Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased a local queen to replace the package queen that I got this year. I made a nuc with the old queen and a few frames of brood and bees (just in case). I put the queen cage in and opened the box just enough to remove the cage and push the combs back together 4 days later. She had been released, and everything looked good. It has now been a little over a week, and I went to look for eggs, as all of the old queens eggs would have hatched. She must have just started laying because there was only a few small patches of eggs that I could find.

in the middle of one of the combs, I also found one lonely capped queen cell. Has anybody seen this before? What does this mean for my new queen? I did get rid of it, because I still have the old queen as a backup, but I was wondering if anyone has seen this before, and what the outcome was?

thank you
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
Yes, I have seen this on some old brood. It was like it was an attempt out of desperation. Except you could tell mine was not finished. Don't know if the queen was not laying and the bees got nervous or they started queen cell and the queen started laying and they quit or brood hatched before they finished. I have learned they know what they are doing more than we do. I bet they will get it all ironed out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
454 Posts
I bought queens for the first time in about five years and the same thing happened in my splits. All fifty had cells started when I did the first check but except for three of the splits the bees eventually tore them down and the queen was accepted and laying normally. I had never seen that before.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,183 Posts
Did you install the new queen at the same time you pulled the old queen or was there a queenless period?

If there was a gap that may have been when your cells got started.

If there was no gap then my guess is that the purchased queen was low on mojo due to being pulled green, banked, or stressed in transit - or all three. But only a wild guess.

I get queens from a local producer - who leaves them in 5 frame nucs for 3 weeks - I remove resident queens at the time of installation, and the new queens are usually installed within hours of being caught. And I pretty much never see what you are describing. I know it isn't always possible for things to be like that for everyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
813 Posts
Single queen cells or just a few cells in the middle of the frame are supercedure cells. They think they need a new queen. Never destroy a supercedure cell or you may end up queenless. Make sure the hive has eggs in it so they can build a new queen if needed.

You most likely only found a few eggs with the queen cell because your existing queen was going bad. When I first starting keeping bees I was told to cut out queen cells. Wrong, first get to know the difference between swarm cells and supercedure then never cut out a supercedure. I use the swarm cells to start nucs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,148 Posts
I have not found queen cells being built during the introduction of a new queen unusual at all. I suspect that this might be the cause of introduction failures. This year we put the new queens in with the candy end plugged with a cork. After three days we went through the hives looking for queen cells. We found anywhere from 3 to over 20 cells in each hive. In one instance the cells were attached to the new queens cage. We removed all of these cells, and uncorked the candy end of the cage. We then stayed out of the hives for a week. The result was 100% acceptance.
Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Single queen cells or just a few cells in the middle of the frame are supercedure cells. They think they need a new queen. Never destroy a supercedure cell or you may end up queenless. Make sure the hive has eggs in it so they can build a new queen if needed.

You most likely only found a few eggs with the queen cell because your existing queen was going bad. When I first starting keeping bees I was told to cut out queen cells. Wrong, first get to know the difference between swarm cells and supercedure then never cut out a supercedure. I use the swarm cells to start nucs.
I only removed the queen cell because I still have the original queen, and can recombine the nuc with the main colony if I have to. Also, This was 8 days after pulling the old queen, so the eggs would have been from the new one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have not found queen cells being built during the introduction of a new queen unusual at all. I suspect that this might be the cause of introduction failures. This year we put the new queens in with the candy end plugged with a cork. After three days we went through the hives looking for queen cells. We found anywhere from 3 to over 20 cells in each hive. In one instance the cells were attached to the new queens cage. We removed all of these cells, and uncorked the candy end of the cage. We then stayed out of the hives for a week. The result was 100% acceptance.
Dave
I was hoping this is the case. I will have to check in a week or so for more eggs.

thank you
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top