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How many queen cells is normal?

1257 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Daniel Y
This my second year beekeeping. Last year the hive never attempted to swarm. However, now I can see at least eight queen cells on two bars of comb. They're all on the side of the comb next to the observation window located from the top of the comb to about half way down. There could be more but I haven't removed the bars to look between the bars. The bees are a lot more tempermental since they started doing this. Is it normal that they would make this many queen cells? Is there any significance to them all being located in the same area? Thanks for your help.
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Look at the ages. New cells with eggs, new cells with larvae, new cells with very large larvae, capped white smooth cells, capped darker "filigreed" cells, cells with papery tips. If you have a wide range of ages, they are swarm cells. If they all appear to be somewhat the same age, they are supersedure cells or emergency cells. How many is usually very much a function of the size of the colony. No significance to them being all in the same area. In fact, you may want to look closer, you may be missing some on other combs...
If they're all just little cups, with nothing in them, at all. Then they're "queen cell cups" and not queen cells. They're only queen cells once they have an occupant, usually an egg or larva. Once they're grown out and capped, they are usually considered to have an occupant, until they are opened in some way.
I checked one today that I did a walk away split on this past Saturday. One frame had 13 cells on it...another had nine, and a few had from 1 to 3....actually the most I personally have ever seen at once.....I think my count was 27 give or take one or two.
They all look to be the same age and they're all capped. They all look like peanut shells. I can see at least 8 of them. The colony isn't that big so I'm guessing it's a supersedure. Time will tell. Thanks for your help.
Last year I got 19 cells from one hive. this year I estimated my average to be 19 cells per hive and after 6 hives have completed their cell making it turned out to be 19.5.
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