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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As a newbee I may have killed my queen last week. I checked out my hive today and found no new eggs, plenty of brood but no eggs. I did find a queen cell. Just as a sanity check: I should leave them bee, right? This is a new package I set out three weeks ago. They were doing great, I must have fumbled the ball last weekend. They already had a full medium drawn and the queen was laying great :(

I need to be a little more careful I guess.
 

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You may not have done anything wrong. Package bees have a reputation for building supersedure cells shortly after installation. One possible explanation is that the bees perceive that the period without brood that they have just experienced may be the queen's fault, so they start to raise a replacement. And sometimes they change their mind and tear down the queen cell before emergence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Should I leave them be? These are my first couple hives, 5 more packages coming Monday. Should I purchase an extra queen and force requeen? Maybe I should get an extra queen (just in case)? Is there a chance this new hive will swarm?
 

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As a newbee I may have killed my queen last week. I checked out my hive today and found no new eggs, plenty of brood but no eggs. I did find a queen cell. Just as a sanity check: I should leave them bee, right? This is a new package I set out three weeks ago. They were doing great, I must have fumbled the ball last weekend. They already had a full medium drawn and the queen was laying great :(

I need to be a little more careful I guess.
You say you found lots of brood - Are you speaking of only capped brood, or small larva as well? If the queen didn't have room to lay eggs she would be forced to stop laying, this normally brings on the tendancy to want to swarm. Was the queen cell a supersedure cell or a swarm cell you found? Swarm cells are normally drawn out next to the bottom of the frames, supersedure can be just about any other place but most of the time in the center of the frames or near the tops. Figure out which one you have first, then decide your next move. If they have drawn a swarm cell, you may have to do a split to fix the problem, however you may be able to checkerboard the hive, remove the cell and add another deep to keep her from doing it. Sometimes it works. If it's a supersedure cell your probably going to end up with a new queen taking over soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The queen cell was hanging from the bottom of a frame, and fully sealed. There is a lot of brood sealed, lots of young larva, but I didnt see eggs. Maybe I should look again closer for eggs, I assumed a queen issue as I didn't readily notice eggs and the hive was not very friendly today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You ROCK Thomas B! I went back out and opened up again and took my time. I found several queen cells hanging off the frames, and finally found the queen! I removed the swarm cells and checkerboarded. Hopefully I got them all and they decide not to run away from home.
Thanks again!
I made a first attempt at checkerboarding, I need to do more research tonight and see how badly I did. I also need more practice at starting the smoker, it died half way thru and man the girls were angry about the damage to the queen cells.
 

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Smoker tip: I've tried all kinds of ways to start my smoker. The best way I have found is an instant-start propane torch. No more fussing with dryer fluff or burlap or whatever else - just empty your smoker, drop in a small layer of fuel (I use small wood chips I find road-side), fire up the torch, stick it in the smoker for a second or two, pull it out again, stuff it full of fuel and it's lit. Yeah, you still have to keep puffing it occasionally the first 5 minutes, but the propane torch gives it the best start of anything I've tried, hands down.

Good luck with your package!

-Pete
 

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PA Pete is right the propane torch works like a charm. When I have them available I use shavings from my wood planer. They start up with just a lighter and once going I just pack them in. They actually smell pretty good as well!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Great tip, I have an instant on torch, I'll give it a try.

I will check the hive Monday if they are building out more queen cells I'll try my first split.
 
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