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Multiple Queen cells, No Eggs, Needing Advise

3744 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Tenbears
So yesterday, I had a chance to check my two hives. I noticed a few days earlier that the bee activity coming and going from the hive was a major difference between the two. It sparked my interest on what was going on, and hoping they hadnt swarmed and I didnt know about it. I removed the honey super and began pulling frames out of the top brood chamber. I first noticed there where no eggs, but did have a 5-7 frames with larva and capped brood. Upon continuing my inspection I began noticing Queens cells (peanut shaped) along the edges and in the middle of the frames. This is the first year for me and for this hive as a nuc and I am confused on how I have lost a queen so soon. I also noticed where there where empty brood cells they have begun filling with honey in place of layed eggs. The same pattern continued into the lower brood chamber, but I did find one Queen cell that was uncapped. I should have taken a picture but it didnt cross my mind until afterwards. Finished inspection with no sign of an active queen. So my question I buy a new queen and try and introduce her to the hive or do I leave well enough alone and allow the hive do what is natural and raise there own as they are attempting to do already. Also after comparing one hive to the other, the hive population seems fairly equal, so I do not believe the hive as swarmed. Thanks for any advise. Mike
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Sounds like their in the process of superseding. If you want more hives you can take a frame with capped queen cells on it and two more frames and put in a nuc.
Or you could split the box 50/50 making sure you have cells in both boxes.

Or you can leave them alone and let nature take its course. The only risk to this is if the new queen doesn't make it back from her mating flights. Her chances are probably 80% or better.
If you have a nuc box handy it's good insurance to throw a few frames in it and if one doesn't make it back you can combine them with the one that does.

Supersedure is a very normal occurrence. Most of my hives will do it once a year or so.

IMO trying to introduce a mated queen is risky. If you miss one cell the new virgin will kill your new queen who is probably way inferior to your home raised queen.
Thanks for the advise, I believe I will Remove a frame with two queen cells on it and put it in a nuc box with a frame or two honey. Should I also add capped brood in the nuc or leave it in the orginal hive? also, it is my understanding that if you remove bees from a hive they will return to the old hive if it is within flight this something to consider?
You will need to add some nurse bees just to keep the cell at the right temp.
A frame of capped brood will give the new queen nurse bees to attend her brood. Only the field bees will return to the old hive.
If you put four frames of bees in the nuc they will build up a lot faster than if you only put three.

The bees that are on the frames of brood will stay with the brood. They've never been outside the hive.
Woody Roberts
Great information, looks like I have the pleasure of going back in my hive again tomorrow. So last question about the current gueen cells that remain in the old hive. If I remove a frame that has 1-2 queen cells and place that frame in the nuc along with the other frames you mentioned, do I remove the other unhatched queen cells that are left in the old hive assuming the one queen cell that I found in the lower brood chamber hatched and the queen is currently in the mating flight process.
I would leave the other queen cell in the mother hive. The open cell may be one that was not capped. If a queen hatched, she would have or will soon go on the hunt. for other queens of cells She will kill any cells by chewing them open, and do away with the occupant, she will do battle with any emerged queen, to the victor goes the spoils. do the split and place a frame with a few cells on it. add as many frames of bees and brood as the parent hive can spare. leave the rest as you find it. The natural course of nature will work it out. If you find the split is low on foragers. after some bees leave in the am exchange the positions of the hives. and obstruct the entrance of the parent to force them to reorient. The returning workers will go to the same location and join the split.
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