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new beek in some need of advice

802 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  NewJoe
Ok, I need some quick advice.... now.

My one and only hive I suspect is getting ready to swarm... and its a 3 week old swarm O_O...

Bought a hive that had a swarm caught in it and have been quite productive, started with a little bit of capped honey on one frame and some drawn comb from an old hive. When I saw 4 queen cups last week on the inspection I assumed it was from the old hive and put it back... oh boy. I go out today, look over everything, they havnt drawn out too much more but the capped honey has grown, lots. I now have about a half a frame of capped honey (at least) and about 1-2 frames of brood, capped as well. Then I noticed on my second frame I have queen cups, and they look new but wasnt sure and was going to scrape it off... bad idea. I poked through it to find a larva in royal jelly. My heart sank when I saw that and I am somewhat hoping that just damaging the wax wont kill its chances in the off chance its a superceding cell. They do have another queen cup with larva being tended to, and possibly another in the middle of the frame (might be drone, unsure, it protrudes quite a bit).

I did take steps as this might be a case of being honey-bound and put in some fresh undrawn frames in the middle in the hopes that they wont swarm.

Its not a big colony, barely enough bees to go across 5 frames. Should I look at doing a split ASAP?
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Hard to give advice without the size and type of hive box and if they appear to be Italian or have some black bee blood in them. Many times the swarm will have the old queen with it and if they suspect she needs replacing they will do that after they have enough brood to feel safe in raising a new queen. I would just leave them alone for now.
A swarm normally supercedes the queen. Those cells are on the face of the combs. Unless your colony ran out of room it is doubtful that the swarmcells on the bottom and sides of the frames have been built. If you don't find those, it is slip no foul. Give them more room. Remember that nectar being gathered takes up twice as much room at least as cured honey. I would put a frame of comb or foundation in between your brood right away and a box on top. If you find swarm cells with larvae in them, they will look like the outside is dusted with powdered sugar, all bets are off. Destroying the cells is not always the cure. The cells are easy to miss. It might be best to do an artificial swarm if you do have swarm cells and re unite the colonies later.
I leaning towards supersede
This time I would
Let them bee they know what's going on
she could be an old queen that was with the swarm and they feel they need to replace her....I would let them do whatever they do....I think they will be fine!
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