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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
May 24 this hive swarmed. Upon inspection we found these cells.


So it's been 12 days now, I thought the swarm or Supercedure cells would have hatched out, taken care of business, and then gone on a mating flight.
Today's inspection June 5 (by my wife) finds these cells pictured above all opened, looks like all hatched or were opened.
On a different frame, in the same bottom deep are these cells, (see below) two of them open from the bottom, no hinged "door", just open, and one still sealed.
So what could be going on? No larvae or eggs to be found. Most of the thousands of capped brood found on 5-24 have hatched out now.
I'm thinking queenless here, and needing an egg to make a queen, or add a purchased queen.
Could bee queen hatched and is out on mating flight and may or may not make it back? How to tell? 12 days too soon to make judgement?
We did go through something similar last year with our Italians, swarm, then like a ghost town for over 4 weeks, on day 34 or so we did find
some eggs, and the hive prospered and made it through winter. These bees were feral cutout from late last year, not a package.

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
OK. Replying to my own post again, I know.
After some thought, I think that ALL of these cells were there on the 24th. So all but a couple are hatched out, meaning the queen has gone out to mate perhaps. We did not see her anywhere but could have missed her IF she were in the hive. So quite possible this is a situation to not take any action yet, wait another week to 10 days, and then look for signs of a queen being present. Sounds like a plan.
I just needed to take a walk and think about it, unwind the knots in my brain from a hard day at work. Guess I could delete the post, but I like the pictures. :)
 

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I think you have it figured out. Trust your plan. Those queen cells in the second picture are chewed open. So, I bet you got a virgin queen in there somewhere. Nice pics by the way.
 

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"Could bee queen hatched and is out on mating flight and may or may not make it back?"
Yes.

"How to tell?"
If you must know, wait about 10 more days then carefully go through the hive and, if necessary, sieve the bees through a queen excluder. If you must know now, buy a mated queen.

"12 days too soon to make judgement?"
Yes. I suspect that your walk caused you to ask yourself whether, if one of your colonies swarms at this time of year, you are the person who waits three weeks and then admires the uncapped brood, or the person who buys a mated queen. When you answered that question, you knew what to do. (Your post was a really good post, by the way.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for the input and compliment. :)

What is obvious to most, can be a bit of a struggle to a new beekeeper to figure out at times. But the learning curve, while steep, is filled with fantastic information and adventures.
We love this beekeeping and consider it so much more than just a hobby, it has quickly become a part of our lives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Such nice queens cells! If you have a nuc you could put them in with a few more frames as a safety net if your queen does not mate.
I like that idea Margot, there are two that are unopened which brings up the question "why" are they not hatched out?
Does the rival queen (assuming she hatched and is in the hive) sting her adversaries through the wall of the cell to dispatch them?
If that's the case then these two queens cells are probably toast. If not, then there's a chance they are still viable.

I could cut them out, mount them on the face of another frame that has capped brood and place them in a 5 frame nuc.
And add a couple frames of bees, honey, larvae, etc. I guess. Would this idea work out do you think?
 

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What is obvious to most, can be a bit of a struggle to a new beekeeper to figure out at times. But the learning curve, while steep, is filled with fantastic information and adventures.
Even though I have been beekeeping for several years, this year I had a lot of drama going on in my bee yard. I learned a lot of new things I had never had to deal with before....this board is great, it is hear we learn...
 

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I could cut them out, mount them on the face of another frame that has capped brood and place them in a 5 frame nuc.
And add a couple frames of bees, honey, larvae, etc. I guess. Would this idea work out do you think?
Yes. Keep it as simple as you can. I would just put one of the frames with a queen cell in a nuc with some nurse bees, nectar and a frame or so of capped worker brood. Others would do it differently. Take your time, enjoy the process, and look as best you can so you don't transfer an emerged queen to the nuc. If it were to not work out, recombine. Let us know.
 

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Yes. Keep it as simple as you can. I would just put one of the frames with a queen cell in a nuc with some nurse bees, nectar and a frame or so of capped worker brood. Others would do it differently. Take your time, enjoy the process, and look as best you can so you don't transfer an emerged queen to the nuc. If it were to not work out, recombine. Let us know.
Agreed. I just did the same thing. I think it's the funnest part of beekeeping. When they start laying it's like Christmas morning. I have never heard of the first to emerge stinging through the walls, I have heard of them tearing down the cells, but I don't have first hand experience either way. Good luck, and keep us posted!
 
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