Puzzling Queen Cells.

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New Bee
Apr 13, 2009
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SE London
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I will try and keep this as brief as poss so i dont bore you all to death.

Got my swarm about 8 weeks ago now and they have been pretty industrious.
They are in a National on a brood and a half with a QX seperating the brood and half from a further super.
The main brood box has Bees (thick) on all but 3 of the frames, and the 3 Bee less frames are yet to be drawn. There is sealed brood covering 3 frames entirely and other brood/stores on the remaining frames.
The Half brood up until approx 2 weeks ago was packed with brood in all stages as well as stores. The change is, that the half brood has switched to being used entirely for sealed stores with very little (if any) brood now present.
On Inspecting yesterday there were 3 large, sealed Queen Cells on the bottom of frames on the half brood (none in main brood box), one of which looked about to go.
These were removed. The Queen was spotted in the Main brood box and seems to be laying well and in good patterns etc. The top super which is yet to be fully drawn has some stores of honey(unsealed) and was switched to go above Brood box and re-positioned QX and above that the super containing the stores/half brood.

So to recap......... I now have BB, QX super partially drawn with some stores and then full stores in a super that was a half brood.
Phew...... My question is......why the Queen Cells? They had plenty of space to expand, lots of stores and a Queen laying well etc.
Do you think the fact that the half brood had switched to sealed stores meant the Queen had not ventured up there for some time and the bees in that box could not sense her? Do Bees have specific territories that they work? ie bees in the half brood do not go into main brood box and therefore cant sense her?
Did she lay in the Queen cells or did they move an egg from below?
Now the QX is separating them fully she obviously cannot lay in a Queen cell in that location again, what if (occupied) Queen cells appear in that (now) top super again?
I am thinking that maybe because the comb in that super was always associated with brood primarily, the bees have built Queen Cells as the nature of its use has now changed.

Tried to keep it brief, but failed miserably.
Look forward to your input.
Most likely an old or failing queen,thats why they swarmed in the first place,now they have set up a new home,and its time to replace her.
I agree.

If you have the kit park her in a nuc and let them get on with replacing her.

Three frames of brood is pretty poor.

Dont have a nuc im afraid, first season you see. Do you think i will have a strong enough colony to over winter, or should i get a new queen in now?

Thanks in advance
I grafted this morning to fill the nuc boxes I am making today.

that answer your query?

I grafted this morning to fill the nuc boxes I am making today.

that answer your query?


Sorry Poly bear with me...lol...unsure what grafting is etc i assume its to do with Queen raising. Are you saying you have plenty of time? or offering me a queen?
I am saying there is plenty of time. My grafts, (the transfer of larvae into Q cups for raising of queens) will hatch in 13/12 days time then take two to four weeks to mate.

Any spare Queens going anyone? suitable for relative newbie?