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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When bees make swarm cells, do they usually make more than one? I checked my hive today and looks like one of the frames has a capped queen cell. It looks really funny. It looks like a queen cell that is on the bottom of the comb and it seems like it connects with the bottom bar. I checked my hive 2 days ago and it was the same issue, but I destroyed it and didn't see anything inside even though it was already capped.
I tried to locate my queen but couldn't find her. I wonder if it's really a swarm cell?
 

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1."...it seems like it connects with the bottom bar...."
not likely a swarm cell if it does.
2."...do they usually make more than one..."
yes
check'em again in a week for a new swarm cell, and check the condition of the hive-enough stores and space.
good luck,mike
 

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Since the structure is on the bottom, IF it is a queen cell then it most likely is a swarm cell, as supercedure cells typically are on top or off to the side, kinda hidden like. Without seeing it or knowing exactly how it's connected to the bottom bar, it's hard to tell what it is. Can you post a pic? I have seen lots of roundish oddly-shaped cells on older comb that were nothing but burr comb. And yes, they more often than not build multiple queen cells.
 

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When trying to determine if something is a swarm cell, it's not about location, it's about context. Location is one piece of the puzzle. The time of year, the crowdedness of the hive, the open space or lack of it in the brood nest. So lets try a couple of senarios.

If I found queen cells anywhere in a hive that is crowded and the brood nest clogged with nectar, I would assume they are swarm cells.

If I found queen cells anywhere in a hive that is dwindling, has lots of room in the hive and lots of empty cells in the brood nest, I would assume they are supersedure cells.

True, the swarm cells tend to be on the edges of comb (not necessarily the bottom), while supersedure cells tend to be more in the middle of the combs, but I would not draw too strong of a conclusion just from the location.
 

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I completely agree with that, Michael. But aren't we looking for hard and fast rules that always apply in beekeeping?:D
 

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I think the bees are looking for those rules, just so they can break them! :s
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
:ws Today i checked my hive and found more queen cells, some are on the sides and some are on the bottom. Some of them are capped and some of them aren't and some even have holes to the side. I added a couple of combless frames. I also took honey frames from medium and added new frames. Removed queen excluder. Checked and didn't see no eggs and no larvae. Looks like my queen is gone but I still have pretty good amount of really mean bees left. I think I have over crowded swarm because when I looked in the nest and it's all filled with honey.

Would should I do next? :scratch: Should I do split or should I put new box with 10 frames? ANY suggestions will help. And thank you ALL for replying and your advises. I greatly appreciate.:) :D

Also, what should I with those couple of frames that i removed that are full of honey. I really don't want to get my extracter dirty just for a couple. How long can i hold on to a frame with honey without doing anything to it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I went to do the spilt yesterday and I found my old queen in the hive and all of the swarm cells destroyed. What is this all about??????? Looks like she started laying eggs again. I am not sure what to do now.
 

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Sometimes females can just change their mind. ;)

I'm not sure what your set up is, but it sounds like you may want to add a super or another box and give them more room. Move a few frames up to the center of the new box and insert a few empty frames in the lower box in between capped frames. Removing the excluder may have helped out too.
 
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