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Hello

 

I have found what I think is two queen cells in my hive the other day... I inspected it and found that the queen is doing well. What should I do to the queen cells I have found? This is a new hive and I have just installed the second super.. Any advice on queen cells would be appreciated!!

 

Cheers Tony

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Queen cells always face down towards the bottom of the frame. Are they capped cells, cups (like the cup on an acorn), if uncapped, what's inside - egg or larvae?

 

Where abouts on the frame are they? How much room is there in the hive? Have you noticed an unusual amount of drones laid?

 

A general rule of thumb (not hard and fast mind you), is that many cells mainly along the bottoms of frames means swarm cells, few cells more in the middle of the frame means supercedure.

 

If it is a QC, one (safe) option is to take it/them out and make up a nuc with them. If they're swarm cells (which is unlikely if there is only two) then you need to reduce their numbers (by making the nuc) and give them space (replace frames for nuc with foundation). If they're supercedure cells, you can wait until the new one is laying, snuff the old one, and amalgamate the nuc back to the parent hive.

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What I do is scrape them off with my hive tool. I dont know if that is the right thing to do, but its what I do. If your queen is last seasons or older then make a nuc to control the superceedure otherwise remove to eliminate the risk of swarming. Please someone correct me if I am wrong

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supersedure is normal at this time of year and if there are only one or two Queen cells then that is what is happening. I always leave them alone, the bees know what they are doing and you will end up with a new Queen. Normally the two Queen's will live happily side by side for some time. I had a hive the other day with the Queen that was under one-month-old and appeared to be laying well but it was naturally superseding so I left them to it.

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Sometimes the bees know more about the condition of their existing queen than you will ever know. John Berry's on the button. Don't kill the existing queen just because there are a couple of QC's. I've seen a hive with three and four queens working happily together. One nice and furry and new, another looking a bit worn, another decidedly worn and another hairless and worn like a big ant, but a bee and a queen bee to boot for all that "hard wear". So I says to meself. Don't interfere laddie, they and the bees KNOW what they're doing. BTW two of these queens were about 3 cells apart on the same side of the same frame. If you wanted piece of mind and felt a little destructive you could reduce the number of cells down to the best looking ONE. However in spring , different matter - into a split with the each of them. As for knocking down or removing unwanted QC's in the spring and early summer - occupied ones (egg, grub or pupa) are the ones to do this to if that's your inclination, but make sure the hive has adequate/plenty of expansion room and the queen plenty of available laying space.

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