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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Day 0 : On June 6, I did a cutout from a fallen tree.
Day 1 : The next day, on June 7, I dropped a frame of eggs from one of my hives into the brood box, in case I did not get the queen.

Day 5 : On June 11, I checked the box and found a capped queen cell.

Day 19 : On June 25, I had a look to see what was going on.

I found the old queen cell, ripped to shreds. Maybe she hatched, maybe not. But, the really strange thing is that I found 1 new, capped queen cell and one that they were working to cap!

According to my math, no eggs from the original frame should still be capped and there doesn't seem to have been enough time for the original cell to actually hatch and lay some eggs for a supercedure.

I have a new queen and I would like to put it into this hive, but I am not sure what is going on in there.
 

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Hard to say if they are queenless or not. But it seems a bit short time frame to have laying workers if you had brood and eggs when you did the cutout. And I assume these queen cells have larvae in them? So it seems likely they are trying to supersede the emergency queen they made...
 

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I had a queenless hive that they were unable to re-queen. I placed a frame with eggs in and a five days later there was a capped queen cell. I checked again and there are several queen cells. the capped cell had not yet emerged but there were several bees all over it. I assumed they were helping her to emerge. They should not have been able to make more queen cells as the eggs should have been too old.
It has been 9 days since I was in it last -giving a new queen time to start laying.
If this does not work then I will combine it with another hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the feedback.

Sorry to be a bit slow on this, but how could an emergency queen actually had enough time to hatch AND lay eggs for them to then use for a supercedure?

That's my issue with this. It doesn't make any sense according to what I understand.

As far as I understand it, all bees get royal jelly for 4 to 6 days. Only eggs and any larvae still on royal jelly can become a queen.

So, if I use a span of 1 to 6, and assume the queen cell is capped on day 8, the initial frame that I put into the box (on June 7) could have had capped queen cells on June 9 (larva was 6 days old on June 7) through June 15 (egg was laid right before I put it into the box.)

If I then extrapolate that out to hatching (we'll use 7 to 9 days from capping to 'here I am!'), the earliest queen could have arrived on June 16.

So, how do I already have another capped queen cell 9 days after the earliest possible emergence of a queen? They do not cap it until Day 8, so this queen would have had to come out, run out, get mated and then returned to lay a couple of eggs on the very same day she emerged.

It doesn't make sense to me, so I know that I have it wrong somewhere. Anyone able to help me make sense of this (or correct me where I am in error)?
 

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I would say June 23 for the queen to emerge if they made a queen cell from a freshly laid egg or June 20 for a queen to emerge if a cell was made from a hatched egg. Need a week to ten days for the queen to mate and start laying at the soonest.

not sure what you have going on in your hive.

Can you locate the queen in your hive?

G3
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So, G3, that makes it even harder to think that a capped queen cell could be in the hive on the 25th.

No, I can't find the queen (although, that's not saying much as I am no skilled 'queen finder').

I suppose that I will wait for next weekend and see what I have. If I still find not evidence of a queen, I'll drop another frame of eggs in the hive.
 

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Lets just say you did get the queen in the cut out, maybe injured but still able to lay a few eggs. The first queen cell was a supercedure cell and maybe the old queen tore it apart and the girls are trying to make a new queen again.

I would check to see if you could locate any eggs in the comb and make sure there is only one per cell laid in the bottom. If you are finding two or more eggs laid on the sides of the sides of the cells then I would say a laying worker has set up shop. Get the sun to your back and angle the comb so it will shine into the bottom of the cell, can even look for newly hatched larva laying in royal jelly.

One other question, when you did the cut out did you keep the comb oriented in the same direction as it was cut out, cells pointing upwards?

G3
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No, I did not keep the comb in the right direction. It was my first cutout and I have only learned that lesson after the fact.

Should I remove that comb (they seem to have filled it up with nectar (prob from the sugar water I have been feeding them))? I have wondered about that comb because it is so much smaller celled and that a queen out of one of my hives might be too big to lay in it.
 

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I can't believe they would even try to fill with nectar, it will run out of the cells.

This might be a reason the queen is not laying in the cells.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's been a comedy of errors.

The experienced beekeepers will just shake their heads at this, but when I went in on the 25th to check for queen evidence, I actually noticed a capped queen cell that was in the horizontal position on the cut-out comb (i.e. I put the comb in on its side). I'm guessing the queen was killed when the tree came crashing down and they were making a new queen right there. Regardless of what they were doing, I wish like heck that I had seen that when I was cutting out the comb (although I am not sure that I would have known how to get it into one of my frames, as the queen cell was on the very bottom of the comb...). It may have been the last remnants of that gene pool.

To your point, the comb with nectar in it may be correctly positioned. I don't recall if the frame with the horizontal pointing queen cell had any nectar in it or not (I will be checking tomorrow.)

Thanks for your thoughts on this.
 

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A comedy of errors, lol

no need to worry, you are learning valuable lessons here.

G3
 
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