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Six Queen Cells

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Flatters 

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I am a novice and would be grateful for some guidence.

Last Sunday after being away for 3 weeks my new colony of bees swarmed. The swarm was caught and is in a new hive and has settled in.

I have just check the old colony today and I have a dilema. The old hive has six capped and unhatched queen cells. I have checked them and none of them have been vacated. I checked them by just touching them with the hive tool. I don't know if I am being too gentle though.

If all six queens hatch will I lose nearly all the colony?

Should I be knocking down some of the cells?

Should I have knocked them down last week?

Please could I have some suggestions what I should do?
 

snoop 

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Queen cells

Are they all on one frame or a few frames
 

Midland Beek 

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I have just check the old colony today and I have a dilema.
Dilema? That's just what what happens.

The idea is to select one or two good queen cells and destroy all others, rather than having 4 or 5 more swarms headed by virgin queens.
 

oliver90owner 

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I don't know of the relative positions, but if adjacent and sufficient space the other side of the swarm hive you could move the queen-cell hive (carefully!) to the other side of the swarm colony a day before the first queen is expected to emerge.

The effect of this would be to lose the flying bees from the queen-cell hive to the swarm colony and lessen the risk of cast swarms being issued (although this is probably less likely, this late in the season). Not sure about how many queen cells to remove, if you have been poking them with a hive tool, but normally I would reduce to two. You should be able to see if they are 'ripe'.

Regards, RAB
 

Hivemaker. 

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If the bee's swarmed last sunday....they already had sealed cells...so the cells are due to emerge today...or before.
 

Flatters 

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4 are on one frame and 2 are on an ajdacent frame.

On inspection today there was a lot of attention being given to these cells by the workers.

I thought they would be out today.
 

Flatters 

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I think I can now answer this with the knowledge of hindsight.

I was given the advice of knocking off 4 of the queen cells and leave 2. This my son did on the 24th and he left one capped cell and the other cell had been opened by the queen.

Today I now know since the queen cell had been exited by the new queen I perhaps should have got rid of all the queen cells as today the new queen swarmed off with a good number of bees. When we checked the hive there is still a viable number of bees left although the amount of unhatched brood is getting very low. The last queen cell is still capped and so the worry is now; will she hatch out?, will she get mated? and will she be able to get the colony in order ready for winter?

I did try and go off after the bees that went but had no luck locating them. I was asked by a number of people if I had lost something. I suppose I did look odd walking about with a large cardboard box looking up at the trees.
 

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