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Discussion Starter #1
Here is the scenario:
  • I have a 10 frame double deep hive with 3 honey supers that had capped swarm cells on May 7th.
  • Moved he queen along with 3 frames of brood, pollen and honey to a 5 frame nuc…(that nuc has since grown into a 10 frame double deep)
  • Colony from the parent hive swarmed anyway on May 18th. Checked for queen, eggs larvae in the parent hive on the 20th and the 24th. No signs of a queen. I put a frame of eggs in parent hive on May 24th just in case.
  • Checked parent hive again on June 1 and still no sign of queen, eggs, larvae. The frame of eggs that I put in 1 week earlier had 7 capped queen cells…so apparently the colony was queen less after all…also, all of the frames in both deep hive bodies are full of honey or nectar.

1. Would you remove queen cells down to a 1 or 2 before they emerge…or leave them all?...they are due to emerge on the 5th - 8th of May...

2. Also, there is essentially no room to lay once the new queen gets mated and starts to lay…will the colony move nectar up or around to make room or are they destined to swarm again with the total backfilling of the hive…?

3. Running out of time but I do have a nuc with a new queen that started laying about a few days ago that I could introduce via push-in cage and remove the frame with queen cells to get this hive moving a little quicker…not sure its worth the two weeks or so that I would save…?

Just some thoughts: This hive has essentially been queen less since May 7th so all of the brood has emerged from the original queen. There was backfilling associated with the original swarm and has continued since there was no queen to fill in the space with eggs. I am hoping the urge to swarm has dissipated since it has been more than 2 weeks since the initial swarm…and that the continued backfilling is associated with a strong nectar flow? Your thoughts on this and above scenario?

Thanks,

Tommy
 

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for what its worth I'd let all seven queen cells, let nature figure out the best queen, but I have no experience with this at all, I have knowledge just gaining experience.
 

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I think I agree with chuck. It's prime time of year for a colony to be able to produce a queen and she get mated. IF it is a strong healthy colony minus the fact that it's queen-less, I would let nature run it's course by letting them produce their own queen and letting those queen cells be as they are.
So far this year I have done two 50 50 walk away splits not really knowing for sure weather the taken away split or the half left behind got the queen. From later observation it seems in both cases the queen went with the taken away split. I just have trusted whichever was left without the queen would produce another. So far, 1 to 1 and half months later all seem to be doing well.
 

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you can let them get a queen form one of the queen cells or you can take the frame with the queen cells put it in the nuc and take the queen out of the nuc and give to the big hive. I had about he same thing happen on the 7th of May a hive swarmed I caught the swarm and gave them a frame of brood to keep them in the hive I put them in. they raised a queen from the brood frame and the queen didn't make it back so I gave them another frame of brood and they built a bunch of queen cells. I took the frame with the cells out and put in a nuc. I'm going to divide them into three more nucs. So I gave the swarm hive a laying queen because it has been nearly a month without a laying queen.
And to make matters worst the original hive the swarm came from didn't get their queen either. So I had to give them a laying queen.
Most think it is best to just give them a couple queen cells.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just an update on the queen-less hive after swarm…inspected hive today and found the new queen roaming around on one of the frames. She was due to emerge yesterday…all of the other 6 queen cells had been broken down by the workers I presume…I even noticed that some of the cells/frames that were completely full of nectar last Sunday seem to be cleared out, not all by any means but some…maybe they are moving nectar in prep for the new queen to lay…?

Thanks for your insight umchuck, lamp burner and sterling…!
 
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