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Who can explain bees to me? I have a hive (the one which swarmed about 2-3 weeks ago) which I inspected tonight. Last week all looked well. I had eggs again finally post swarm, and it was doing great. Tonight I found swarm cells in addition to larvae, brood, and fewer eggs than I would have liked to have seen. Unfortunately, I found the swarm cells as they tore open when I pulled the frame. These were full blown 2 capped, 2 nearly capped swarm cells. So I hope they don't really want to swarm because I now have no swarm cells left. My question: why the desire to swarm again? I have 4 medium boxes on this hive. The top box is nearly empty. The other three only have activity going on in about 1/2 the frames but are all drawn comb. This is a new queen. My only hypothesis is that there is too much honey and pollen in the 3 bottom boxes (the brood chamber) which is causing artificial claustrophobia. The queen quit laying for a couple weeks the first swarm around, so the bees packed the brood chamber with honey. They emptied much of it out when the new queen established herself, but that's all I could come up with is that there is still too much honey and pollen in the brood area. I still think there is tons of egg laying space she's not taking advantage of. Thoughts? :scratch:
 

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The top box is nearly empty. The other three only have activity going on in about 1/2 the frames but are all drawn comb. This is a new queen.
It sounds like you have more boxes then you need right now. The colony is spread too thin. Can you add brood to help it out?
 

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May have not mated well and they were trying to supersede.
That would be my vote too. You never can tell, but here (far from Utah) once swarm season has passed - which it has - I don't usuallyy have any problems with it - crowded or not, backfilled or not. The issue transitions to robbing and SHB - which it has. It could all be different there though. Almost certainly is.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm going with the not mated well theory. I looked in last night. While on Saturday there was plenty of larvae and brood with some eggs, last night (Wed) there were no eggs, larvae, and still plenty of brood. Additionally, they had rebuilt what I was calling swarm cells (bottom of frame) as well as added a bunch of supercedure cell starts (on the frame). I would say about 12-15 total were started. I didn't see a queen, although there are still lots of bees in there and hard to sort through. Without eggs this time, I'm thinking they pinched her off maybe. As this hive has swarmed already and lost some time, I'm planning on ordering a queen and putting her in on Saturday. At this point I don't want to lose another month to letting them raise one, get her mated, etc.

Q: Do I need to determine with 100% certainty there is no queen prior to introducing the new one, or just go for it?
 

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Be sure you remove All of the queen cells before installing the new queen. If they have their own queen cells they will kill the boughten queen.
Dave
 

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I've had that same problem. the only difference is that after 2 swarms in each of 2 hives they are still packed with bees. I've never seen a flow like this before. I have 1 hive with 4 full supers and just added another empty. Even the hives that swarmed have 2 full supers and will be needing another this weekend. This will be my best year ever with only 3 hives. Has anyone else seen their hive just explode this year.
 
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