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I installed my new package of bees on April 3rd. I released the queen on April 5th to avoid them drawing comb on the cage. I checked the hive on April 9 and did not see any eggs (as a first time keeper, I could have easily missed them). They were drawing on 3 frames (2 were about 1/3 drawn and 1 about 1/4 drawn) at the time. I didn't see/really look for the queen. I just closed it up and let them be. I checked on the hive yesterday (April 14) and they have 3 frames mostly drawn and working on 4th and 5th. I had one frame of larvae. I also noticed that they had made what appear to be queen cups in random locations. A couple on the bottom of a frame, one in the middle, and one near the edge. I looked inside and didn't see eggs or larvae. Should I be concerned about these or is it normal for them to make these?
 

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It seems less likely that what you're seeing are swarm preps (which would require action on your part to re-direct/head off) than perhaps the not-uncommon event of supersedure soon after installation of a package. I would keep an eye on them, but not interrupt (by removing any queen cells), their intentions if it's a supersedure. Supersedures are usually well-planned and well-managed by the bees on their own, and for their own reasons.

A queen cup stays a queen cup (and most hives always have some in them) as long as it doesn't get an egg or royal jelly. Then no matter what the purpose, or the position on the frame, it becomes a queen cell.

You might want to bone up on Bee Math to learn the timetable for queen cell development, queen maturation timing and the process of open-mating for a virgin queen. Assuming that it u want to allow that and do not live in an area where Africanized Honey bees (aka "Killer Bees") are already established. (I really doubt that's an issue in TN.) Otherwise you'll get a nice "local queen" out of the deal. (You may need to learn how to mark her when she returns, but don;t stress about that.)

You may be just along for an interesting ride on this process. Your only management input may be to keep a watch on the timing so that the hive, through misadventure during the mating process, doesn't turn up queenless. But usually the existing queen remains in the hive until the new one goes out, gets mated, and begins to lay.

You'll get the Beginners 2.0 version of beekeeping, in your first season. Lucky you!

Nancy
 

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J,, I concur, let it ride. sometimes the queen needs to be replaced, better if the bees get it done. As long as there are drones there now you should be ok. Last time I bought packages 3 of 4 superceded in the first month. Not sure maybe they did not let her lay long enough, she could have over heated in shipping. etc. seems a common problem.
 

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It seems less likely that what you're seeing are swarm preps (which would require action on your part to re-direct/head off) than perhaps the not-uncommon event of supersedure soon after installation of a package. I would keep an eye on them, but not interrupt (by removing any queen cells), their intentions if it's a supersedure. Supersedures are usually well-planned and well-managed by the bees on their own, and for their own reasons.

A queen cup stays a queen cup (and most hives always have some in them) as long as it doesn't get an egg or royal jelly. Then no matter what the purpose, or the position on the frame, it becomes a queen cell.

You might want to bone up on Bee Math to learn the timetable for queen cell development, queen maturation timing and the process of open-mating for a virgin queen. Assuming that it u want to allow that and do not live in an area where Africanized Honey bees (aka "Killer Bees") are already established. (I really doubt that's an issue in TN.) Otherwise you'll get a nice "local queen" out of the deal. (You may need to learn how to mark her when she returns, but don;t stress about that.)

You may be just along for an interesting ride on this process. Your only management input may be to keep a watch on the timing so that the hive, through misadventure during the mating process, doesn't turn up queenless. But usually the existing queen remains in the hive until the new one goes out, gets mated, and begins to lay.

You'll get the Beginners 2.0 version of beekeeping, in your first season. Lucky you!

Nancy
Nancy take a look at this video from UK National Honey show by Roger Patterson on Queens; very interesting and seems to apply to many of our questions regarding our queens. Deb
 
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