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My swarmed colony keeps creating Queen cells

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DominicReady 

New Bee
Joined
Oct 7, 2011
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Cornwall
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national
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My colony swarmed on Thursday 10th May, and fortunately I was able to collect it, and put it into a new brood box, with new frames (undrawn foundation) on the original site.

On Friday 18th May, just 8 days later, it appears that they tried to swarm again (I was at work, but my neighbours said that the air was thick with bees, and that it looked like the bees were trying to swarm). The only thing that stopped them was that I'd put a Queen Excluder between the entrance and brood box - so I guess the colony simply had to return when they realised they'd left the Queen behind.

When I inspected last Saturday 19th May, there were indeed (sealed) Queen cells. I destroyed these, and made sure to add the super from the original hive to give them more space.

I inspected again today (Sun 27th) - just 8 days later - and once again there were two sealed queen cells, and a queen cup with larvae inside. I've destroyed these.

I'm wondering why the colony is so keen to swarm, and what I can do about it.
It just seems odd, because they've already swarmed, but they still seem to want to leave their new home very quickly.

I should say that I've now clipped the Queen's wings, and that I haven't removed the Queen excluder from between entrance and b/box.

My hive is a national, and I'm wondering whether I should use my first super as the 'half' of a brood and a half.

Alternatively, I can do an artificial swarm. Trouble is, I can't keep buying new hives and equipment. I'd assumed just having one spare hive would be enough (up until a month ago I only had the one hive!)

Any advice welcome!

Thanks
 

DominicReady 

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Your queen is most likely past her sell by date,or damaged, as far as the bees are concerned, so they are trying to produce a new one.
Ah! That possibility hadn't occurred to me, because I got them last July from the local Bee association (I went on a Beginners course last year).
I'm wondering at what point I should kill the current Queen? Once the bees seal a new Queen cell? Or should I let a Virgin Queen simply fight it out with the old Queen?

As a caveat to the above, I should say that the current Queen seems incredibly fertile. My friend who keeps bees in the same location, and who got bees at the same time as me seems to have a lot fewer in his hive. Whereas, I now seem to have got these two hives which do seem very full of bees. And there do seem to be plenty of frames with eggs.

Anyway, thanks for your help!
 

AndreaW 

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Mar 21, 2011
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My understanding is that if it is supercedure you just let the queen cell hatch and the new queen will either fight with the old or coexist with her. On that basis I would leave a good queen cell and get rid of the others. If it is supercedure rather than swarming you can leave them to it.

But as a newbie I might be wrong.........not worthy
 

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