Queen cells found

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Deerless 

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Opened up one of my hives today and immediately found four large sealed queen cells.
The queen was marked approx three weeks ago as she was a mid season AS.
Went through hive twice but she was nowhere to be found.
Is it too late to leave alone and let one of the cells hatch. My concern is that she will not get mated in time for winter.
 
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possibly superceeding? she may have swarmed already?
were there any eggs to be seen... may be a hoodeenie queen?
Let alone for 17 days and then see if any of the queen cells have released their occupants
Bees seem to provide beekeeperes endless opportunities for us to mess things up for them!
I think (hope) the seasons are a few weeks behind this year.
All may come out OK if the weather is Halcyon!
At worst you can combine with another colony to overwinter !
 

poshpikey 

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I did an AS today. Fingers crossed the QC hatches and the queen then mates okay.
 

burren 

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Hi PP I am not clear on what you did above. Did you leave one qc in each? What did you do with the other 2 qc's? Are you positive that the old queen was not in original hive? Did you see eggs at all?

# sorry was replying to PP who I thought was op, when it was deerless, please disreguard whole of post:eek:
 
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itma 

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Opened up one of my hives today and immediately found four large sealed queen cells.
The queen was marked approx three weeks ago as she was a mid season AS.
Went through hive twice but she was nowhere to be found.
Is it too late to leave alone and let one of the cells hatch. My concern is that she will not get mated in time for winter.
1/ What about the number of bees? Is it still a decently strong colony?

2/ Yes queens can mate at this time of year. But its (even) less likely to be successful, the later it gets. And it depends on your local microclimate as well as the general weather.
You have to hope for mild weather and a long tail to the season, as what you really want are "winter bees" - and a broodless period now is definitely not going to help.
Accordingly, if you have any pals thinking of combining small colonies/swarms before winter, try and make sure that they don't wipe out ALL their spare queens just yet.
Introducing a mated, laying queen seems like the best chance of getting a decent clutch of "winter bees" - even if she isn't the queen that you'd choose to go through next season with.
You should knock down all the queen cells and confirm queenlessness with a test frame before introducing a new queen, if you really can't find the old girl.
Bear in mind that supercedure could still be a possibility if there were just the four queen cells total (no other charged but unsealed ones).

3/ Do you have any understrength colonies? If so maybe you should be thinking of combining these bees with those colonies?

4/ Unconventional but ... *IF* you were thinking of allowing the new queen(s) to develop ... I wonder if (assuming plenty bees remaining) it would make sense to split the colony into two nucs, with two of those sealed cells in each?
Thinking being,
- four is too many, risking loss of bees with a cast
- they are sealed so you can't reasonably select among them (and you didn't mention any unsealed cells)
- in a smaller colony (nuc), being weaker, each half would be less likely to cast
- if the nucs each raised one queen, you'd double your chances of successful mating
- and of course you'd only want to keep one queen for the recombined colony before going into winter ...
I'm thinking of just dividing the colony, and moving both halves three miles away. After mating and recombining, they could go back to their original stand.

5/ Maybe should have been 1 - ! :rolleyes: Have you seen the Welsh Queen Cells booklet?
http://www.wbka.com/pdf/a012queencells.pdf
 
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