellent that you have a virgin in the hive.
 
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