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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased an excellent queen and she has been in the hive approximately 3 weeks or so. I checked the hive frame by frame tonight only to find 2-3 empty queen cells and the queen I found was not marked blue as the one I purchased.

I have a hunch my bees superceded the queen and raised up one of their own. That or they chewed the blue paint off her back and there are 2-3 empty queen cells in the hive for decoration.

What do you think?

If the bees superceded, they must have had an excellent reason. The queen I purchased though, came from excellent stock. I forgot to mention that this is a cutout hive and the numbers of bees is excellent. This appears to be a strong hive with a high number of bees.
 

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3 weeks isn't much time... was the queen you saw today very small or about the same size as the old one? If she's the same size and not tiny then it can't be a superceedure queen, she'd be just hatched and very tiny.

Is there any brood or eggs in the hive at all? If there is, then it can't be a superceedure queen. 3 weeks isn't enough time to raise a new queen from an egg and have her mated an laying.

There is also the possibility that the cutout hive already had a queen that you didn't see when you tried to introduce the newly purchased queen so the bees just killed your new queen... just throwing that out as a possibility.

By the way, a couple empty queen cups don't mean a thing. I don't think I've ever had a hive that didn't have at least 2 empty queen cups... they keep a couple around just in case of emergencies (the time it takes for them to build a queen cup could mean the difference between being able to raise an emergency replacement, and not not being able to).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok, maybe they just chewed the blue paint off of her back. She is not tiny at all. She's quite large and the frames are filled with eggs or at least the one or two frames I could see in the twilight last night. I got to the bee yard later than usual.

Empty queen cups all the time eh? I didn't know that, thanks for the tip. I've seen empty queen cups like that in most all of my hives.

Thanks everybody. After what everyone has said, I suppose 3 weeks is a bit too soon to hatch out a supercedure queen, have her mated and laying eggs.

This queen is quick and she runs too. LOL.
 

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It could be a superceded queen, 14 days from laid egg to hatched queen, minus 3 days to hatched egg leaves 11 days as larve and in a capped cell, that means that the new queen could have had up to 10 days to fly and mate. Probably not likely but mathmatically it is possible.

On the same note, I have had 66% of my 2010 purchased queens get superceded this year, all came from the south. I am assuming they didnt have good flying weather and were mated poorly. :(
 

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Empty cells and empty cups are very different things. If you had empty cells how had they been emptied? Were they chewed open on the side, or open on the end from when the queen emerged?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The open cups look like the beginnings of queen cells that were never drawn down and finish. The entrance is a perfect circle, not like it had been chewed through, like other queen cells I have seen. I look up in the cells and see nothing.
 

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Those are called queen cups. Very common to see in a healthy hive. Nothing to worry about. Don't bother tearing them down. They will just build them right back.
 
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