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The queen in my observation hive is acting strange. She was doing good,laying eggs, looking for empty brood cells and had a group of attending bees following her around. Now she scurries across comb in a mad dash and other worker bees seem to harass her, grab on to her and even chase her across comb.There is also not much new brood due to lack of brood cells or because they are filling with nectar. Whats going on here. The observation hive was concentrated at the top due to cold weather and that's where syrup was being fed. They started making queen cells I think b/c they thought they were running out of room. We removed queen cells and moved brood to bottom of hive hoping they would start working up to fill empty frames. In any case this behavior started before we moved frames or got rid of queen cells. I don't know if we did right thing or not but this odd queen behavior has me wondering what to do if anything at all. Looking for some advice as I am new beekeeper.
 

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That's what they do to reduce her weight for a swarming flight. Shouldn't have cut down the queen cells, hopefully you missed one. Cutting down queen cells won't prevent swarming. They backfill the comb with nectar to prevent her from laying. Backfilling is another indicator they're getting ready to swarm. If there are larvae the right age they may build more queen cells DO NOT cut them down or you will go queenless.
 

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That's what they do to reduce her weight for a swarming flight. Shouldn't have cut down the queen cells, hopefully you missed one. Cutting down queen cells won't prevent swarming. They backfill the comb with nectar to prevent her from laying. Backfilling is another indicator they're getting ready to swarm. If there are larvae the right age they may build more queen cells DO NOT cut them down or you will go queenless.
That makes sense and explains that behavior I was so puzzled. So good news and bad news. I think we were right that they thought they needed to swarm and moving the brood frames down was maybe ok but the bad news is we removed cells and as you say may go queen-less. Soooo... I should maybe get ready to get new queen when they swarm as I'm pretty sure we didn't miss any queen cells. And then hope they all don't leave. There is 2-3 frames of brood but I haven't been able to see any new eggs cause as you say they have back filled with nectar.
 

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If you have a nuc or anther OH remove her and put her in one or the other with bees of course. You might wait a couple weeks and reintroduce her might work but may not. Hope things work out for you!
 

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I'm wondering if its possible that a queen cell hatched and a virgin killed your queen. Why ? Because the behavior you are describing is exactly that of a new virgin queen. Scurrying all over the comb, older grumpy forager bees biting at her, etc. Was she (original) queen marked ?
 

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That's possible I guess but hard to tell as the queen wasn't marked. But like you say it's like the other bees are pi**ed off at her biting at her and chasing her. Hard to say though as she looks like the original queen. We didn't notice any empty queen cells when moving frames just @ 3 full ones. As far as removing her I am hesitant to disturb/agitate hive any more right now. I think if they are gonna swarm I'm not going to be able to stop them. I think I will let it play out see if they calm down and get back to normal. They were doing so well but then kind of just stalled with the brood building. The hive is a 10 frame Bonterra style FYI Keep the answers/suggestions coming as it helps us learn. As a side note the bees outside the entrance have gotten more aggressive but that may be due to us fiddling with the hive.
 

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You hope they will get back to normal ? This will be a good lesson for you. When she leaves, ya gonna ask what to do next ? This is the good part of having an observation hive, ya get to see what is going on in a hive, and be able to react accordingly. Swarm cells,,,,, ,take her out put her in a nuc and watch the process. Now that you got rid of the replacement, do you have other hives you can take a frame of open brood for them ? If you do, give it to em, put her in a nuc. Or she will be gone. As Slow Drone said, filling the brood nest with nectar was your first clue. the same thing happened to me last month, filled the open cells in the brood nest as they emerged, then drew 2 swarm cells. I pulled her and put her in a nuc with a frame of brood. I put a grafted cell in there and she emerged. Then later I decided to take the frame with the cells on it and make another nuc, but it was too late, there she was chewing on the last cell then stinging it. No big loss, it was worth witnessing. By the way I took 27 frames of brood out of that OH last year and made nucs. Keep it weak. ,,,,,,,,,,,Pete
 

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You hope they will get back to normal ? This will be a good lesson for you. When she leaves, ya gonna ask what to do next ? This is the good part of having an observation hive, ya get to see what is going on in a hive, and be able to react accordingly. Swarm cells,,,,, ,take her out put her in a nuc and watch the process. Now that you got rid of the replacement, do you have other hives you can take a frame of open brood for them ? If you do, give it to em, put her in a nuc. Or she will be gone. As Slow Drone said, filling the brood nest with nectar was your first clue. the same thing happened to me last month, filled the open cells in the brood nest as they emerged, then drew 2 swarm cells. I pulled her and put her in a nuc with a frame of brood. I put a grafted cell in there and she emerged. Then later I decided to take the frame with the cells on it and make another nuc, but it was too late, there she was chewing on the last cell then stinging it. No big loss, it was worth witnessing. By the way I took 27 frames of brood out of that OH last year and made nucs. Keep it weak. ,,,,,,,,,,,Pete
well here's the lesson I learned. The odd queen behavior seems to be a virgin queen. Caught a swarm outside observation hive today that contained a queen that I am pretty sure was the original queen in observation hive. I'm not 100% sure but after watching her for 5-6 weeks she sure looked like her based on her deep brown orange color and after seeing her again and then looking at new queen in observation hive the difference was obvious. The old queen and swarm were out of hive for almost two days so luck definitely played a role. Put the swarm in a new hive today along with two other nucs that we got today so now were hopefully going well with four hives. The observation hive bees also seem to be settling down with new queen allowing her to move freely across comb. Lesson learned: don't rush to any action and talk to as many experienced beekeepers as you can when you see something your not familiar with. Most are genuinely interested and willing to help. Thanks for all the help! How we missed virgin queen in OB hive I don't know but all is well that ends well!
 

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well here's the lesson I learned. The odd queen behavior seems to be a virgin queen. Caught a swarm outside observation hive today that contained a queen that I am pretty sure was the original queen in observation hive. I'm not 100% sure but after watching her for 5-6 weeks she sure looked like her based on her deep brown orange color and after seeing her again and then looking at new queen in observation hive the difference was obvious. The old queen and swarm were out of hive for almost two days so luck definitely played a role. Put the swarm in a new hive today along with two other nucs that we got today so now were hopefully going well with four hives. The observation hive bees also seem to be settling down with new queen allowing her to move freely across comb. Lesson learned: don't rush to any action and talk to as many experienced beekeepers as you can when you see something your not familiar with. Most are genuinely interested and willing to help. Thanks for all the help! How we missed virgin queen in OB hive I don't know but all is well that ends well!
 
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