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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning y’all! I just inspected my hive this morning and noticed what looks like a Queen cell in the center of the frame? In my mind the Queen is dead or they’re getting ready to split?

Should I bee worried? The Queen got out of her cage 4 days after I installed them on April 12th in a 10 frame deep brood box.

Any comments or advice would greatly be appreciated.

Thanks
Ray
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Hard to see in the pic but it does look like a queen cell to me. Is it capped or open? If it's open, look inside and see if there is an egg or larvae. Bees will often make cells and then not get around to filling them. It might mean the workers are not satisfied with the queen they have and they are trying to supersede her.

You have time to decide what to do. It seems unlikely to me that such a new hive will swarm, but nothing is impossible.
If it is a queen cell then they will probably make a few (or many) more queen cells.

You can let nature take it's course. Or you can tear down the queen cells. Or when the queen cells are ripe pull your current queen out into a small nuc to save her in case the new queen doesn't successfully mate and return.

I hope somebody with more experience with queen manipulations will chime in. I don't claim any expertise.
 

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Did you spot the queen? It sounds like you didn't when you said the queen might be dead. Try hard to find the queen, and even if you can't find her, look into the cells for the tiny white dots that are new eggs. If you spot new eggs, odds are the queen is still there and working.
 

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Your pic is excellent, but I can't quite tell what the object is. It does look like a hatched queen cell but it can't be if your dates are correct. Further, it looks like they are storing nectar on that frame. Your queen is probably fine. They need to draw out the cells before she can lay. Don't panic yet. J
 

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If there is eggs, she's either alive, or was three days ago (it takes three days for an egg to hatch). If you're not comfortable finding the queen, you can wait three days, and then if there are no eggs you know she must be dead.
 

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She is not necessarily dead or a dud if you don't see eggs yet. I can't count the number of times I was convinced my hive was queenless only to have them prove me wrong. Beekeeping has taught me to be more patient. The passage of time always gives you a clearer picture. Rarely does waiting hurt you unless you toy with a laying worker. They can usually sort it out without your interference. Stay out of the hive for a week. J
 

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Hard to tell if that is a queen cell or burr comb.
 

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From the sound of things you started from a package correct?

I have used state of the art technology to "enhance" your photo by zooming in. I would agree it's a queen cell.

This seems to be a very common theme this year, but new packages often go into supersedure. Being in a package is a lot of stress on bees and they often blame the queen. As soon as she starts laying they try to replace her - even though she's likely completely fine.

As such, if you can verify you have a queen by either spotting her, or eggs in the cells, then knock down the queen cup/cell they have made with your hive tool. I'd bet you have a queen and she's doing her job. After all, she would have had to lay the egg they are using to make a new queen.

Knock it down and keep an eye on them by checking once a week. Knock down any new cells/cups. If they continue drawing cells after a couple months, with eggs/larvae in them, then it's time to replace your queen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
From the sound of things you started from a package correct?

I have used state of the art technology to "enhance" your photo by zooming in. I would agree it's a queen cell.

This seems to be a very common theme this year, but new packages often go into supersedure. Being in a package is a lot of stress on bees and they often blame the queen. As soon as she starts laying they try to replace her - even though she's likely completely fine.

As such, if you can verify you have a queen by either spotting her, or eggs in the cells, then knock down the queen cup/cell they have made with your hive tool. I'd bet you have a queen and she's doing her job. After all, she would have had to lay the egg they are using to make a new queen.

Knock it down and keep an eye on them by checking once a week. Knock down any new cells/cups. If they continue drawing cells after a couple months, with eggs/larvae in them, then it's time to replace your queen.
Thanks for the info, will the bees swarm or kill the old Queen if I leave the Queen cell alone?
 

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They won't swarm. They aren't strong enough to develop that instinct. They are in survival mode, not reproduction mode.

If you leave the cell alone, and it has a larvae in it, when the new queen emerged her first duty will be to kill the existing queen. Just use the edge of your hive tool to knock it down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So inspected the hive and noticed that the Queen cells are capped and that the current Queen is laying eggs. (I still can find her)

Should I remove the Queen cells since the Queen seems to be doing her job or let them figure it out?
 

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I'd still go frame by frame and find your queen, then knock down the cells. Letting them raise their own queen will only set them back, and it's not guaranteed she'll return from a mating flight. If you have a good queen in there now, why risk it?
 

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So inspected the hive and noticed that the Queen cells are capped and that the current Queen is laying eggs. (I still can find her)

Should I remove the Queen cells since the Queen seems to be doing her job or let them figure it out?
I would remove the queen with frames of brood and honey to a nuc box. If you have swarm cells, they plan on swarming. If you don't take the queen out now, you will have to chase the swarm to get her back, and maybe you won't.

If you split her out now and preserve her, and the main hive doesn't get a mated queen for some reason, you have a queen to put back in. If it does get a mated queen, then you have a new hive building.
 

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They won't swarm, the package is far too new.

Instead, the first queen to emerge will go on a killing spree taking out the other cells and the current mated queen.

If you have eggs, knock down all the cells.

If they continue to draw cells then there is a problem they are telling us that needs to be dealt with separately.
 
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