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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Northern Virginia, New Beekeeper, using medium 8-frame boxes. First post.

Medium 8-frame box
One nuc started with 5 frames of brood, pollen, queen plus one empty drawn comb- 4 weeks ago (we'll call it yellow)
One nuc started a week later with 5 frames of brood, pollen, queen plus 1 frame of Honey and one empty drawn comb- 3 weeks ago (call it pink)

from the beginning, Pink was stronger than Yellow. My Nuc provider spent more time giving me foragers in Pink so maybe that's it, there's much more activity and bee density in Pink.

I didn't feed Yellow right away (missed that advice somehow) but began feeding Pink right away (& began feeding yellow at that time). 1:1 plus pollen patties.

My first inspection of Yellow at two weeks, I couldn't find marked Queen but found uncapped larva and decided everything was good. They had produced one side of comb on a frame of foundation but hadn't touched either outside frame

My 2nd inspection of yellow at 3.5 weeks (trying to decide whether to add 2nd hive), I couldn't find marked Queen but again had lots of uncapped larva and three queen cells on one of the brood frames, one of which was capped. Overall Yellow looked healthy, but still had an empty frame on each side without little going on (minor comb initiation on inside of one of them).

At this inspection, despite being one week younger, the pink hive was bursting with bees on every frame and had built out comb on the empty foundation.

I added another medium 8-frame box on both and pulled up a frame of brood and a frame of pollen/nectar/honey into these boxes. Pink because it was full, yellow because I was worried about why the Queen cells and that bees thought they were out of room or something.

And called my mentor right away about the Queen Cells.

He came three days later and confirmed Queen Cells with one capped, one being capped and full of jelly and the 3rd probably empty (bad light morning). He wasn't sure why. He found lots of eggs, found the marked Queen who was laying and looked active and attended to. They had space and appeared ok. He wasn't sure, but we decided on "Queen Cell-icide" and cut off the 3 queen cells.

It's two days later and you can't tell that anything's different in either hive from the outside.

Any idea on what's going on with the Queen Cells and advice if they have new ones next time I go inspect?

And any advice about discontinuing sugar water and pollen patties for these hives. As I understand, the recommendation to feed was to help with energy demands of building new comb.


Sorry no pictures.

· Moderator - In Memorium
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
6,894 Posts
Hokie236, keep feeding them until you have three boxes of drawn frames in each hive. Then slow way down like maybe a quart per week and no patty until mid August. Then give it to them as 2:1 until the hives have about 40-50#s of capped syrup. Also feed pollen sub to make sure you have well fed winter bees.

No idea why the bees started qc's. Culling them was the right thing to do in this case, however, if they make more, let it play out. They would most likely be supercedure cells and it is rarely a good idea to second guess the bees when that occurs.
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