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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of my hives swarmed 2 weeks ago, I was able to capture the swarm and they are doing pretty good.

A week ago I checked the the hive that the swarm came from and I spotted the queen walking around on a frame.
I check it again today and I see some capped brood, some drone cells(not many) and 3 swarm/queen cells. I can't find any eggs or larvae or even the queen.

What do you think is happening? What are your suggestions?

Thanks!
 

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Its possible that they swarmed again.
Did the queen have plenty of open frames to lay eggs in? If not they might have done it again.
 

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It is possible that what you saw was a virgin. What you see for capped brood yet is what is left from the original queen that swarmed. The last queen you saw could have been picked of by a bird, dragon fly or for what ever reason she didn't make it back from a mating flight. Or she was on a mating flight when you last looked. When a colony swarms they usually have queen cells of different stages. I think this is there insurance for bad mating weather, loss of virgins on mating flights or for whatever reason. That gives them queens that will hatch out over a period of time instead of all at once. I think virgins will seek out other virgins that are close to hatching but won't bother with queen cells that are open(theory).
 

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I check it again today and I see some capped brood, some drone cells(not many) and 3 swarm/queen cells. I can't find any eggs or larvae or even the queen.

What do you think is happening? What are your suggestions?

Thanks!
Swarm queen cells? You're sure? Not emergency cells?

Were there eggs and larvae when you spotted the new queen? If so, the queen was damaged when you put the hive back together and the cells you saw were emergency cells.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Unfortunately I am not sure if they are emergency cells. How does one tell the difference between swarm cells and emergency cells?

I didn't even think about the possibility of her getting picked off during her mating flight. :(

This year has been very discouraging for me. It seems I have now lost 2 queens. Last year it was so easy, this year they are making me earn my honey!
 

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Swarm cells are usually along the edges of the frame. Emergency or supercedure cells are near the middle. Reasoning is the old queen does not want to be replaced by supercedure but she would like a new house with the swarm.
 

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How does one tell the difference between swarm cells and emergency cells?
Emergency cells are cells created using a worker bee larva. The worker cell is part of the queen cell. The larva is floated out on jelly, and the cell is created with the worker cell as the base of the queen cell. So, an emergency cell is shorter than a swarm or supercedure cell. E cells are located at the edges of the sealed brood pattern. Think about it...when the queen was lost, the bees use very young larvae to create queen cells. The youngest larvae are at the edges of the brood pattern. When you see them, that edge is where brood rearing stopped.

E cells look like the tip of your pinkey, protruding out of the comb at the edges of brood pattern. If my connection wasn't so slow (26.4) I'd post a pic.
 

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Michael Palmer,

Thank you very much! I've seen these in some of my cutouts, etc. Queen cells that looked odd because they were short and not long, and drawn out. Later, the cutout had a queen.

It all makes sense. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes thank you! That does make sense. I believe I might have seen one or two of those...I am checking my remaining hive today so I will take a peek and verify that my other hive had emergency cells.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It appears they are emergency cells. It looks like there are about 3-4 of them. Should I leave all of them and let the new queen take care of the rest?
 

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One thing i have learned is emergency queen cells can be like grapes. A cluster of them. Or many of them on several frames,and they are smaller, not as full.
If the bees are not in an emergency, they will prepare one or two cells in the entire box or two. The cells will be long and full. These cells, the bees took their time to build the best cell, and fed the larva with the best food.
 

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Now don't meddle with the hive for 3 weeks. Then you can check to see if they are queen right.
 
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