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keithgrimes 

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I would appreciate opinions/advice. I inspected a hive this afternoon that had lost a swarm 9 days ago. Lots of very feisty bees (usually very calm). I assumed that was because they are queenless. No sign of a queen, eggs or larvae but a couple of bees carrying pollen. There were 8 capped queen cells and no uncapped ones (when they swarmed there was only one uncapped QC). A couple of play cups. Lots of pollen, nectar and honey, and quite a bit of brood left. I took one QC on a frame and put it in a nuc with a cup full of bees and a frame of foundation. I destroyed all the Queen cells in the hive except 2. All the QCs removed contained larvae. Have I cocked up? And what next?bee-smillie
 

rae 

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8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
Don't think you've cocked up. I would probably have given an extra frame to the Nuc - it seems a bit small. Does it have any stores?

Tearing down most of the queen cells seems to be required - I thought they would sort this out themselves, and mine didn't, they threw out casts instead.

What next? You hope the virgin emerges and gets mated, and in about 3 weeks you will open the box and it will be awash with eggs and brood. This happened in 66% of my cases, the others failed (unmated queen, dead queen)
 

rae 

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8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
P.S. I'm not an expert!
 

hoomin_erra 

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In regards to the above.

I've been told to bruise the stores to get the bees to move the honey up so the new queen has space to lay.

Will going in before the 3 weeks are up to do this be bad?
 

Adam 

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I always leave 1 queen cell. Leaving 2 often results in a cast, further reducing the original colony and potentially making it unviable for the winter, depending on the time to come into lay etc. Leaving 1 is occasionally considered a risk but if you have any concerns, you can take a frame of eggs from a second colony and use it as a test frame.

People often cite the risk of 1 queen not maturing as a reason for leaving 2 cells, but my experience is that leaving 2 is a risk.

The nucleas will need more bees than that. Two frames of bees would normally be considered a minimum.

Adam
 

keithgrimes 

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Thanks fellas. I've knocked the QCs down to 1 and added a frame of bees and stores to the nuc. Those bees were really pissed off at me going in the hive for a second time. But I'll be leaving them alone now for at least a week.
 

Midland Beek 

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I destroyed all the Queen cells in the hive except 2.
That's no bad thing. The main aim has to be one of getting your colony queenright again. If your colony is very prosperous and with lots of workers, then the first virgin to emerge might leave with a swarm. But it might not.

Making up a nuc with a queen cell was a good idea, but the execution was somewhat lacking. Needed more like a couple of frames of bees and plent of pollen.
 

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