What do I do now?

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New Bee
May 3, 2009
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So I had a queenless colony (National). I know it was queenless as the queen was found on the floor under the hive with a small ball of bees, she is now elsewhere (introduced into a nuc I made up from this colony). This was a surprise as I had AS'ed them in mid April. A few days before this the hive was fine, only the start of a queen cup (not loaded) but full of brood so another AS would have been needed ats ome point in the near future (hence me now ordering two 14 x 12's to start moving over, the Nationals just aren't big enough for bees today) Anyway, having removed a couple of frames to start the nuc and pop the old queen in (with bees from the super) I went through the main hive and took out anything that resembled a QC. Added some foundation and thought, great lets get a new queen in there, thankfully I had one on order. Anyway on Wednesday they swarmed but all returned to the hive, I know this as my good lady was watching and she knows to look for the landing site so I can go and bag them. Bizarre, but not unknown. So when I got home I went through the hive. What did I see, a young queen running across a frame. Not what I expected. Then I saw them, two queen cells opened. Where were they, well they were tucked up alongside the drone comb and facing NOT vertical but horizontal. Th drone comb was on the bottom of the frame, varroa control!!! They did the same thing on Thursday, and returned to the hive. I now have a QE under the bottom of the brood box in the hope this will contain any queen(s) and they will 'sort it out'. It also buys me some time to get some advice. They went to swarm again today but obviously the queen could not get out so they have alll returned to the hive, but they did have a jolly good time filling the sky above my shed.

So why do I need advice? Well what now? I see several options, but suspect the more experienced on here will have more ideas/solutions.

1. Remove the QE, let them swarm and catch the swarm , though this risks me losing my bees and I appreciate I may need to remove the QE to ensure the young queen can fly and get mated. Thats another point can virgin queens get through a QE (wood framed), if yes then the one in there is definitely mated.

2. Go through the hive again and try and find two unmarked queens, that will be fun and I will find a shamrock to assist! One can then be relocated or terminated!

3. Leave alone (QE on) and let them sort it out, which the books say they should do i.e best queen wins.

Thank you, and I really don't want to lose the bees as its Lime season now and I am surrounding by Lime trees and it makes GOOD honey! Really GOOD honey.


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