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Queen cells in a nuc

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porterwood 

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hi

I received my nucleus of bees mid july. I noticed that there were 2 queen cups in the brood. On ispection today i noticed that the queen cell has been capped and the other contains larve.

My question is:
Are they about to swarm or are they replacing the queen?

I have inspected them twice now and on both occassions there is plenty of eggs.

Cheers for your help
James
 

oliver90owner 

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James,

If swarming and a QC is capped it is surprising they haven't gone already! Dependent on weather, of course and when exactly it was capped.

On the other hand they could well be supercedure cells if they are high up on the face of the frame, not near, or at, the bottom. Likely this, as only two cells in the frame (so to speak).

If it was an old queen (from a swarm?) that you were supplied with she is likely to be changed before the end of the season.

How much space is this nucleus on? Presumably in a hive but not sure (unless you have not up-dated your info)? If they are overcrowded in a nucleus box then swarming may be a possibility.

A tad more information would be good, but there are a couple of guesses for you to ponder.

You could tempoarily prevent swarming by inserting a queen excluder below her (beware - drones will not get through it).

Regards, RAB
 

jon 

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James:
Did you see the queen or just eggs?

Oliver.
A lot of books tell you that supersedure cells are not found on the bottom or edge of a frame but in reality they can be found anywhere.
I removed one the day before yesterday which was right at the bottom of the frame.
 
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Poly Hive 

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What is this nuc in? Hive or Nuc box?

How many frames are the bees on. How many brood?

PH
 

jezd 

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I would ask :-

a) is the queen still there?
b) is she still laying? unsealed brood?
c) location of QC's on frames

Jez
 

porterswoods 

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hi

Thanks for your intrest. The brood streches 5 frames and the bees have started to draw 2 more. The queen is present and is marked with a green dot which would suggest that it is this year's queen. There is both capped and uncapped worked brood and very little if any drones.

The queen seems to be laying well as every inspection i have seen new eggs and larve in the brood.

I have my suspicions that they were overcrowded in the nuc box before i recieved them and had started to prepare a swarm before i could hive them. The Queen cells are right on the bottom of the frames.

Thanks for your help
James
 

Poly Hive 

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If it was due to over crowding then there is a reasonable chance that knocking them out, in THIS instance might do the business.

Knocking out queen cells in general is pretty useless as a method of swarm avoidance.

I have noticed though in crowded conditions which are then alleviated that the bees "forget" they have the cells and when removed are not replaced.

Worth a try.

PH
 

porterswoods 

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Hi

I too thought that it might be due to overcrowding, have removed the queen cells and hope that this puts paid to it.

If bees are like any other animal they carry on what they are doing mearly because that's what they are doing regardless if they still need to do it.

if they raise more cells then i will know that that overcrowding is not the cause.

A thing to remember is that animals will always do what they want, and normally die just to annoy you!

Thanks for your help
 

oliver90owner 

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Jon,

I tried to be as 'fuzzy' with my answer as possible. I know that whatever we say, the bees may have other ideas. Phrases like 'could well' and 'likely to be'. Bees don't read books or follow any fixed rules all the time.

That is why I wrote:'A tad more information would be good, but there are a couple of guesses for you to ponder.'

I have been keeping bees long enough to know not to break down QCs without first checking the Q is there, have shaken the bees from the frame with the only QC before finding it, etc etc. Not as much experience as some on the forum obviously, but I get by and often seek help when the unexpected crops up.....

Regards, RAB
 

Finman 

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Problem is now that if bees try to renew the queen and you stopped it. In worst case they renew it before winter and in spring you have a drone layer.
 

Finman 

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Lets look again.. .
james got a nuc 2 weeks ago.
Bees started to rear two queens 10 days ago, almost same time as james got a nuc.
Was it overgrowded when buying?
 

porterswoods 

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The nuc was overcrowded with 5 nearly full frames of brood. I think it was safe to say it was probably overcrowding.

The other odd thing is that there are no drones whatsoever so how would a new queen mate?

Also the queen that came in the nuc was marked green which suggests that it is already a relatively new queen (green being 2009)
 

East Yorks New Bee 

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Never rely on the colour coding, any colour can be put on if you wanted to.
This is so true Dr Nick, I know of two beeks, one marks all his queens "Blue" and the other marks all his queens "Yellow" Only rely on the colour code if you know for a fact that it is right. i.e you bought a new queen in and she has been marked or it is your own queen and you have marked her with the right colour.
 

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