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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, here's the story-

I had a strong hive that I requeened about a month ago, it was doing great five days ago when I inspected it-no queen cells, enough room for the queen to lay and they were building up honey like crazy with an extra super on top to spare. I had a hive that I had requeened last summer about four feet away from it, when I inspected it I noticed that it appeared queenless and I did notice a few supercedure cells that didn't appear to have been successful.

Today I went to inspect the "queenless hive" and found not a bit of uncapped brood or any eggs but all the cells were packed with honey. I was going to make it a quick inspection but decided to look through the hive in hopes of finding a virgin queen that wasn't laying yet. Instead I found a beautiful marked queen (blue for this year). :eek: Hmmmmmm, that's strange as the queen I had there originally was purchased unmarked.

So, I decided I'd better inspect strong hive next door. Lo and behold there was tons of capped brood and some uncapped brood, no eggs and about four closed swarm cells along one frame. I'm supposing that the queen from this hive who was marked swarmed over the queenless hive???? Is this something that happens? I always figured a queen would fly away and find a new home-not invade a neighboring hive, but apparently I'm wrong.

So, do I order a new queen and hope I have time to get her in place before the swarm cells open? I'm in AHB territory so letting them requeen and stay that way is not an option (I also live in a residential area). Or do I let them requeen and then replace her in a month or so??

Finally, I find it strange that this queen swarmed as well as both nucleus hives my friends puchased from the same breeder in the last few weeks. There weren't space issues with any of the hives involved. Does this mean these bees are more likely to swarm and I should find another breeder?
 

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Order a queen, and hope they do not swarm around the time those swarm cells mature. I would take the swarm cells out now since we are AHB because of the ports in the area and they will have to rethink swarming without swarm queens. That is a very strange situation indeed!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The queen already left though-so will they swarm again??
 

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Wow, that's neat. I'm getting thrown for a loop.

If you have gear, I'd take some or all the frames with queen cells and put them in a nuc or single deep. The queens may mate with domestic drones and give you a freebie. Nothing to loose. If successful and a host hive runs amok, gives you the option to combine.
 

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It's rare, but it happens. A marked queen is found in another hive. An article years ago called it queen parasitism. I don't think that an approproiate name because in both cases I have seen the colony she moved to was QX. Other evidence suggested that she was recruited by the queenless colony. You won't find anything in the literature about inter colony communication, but I believe in this case it exists. The Q would have no way of knowing the QX needed a Q without recruiters from there, and she and her loyal subjects would need guidance to get there. May as well describe both circumstances, since they were different:

An overcrowded nuc swarmed out while I was there to witness the whole thing. The thin and small whirlwind moved directly to a colony about 20 feet away and moved in quickly. Was aware that the destination was QX, and was pleased that the nuc had fixed the problem without any help from me. Checking the nuc later, found a few bees (likely foragers in the field when the call to evacuate came), brood, and stores. They apparently absconded, with destination in mind.

A marked russian Q was found two doors down from where she had been installed. That colony had gone through back to back supersedure and were still QX. The strong colony that the Q left carried on as if nothing happened. My conclusion was that the colony she left was in the process of supersedure and she was superfluous. If she took any supporters with her, it was not obvious. No apparent change in population in either colony.

In answer to your question, my guess is that the Q cells you see are supersedure cells. If open mating of SS queens is not an option, destroy them ASAP and order a queen. A few days of hopelessly QX (no eggs) will help with acceptance of a new Q. They will accept almost anything you offer when they are desparate.

Walt
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Walt, thanks for that information. I'm still having a hard time believing what I saw. It makes sense that the queen must have known that the other hive was queenless before setting up shop. When I found her she was running around like she belonged there.

Nasal Sponge-apparently my bees decided they wanted to throw this beginner beekeper for a loop (one year now)-and they certainly succeeded.

I'm calling the breeder to order another queen for the hive with the queen cells and will destroy the cells ASAP. If I wasn't in a residential area I might take my chances with letting the soon to emerge queen mate, but don't want to risk it given the presence of AHB in this area.

Thanks everyone for your help :)
 
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