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Discussion Starter #1
Very surprising. I got 16 mated queens last week. A week before I did a semi split of the hives. I divided the resources between the top and bottom deeps, placed the original queens in the bottom and added a queen excluder, then put the top deep on.
When the queens arrived, I moved the top box onto a bottom board at different location in the yard, chose two frames of brood….there were no queen cells on it at that time…… and sandwiched the capped queen cage between them. Two days later I opened the new hive to uncap the cage and allow the bees to eat through the candy.
And here we are….9 days after a queen was last on those frames with what appear to be swarm cells. They were the real deal with larvae floating on royal jelly.
I am scratching my head.



https://postimg.cc/PPX3bwj4
 

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Wow, so what does one do in that situation? Can you harvest them and mate them somewhere else? Are there more on other frames too?
 

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Swarm impulse is a strange cat. Did you get swarm cells in the lower halves as well?
 

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I would expect the possibility of emergency cells but it is surprising to see them on the bottom of the frame. Workers can attempt queen making on larvae up to ~5 days from the egg if they have nothing else. Not common though. Also start Q cells from drone larvae; there would have been drone larvae at that location but those look like proper Q cells.

What other possibilities are there?

I think it was a good idea to have the escape candy capped. What was your next move?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What was your next move?
Cut the queen cells, uncapped the cage.
I'll check this afternoon or tomorrow to see if she's accepted.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Possible defect in QE.
Not likely. The old queen was definitely in the lower box...I checked. I can't imagine her passing through a qe fault, laying two eggs and returning to the bottom through the fault.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Swarm impulse is a strange cat. Did you get swarm cells in the lower halves as well?
Just those two. None in the bottom box.
 

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Queen thorax cant go thru the QE, but abdomen can, it's 'squishy'. Those frames were resting on the excluder, and the cups were at the bottom of the frame. queen could have put eggs in them thru the excluder.

I am ofc assuming you did a serious check for the second queen in the top box, and she was nowhere to be found. If she was in there, I would expect more than just these two.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
These are nuc queen excluders…metal mesh in a wooden frame. No way a queen could shove her abdomen far enough into them to lay an egg on the frame above.
No second queen.
The whole idea that workers move eggs around has been debated a multitude of times. The consensus, as I recall, among knowledgeable beekeepers is that they don’t. Doesn’t necessarily make it so….just the consensus. If it were so….that would surely explain my conundrum. It certainly crossed my mind.
 

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The whole idea that workers move eggs around has been debated a multitude of times. The consensus, as I recall, among knowledgeable beekeepers is that they don’t. Doesn’t necessarily make it so….just the consensus. If it were so….that would surely explain my conundrum. It certainly crossed my mind.
I will stand corrected on this one. Until proven otherwise. I had read a discussion on this a few years back and kind of logged it in the back of my mind. I never questioned it because it felt reasonable. But just looking around now, I see no reason to currently believe it. However, if there is no other way possible, then perhaps one must again consider the possibilities. Could a laying worker have laid one in there? Could the queen figured a way around the QX? Is/was there another queen in the hive? Could this have been one of those mother-daughter situations that was missed and they got separated on either side of the QX and after laying the egg in the cup, finally died or got ganc'ed by the workers because she had no longer enough pheromone? Are we open to religious possibilities such as divine intervention? Immaculate conception? https://phys.org/news/2020-05-gene-honey-bees-virgin-birth.html
 

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Highly unlikely to be cape bee connection. Has is been ruled out that it may have been drone larvae in those cells? Apparently there are always the odd laying worker even in a healthy colony but the egg police destroy their offerings. I have seen the odd cell in honey supers; not like when a queen gets above the excluder.

I think the odd laying worker possibility is more likely than workers moving eggs.

Got me stumped Dan.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Are we open to religious possibilities such as divine intervention? Immaculate conception?
I know that there is a logical explanation but I have no idea what that explanation is. For the time being....divine intervention sounds as plausible as anything else. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I’ve thought about this. As hard as it is for me to accept, the only rational conclusion that I can draw is that those cells were already started when I originally placed that cage….and I simply missed them.
 

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Started to a keeper means a visible cell that begins to look different.
Started to a bee is sooner than that.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Started to a keeper means a visible cell that begins to look different.
Started to a bee is sooner than that.
No doubt but I placed that queen cage 48 hours before that photo was taken......and 9 days after a queen last had access.
Thanks for giving me an out....but I think this is another time for me to be my own worst critic.
 

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I will stand corrected on this one. Until proven otherwise. I had read a discussion on this a few years back and kind of logged it in the back of my mind. I never questioned it because it felt reasonable. But just looking around now, I see no reason to currently believe it. However, if there is no other way possible, then perhaps one must again consider the possibilities. Could a laying worker have laid one in there? Could the queen figured a way around the QX? Is/was there another queen in the hive? Could this have been one of those mother-daughter situations that was missed and they got separated on either side of the QX and after laying the egg in the cup, finally died or got ganc'ed by the workers because she had no longer enough pheromone? Are we open to religious possibilities such as divine intervention? Immaculate conception? https://phys.org/news/2020-05-gene-honey-bees-virgin-birth.html
If you go to the Bee-l archives this was discussed at length with a few “experiments”, an interesting read with the same conclusion of workers do not move eggs (I didn’t read the above paper, yet). Getting back to unusual swarm cells, I too have had unusual situations with them this Spring.
 
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