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Just decided to share what a 'filled' queen cell looks like, since I was asking about a few empty cups the other day.

By the way, the cups along the bottom of the frame are still empty--this one I cut the comb below the larva to get the bees to build the cell--so you guys were right about that.

A bit odd... I had the frame in the nuc when I made a few cuts. Came back the next day, most of the bees had deserted the nuc to go back to the main hive and the remaining workers were uncapping drone brood, so I figured they were starving or unable to care for brood (I had a frame of honey and one of pollen in the nuc, I think it was just limited numbers). I didn't want to waste the good frames of capped brood I had in there, so I figured it was a couple day loss and loaded the frames back into the main hive. As I was doing so, I saw one lone queen cell started with a larva in it. I figured with as few bees in the nuc as there were, they'd make a weak queen who wouldn't last the winter. So I put the nuc frames into the top box of the main hive where the original queen wasn't laying yet (new foundation about 80% pulled) and figured the bees would tear down the cell, the queen would kill the larva, or they'd feed her. Pulled her out a couple days later and she was SWIMMING in royal jelly! So I remade the nuc (frames were still conveniently in the top box) and shook in a ton more bees (most of whom have rejoined the hive again) and took some pics.

1. About how long do you think she has till being capped?
2. Are queen larva usually golden/tan?
3. This looks like a really smooth cell. Are they just sometimes like that, or do the bees add the honeycomb "peanut" texture after she's capped for strength?
4. When I make a nuc and put in frames of capped brood, a little open brood, honey, and pollen, how do I keep the original bees from flying back to the main hive?? I even screened them in overnight the second time I tried it but when I took it off they didn't re-orient, they just beelined in a stream to the queenright hive. Should I move the nuc farther than a couple feet for the night (like 50') so they can't smell the original queen all night long?

Thanks in advance for any advice!


Golden queen larva in royal jelly


Smooth sided emergency "on-the-spot" cut cell


Desperate nuc ditching drone brood
 

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Sometimes I like doing just the opposite, I like pulling the queen and most of the hive away to a new position, leaving the qcell with a frame or two of sealed brood and frame or two of honey/pollen behind in the old location. It depends on the situation and my expectations from each hive.
 
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