Help! queenless nuc with 8 Q Cells

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House Bee
Jul 16, 2009
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Sutton, London
Hive Type
Number of Hives
I was given a queenless nuc 10 days ago, with 7 frames in a langstroth with queen cells present and plenty of capped and uncapped brood, eggs and stores and advised to leave until queen had hatched.

Bees have been flying well and bringing in pollen and when checked on Monday to insert additional frames and feed to encourage them to draw these out - I hadn't done a check, just a quick look as I am waiting on the queen to hatch.

Done a thorough check today and have found a total of 8 capped queen cells - 6 on one frame.


1) Should I split the nuc down into two - a 3 and a 4 frame nuc and try and
build up both?

2) Make a hatching /mating hive - box(es) with top bars, comb strips, cut out
a QC and graft onto a frame with a mug of bees, feed etc and try to raise
some of the queens that way rather than destroy them?

3) Leave them for the first queen to hatch and kill the others before making
her mating flight?

4) Destroy all but one or two cells?

Any and all suggestions welcome.

Many thanks,

If you have enough bees I would split.

If one of the splits goes bad you can then re-unite to the good one.

Also if you split then there will be less chance of a swarm from one of the queen cells as splits tend to behave better.
I would go for two or even three. But then I am a greedy bu**er.

Many thanks for that, much appreciated.

forgot to mention another challenge with it....

I have a 14 x 12 nat (courtesy of Hivemaker' skill)

this nuc was given in a lang BB so adds to my 'fun' as frames, being bigger, don't fit in my nat.

6 Q cells on one frame and two on another.

I am currently building a HTB Hive so may make a 4 frame box to clip onto end of this and try to use one of the splits as a starter for this - if I have time.

The joy of it all.
The best advice would be to split the colony. But that is not really possible if frames are not compatible.
It's the curse of the UK all these damn hives and consequent frame sizes.

A real bug*ers muddle.

knock up a cheap langstroth Nuc out of ply or chipboard to take six frames with an extra fillet from the top rail to base on part of it to narrow it to take three 14x12 and three langstorths frames....i,ve seen them made from hardboard and strip wood
Quick update.......

Bought poly Mini Nuc and queen cages from Modern Beekeeping - spoke with John on Monday had them on the Tuesday.

Went to apiary Tuesday night cut out two cells and put into cages -nightmare trying to get them to hold as no glue and only some brace comb to melt down on site.
To make matters worse - prepared smoker at home to save time and then forgot to take it so had to use water spray bottle I had taken.

Sprayed a good load of bees and put into the mini nuc - had taped polythene sheet over top of frames /feeder and put lid on, took home and kept in shed since Tuesday night.

In keeping with events, I decided to lift lid off on Wednesday to have a look - no protection - and found bees were on top of the polythene and were soon flying around the shed.

Ended up with a few down my shirt - no probs as they were quite calm - one down my back decided to sting me - STRANGELY ENOUGH had absolutely no effect other than going red - must have got the sting out immediately.

Anyway, decided to leave them until tonight and moved them into garden to open -very calm -no mass explosion of bees everywhere - pulled frames up not much building had gone on, checked one cage and found it had bees all around and a queen inside - well, in keeping with my performance thus far, I opened the cage only for the queen to drop straight into the nuc and vanish.

Got to the next cage to find another queen and a load of comb attached to that cage - have left this queen in the cage and will check again tomorrow and decide what to do next.

Letting the bees settle until later and will close up the exit - just to try and avoid losing a micro swarm tomorrow before I can do something else.

What fun - surely I can only get better :redface:

Well, hopefully this will cheer someone else up when things start going pear shaped for them.


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