Queen performance expectations

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jonotaylor 

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Hi there,

I'm pretty new to this so please bear with me. My queen is coming into her third year - in her first year with a new nuc, she did well, and there was even a surplus super to get honey from last. Last year I had a bit of a disaster and the poly lid blew off my hive and water got in before I noticed. I decided not to harvest and left them a full super of honey for overwinter, and fed them syrup a couple of times as well.

I've opened the hive today for a Spring check, and found that the super remains full of what appears to be a mix of old and new capped honey cells. Then in the brood box, I found 2 frames pretty much empty, then a few with a mix of capped honey and (I think) capped worker cells, then two with maybe a third of the surface with capped worker cells / cells where larvae were visible.

There were also maybe 10 or so quite raised cells (within the main part of the frames rather than around the edges), which I wondered whether they were supercedure cells.

I can try and take a few pics next time I check, as I realise it's probably hard to advise based on this limited description. But I had a few questions nevertheless:

1. Does the description of the brood box contents sound about right for this time of year, or would people expect more worker cells?

2. What should I do about the raised cells I found?

3. With it being the queen's third year, should I start to think about replacing her? If so, should I be thinking of buying a new queen or, if left to their own devices, will the bees raise a suitable new queen on their own?
 

Anduril 

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Without a picture the raised cells are probably drone brood. The queen is getting passed her best and you should start thinking about replacing her either by buying a queen or letting them replace her when they make swarming preparations.
 

Stiffy 

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Without a picture the raised cells are probably drone brood. The queen is getting passed her best and you should start thinking about replacing her either by buying a queen or letting them replace her when they make swarming preparations.
I agree very likely drone brood from a failing queen. A 3 year old queen is getting on now and likely in need of change.
S
 
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Where in UK are you based?
How many colonies of bees do you have?
Joined BKF in 2010?

Link up with your local BKA.... usually there is someone there who can help?
 

Anduril 

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Link up with your local BKA.... usually there is someone there who can help?
:iagree: with the above.
There is uncertainty, in your post, the queen may already be a drone layer all the cells drones, please seek help immediately with your local association.
 

jonotaylor 

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Where in UK are you based?
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Joined BKF in 2010?

Link up with your local BKA.... usually there is someone there who can help?
Thanks all.

I'm in South Cheshire (CW3 postcode). I only have one colony, I joined the forum long before taking the plunge and getting bees. I'll see about the local BKA - I hadn't joined because they are about 40 mins away, so it's highly unlikely I'd be able to attend the meetings, so was doubtful whether I'd actually meet anyone through it.
 

Anduril 

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Thanks all.

I'm in South Cheshire (CW3 postcode). I only have one colony, I joined the forum long before taking the plunge and getting bees. I'll see about the local BKA - I hadn't joined because they are about 40 mins away, so it's highly unlikely I'd be able to attend the meetings, so was doubtful whether I'd actually meet anyone through it.

In the local association, they should provide mentoring and through it you may meet beekeepers who are local to you.
 

jonotaylor 

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In the local association, they should provide mentoring and through it you may meet beekeepers who are local to you.
Thanks Anduril, I'll contact them. I'll also try and take a few photos tomorrow if the weather is acceptable again.
 
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In the local association, they should provide mentoring and through it you may meet beekeepers who are local to you.
Phone their secretary and ask who is local to you whilst asking about membership and its advantages etc.... also look on Beebase and you may be astonished on how many apiary sites there are registered within 10 Km radius to you!!
Your SBI ( starts April) is also a good contact.... generally an experienced beekeeper and willing to help..... contact through National Bee Unit... details on Beebase.( Google it !!!)

Chons da
 

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