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Discussion Starter #1
The hive is about 35 days old, brood are hatching but they they have capped 4 queen cells, on the bottom and on the sides of comb on frames. The hive next to it is doing fine.

My question is should I join these two hives together using a newspaper join or should I hurry and buy a new queen for them. I do not want to wait and let them raise their own queens ..the queen cells aren't very big but they are capped - they look like emergency queen cells.


Thanks for your input
 

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if you been feeding there probably ran out of room and want to swarm qc on bottom of frames indicate that. new beekeepers tend to think that they need to feed all the time its not necessary to feed. I have been getting packages now for over 6 years no mentor just reading never feed more than the can of feed they came with topped off. that's because I had a few days of bad weather other than that let them forage for there selves.now just before fall you can check the hive to see if low on stores then by all means feed 2:1 sugar water. some fondant in middle of fall and if low on bees a brood patty. but I have never need to do that yet but I know some that need too. if bees bringing in pollen stop feeding..
 

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I wouldn't jump to any conclusions until you see other indications of swarming. Is there space for the queen to lay? Is there nectar in the brood nest? Your post title says they are queenless? You could let them make a new queen. Supersedure is a common problem with packages. Knowing the difference between supersedure and swarming is difficult at first, until you have seen it. I always thought my hive was swarming the first year, I too had QC on the bottom of frames. Now that I have a hive that actually tired to swarm, the difference is unmistakable. There were countless empty QCs on the bottom on the comb and many QCs with jelly.
 

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Robert, do you have any uncapped larvae in the hive with cells? You know from my posts on our club FB page, and the meetings, I've been having queen issues all season. My overwintered hives that might have been large enough to swarm went queenless, and I got failed early April emergency cells. I ended up newspaper combine to keep at least one hive large enough for berries. Our flow seems only a week or two away. I don't know if any of your first year packages are established enough for surplus blackberry honey. I trust your judgment on swarm vs. e-cells. If you feel you don't have the time to experiment with open mating in your loacation, buy a queen (you may have to drive to Seattle). The learning process of letting the cells go may be value for the future, though.
Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for responding.

Don't think it's a swarm, I think these are emergency cells ..they are small - not the large queen cells you usually find when they have decided to swarm ...most are on the sides of the comb, not at the bottom (but there is at least one at the bottom).

There's a small amount of backfilling the broods nest, but LOTS of empty comb - so there's no lack of space.

I don't want to wait for them to raise their own queen, the first generation of bees just hatched and really, they are too small really to have to wait 20 days. ,,,so I want to combine or re-queen ...I'm leaning toward the latter.
 

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Top, bottom, sides. When they make emergency cells, the bees use whatever they have that's the right age to work with, no matter it's location. All the emergency cells I've seen this year are always at the edges of the brood pattern. If she was laying down to the bottom bar, you're bound to get a queen cell near the bottom if the larvae are the right age. BeezKneez in Snohomish had queens, there are some on Craigslist for Seattle. If you don't mind the 5 hour round trip, Lauri from Miller's Compound Honeybees and Agriculture has her first round of queens available now.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'd love to get Lauri's queens ...but it isn't going to happen right now. I just got back from combining the hives. I'll split them back out in July or August with a locally raised queen. Maybe I can get one of Sue Cobey's naturally mated queens? ...or raise a few of my own. :)
 
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