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Hived a package recently (with a queen which successfully released from her cage). On subsequent inspection note that there is no brood so no laying queen, but there are queen cells so they are making themselves a new queen.
My question is to the number of queen cells which there appears to be several. What happens to the extra queen cells and the resulting extra queens.


Mark
 

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They MAY be making a new queen, or they may be desperately attempting it with some worker eggs... From when you see larvae they should be capped in four days. From when they are capped they should emerge in 8 days. If they are drone eggs they will tear down the cells before that happens. If they are eggs from a fertile queen you should have a laying queen in about two weeks after she emerges. Yes, the first one out will kill the rest.
 

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If they are drone eggs they will tear down the cells before that happens.
Do they ever let a drone "queen" hatch out? I had isolated a capped queen cell (built from a queen cup, not worker brood) into a Styrofoam mini mating nuc and waited for it to hatch. I only put a small handful of bees in there, and one or two were probably drones. From the bottom, I could see that the cell had properly hatched, but could never find a queen in the bunch. Still puzzled what might have happened in there. The capped queen cell in my display hive did the same thing. But when I opened my main hive to add those bees back in there, I found that the 3rd queen cell had hatched a real queen. Unfortunately, she never made it back from her mating flight, so my hive is still queenless.
 

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Yes, the first one out will kill the rest.
Third year so still learning. I have not had after swarms (that I know of) but how do you have more that one swarm coming from the same hive, did she just miss one or two cells?
So, if you know the Q has swarmed should you reduce the number of Q cells left? My mentor says to take out all but one cell.

dan
 

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>Do they ever let a drone "queen" hatch out?

I have never seen it nor heard of it. Huber says no. I agree.

> I had isolated a capped queen cell (built from a queen cup, not worker brood) into a Styrofoam mini mating nuc and waited for it to hatch. I only put a small handful of bees in there, and one or two were probably drones. From the bottom, I could see that the cell had properly hatched, but could never find a queen in the bunch. Still puzzled what might have happened in there. The capped queen cell in my display hive did the same thing. But when I opened my main hive to add those bees back in there, I found that the 3rd queen cell had hatched a real queen. Unfortunately, she never made it back from her mating flight, so my hive is still queenless.

Sometimes a mating nuc will leave with the queen when she mates. Sometimes I think she's looking for a better home since there are not that many bees there and moves into a more populated hive...

>Third year so still learning. I have not had after swarms (that I know of) but how do you have more that one swarm coming from the same hive, did she just miss one or two cells?

Swarms are a different matter. The queen cells are not all the same age. The bees protect the other cells until they decide they are done swarming. They don't let the loose queen kill them. Details here:
http://www.bushfarms.com/huber.htm#oldqueenleadsprimaryswarm

> So, if you know the Q has swarmed should you reduce the number of Q cells left? My mentor says to take out all but one cell.

That assumes that one queen cell is viable and will survive. I'd rather split them if I think they are likely to afterswarm. If each of those splits has a queen cell and one ends up queenless, I can recombine. If I destroy all but one queen cell and it's not viable, they have no queen.
 
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