new queens

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


New Bee
Mar 26, 2009
Reaction score
northants uk
Hive Type
Number of Hives
my question is what normally happens when a queen cell hatches and there have been more than 1 queen cell in the hive. i thought that the virgin queen normally tore down the other queen cells before they hatched. the reason i am asking is i had a nuc with 4 queen cells left in it. 3 of theese cells look to have hatched, however the nuc does not have loads of nurse bees in, i am unable to find the virgin queen and there is still one unhatched cell in the hive can any body advise me if this is correct or not??????
Last edited:
Hi Burch,
When the first queen emerges she will usually do one of two things
(I say usually because bees don't always follow the "rules")
a. She will depart with a cast of flying bees leaving behind the nurse bees. Have you noticed a decrease in the number of bees in the Nuc?
b. She will tear the sides of the other queen cells and kill the queens - have the emerged cells been attacked in any way? Have a close look at the remaining sealed cell, sometimes the bees reseal the "lid", if it is unopened It may be worth pulling the queen ie helping her out VERY carefully.
Virgin queens are very difficult to find so if non of the above applies I would close up and leave alone for 3 weeks and hope that there is a virgin and that she mates and comes into lay.
:cheers2: Mike
the 1 last queen cell had not been touched in any wayat all. some of the other cells had the caps slightly open and the sides completely gone.there is definatley a decrease in the number of bees in the nuc. i have looked around the area where the nuc is located (on my allotment) and have beenunable to find any swarms. what do you suggest
Sorry to hear that Burch, sounds as if the early queen(s) left with a cast(s)
All is not lost though you still have what sounds like a good sealed queen cell in there. Have you any idea when it was sealed? if yes then add 8 days and that is when the virgin queen should emerge. Next quick check is to confirm she HAS emerged then leave alone for at least 3 weeks to give her peace and quiet to mate and hopefully come into lay.
:cheers2: Mike
they were all capped about the same time. i am hoping it has hatched and will mate within the next couple of days with the nice hot weather.
Yes fingers crossed- however I stress leave them alone - no quick peeks - for at least two preferably 3 weeks.
:cheers2: Mike
had a stroke of luck tonight. a hive that was queen less and had several capped queen cells last thursday that i left. the first had hatched and torn down a couple of the other cells. i removed the rest bar 1 that was hatching as i was there. i place this one and the complete fram along with some more brood and stores into another brood box. just hope they both mate and get laying. have loads of drones in my hives at the moment. so fingers crossed

Latest posts