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I'm wondering if someone could give me some advice. This will be my second year of bee keeping and one of my hives came into spring very strong. I purchased it as a nuke last summer. Not knowing how old the original queen was, I ordered 2 new queens. One to re-queen, and one for the split I planned to do with the hive. Long story short, time got away from me and when I opened the hive, it was not only packed with bees, but also about 8 swam cells. I incorrectly assumed that the queen must still be in the hive given the number of bees and that I could still prevent the swam by destroying the swam cells. I was running out of daylight and good weather, so that is what I did. With the 2 new queens I made two splits from the hive (it was packed with bees, brood, and resources). I came to find out the next day that when you see the type of swarm cells that hang from the bottom of the frames, odds are the original queen has already swarmed :doh: I went back and searched through each frame of that hive twice, but no queen or visible eggs. During my second inspection however, I noticed a swarm cell that I had missed, as well as a filled out queen cup on the comb (both capped). What do you think the odds are of one of these becoming a laying queen? I figure my other option would be to try and add back one of the splits that has a new queen in it (news paper method), but I am not sure what the consequences of that would be if there happened to be yet another queen cell that I had missed? I'm assuming the added queen would most likely be killed. Does anyone have some advice on waiting vs adding back the split? Thanks!
 

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If it was me I would wait. I would’ve afraid that if I recombined that you could have a second swarm. What likely happened is that the mated queen left during the prime swarm. She will frequently leave when the first cells are capped. There is a high likelihood that your capped cells will emerge virgin queens and then get mated. The one key exception is how the frame was handled. A few questions, as you were going through cutting out queen cells the first time, how many were capped? How did you remove the bees from the frame to check? The reason I ask is that when I am trying to stop a hive from swarming (once I see larva or eggs in the queen cells) I gently take frames I want for splits and then shake the bees off every frame to look carefully. The cells can be in the oddest places. Once I have shooken a frame i do not take it for a split, it needs to be cut out. This is because as queens pupate the pupa is very fragile and should not be disturbed, if you shook the frame then the pupas chance of survival goes way down.
 

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Thanks for the response. All of the cells where capped. When removing some of the cells that were covered in bees I did do a quick shake. I did not know that they were that fragile, that is good to know for the future. If I remember correctly, I don't think the frame that I recently found the two hidden queen sells on had any obvious queen cells on it when I did the removal of the others. If that is the case, it did not get shaken. I will hold off on doing anything and monitor the frame to see if the new queens ever emerge. Is it sometimes the case that swarming queen takes very little of the hive population with them? I was surprised at how many bees were in the hive for the old queen to supposedly have swarmed.
 
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