Cannot find queen in hive #2

I did my hive inspections today. 9 days since last. I have 2 flow hives that I started from packages on 9 May. Both hives have brood hatching today. Hive 1 I found the queen quite easily. Hive 2 I went over all the frames a few times. I do have 2 capped supercedure cells on one frame that protrude out from regular comb.

So I think there is a good chance the queen is dead or gone. Should I open the hive again in 3 or 4 days and see if I have eggs? It was tough to tell today if any eggs were present.

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yes, go back in, in a few days. if not eggs or young larvae then move a frame of fresh eggs from your other hive over to the hive with no eggs. They will make a new queen from one of those eggs. The eggs you move over need to be no more than 2 day old eggs.

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If you have supersedure cells the bees are already replacing her so you wouldn’t expect queen cells from an introduced frame.
I presume they are capped? You could mark the frame they are on and have a quick look to see if the queen has emerged in 8/9 days. If all is well have another look three weeks after.
Good luck
The bees can make new queens from larvae up to three days old, which is day 6, by the way.
( Just had a thought…are you sure they are QCs not drone cells?)

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If they have queen cells already don’t go digging in there unless you have to. Give the new queen time to emerge, mate and start laying in peace. Also, when checking your hive its not necessary or good to dig each time to find the queen. If there is a good laying pattern that is enough.



The hive with the queen most likely absent has 2 queen cells that are capped on my #5 frame face. Looks like,they turned a regular cell into a queen cell. Definitely not drone cells. They stick out and then bend down almost 90 degrees and are quite large. I have a few drone cells that are bullet capped.

So hopefully they are taking care of it. Of course this starting from a package of 10,000 bees on May 9th they have just started hatching brood today. So this hive is going to gain strength over the next couple of weeks and then have a slow down due to no more eggs since queens demise.

The queen was present during our last check which was 10 days ago. There is uncapped larvae present so I know she was there for a few more days past the last check.

To boost numbers would it be a good idea to put a frame of brood in the queenless hive just to increase population?

Do you remember how big she was? if she looked thinner than she did in the past, they were getting her ready to swarm and she likely left and they have another queen ready which is want you see with the queen cells.

are the cells around the edge, if so that is more likely swarm cells, if the queen cells are more toward the middle that is supercedure cell when means they don’t like that queen, think something is wrong with her.

So right know with what you said, you will be getting a new queen. it will be a couple of weeks with her hatching and then need to be mated and then start laying eggs, so just be patient.

You could boost it with the frame of brood, That will never heart.

Will a new package of bees swarm when their numbers are so thin? I still have a lot of bees, based on timeline brood just started hatching yesterday or today.

Yes, the cells are mid foundation/comb, they look like they turned a regular larvae cell into a queen cell.

When moving a frame from one hive to the other do I just shake the bees off of it before I put in other hive?

BTW, your comment about eggs and them making them queen cells. not totally correct. Something I did not know or understand before.

they will make queen cells and let me remain empty until they need them, they will move a fresh (newly laid) egg in to that cell and continue to feed it royal jelly. That is they only difference between a standard work bee and a queen. standard bee is fed royal jelly for only 2-3 days. a queen if fed royal jelly her entire life.

Yes, just remove all the bees off, I would place it toward the middle of the box

I assume Central Tx but where? I am heading to Boston for a week in the morning then next weekend (saturday) is the TX bee clinic in Arlington TX. You should try to go, well worth it, I have gone the last 2 years. I will be going as well. I will likely be a volunteer. Just don’t know yet do to my work travel schedule. but after I return and the following weekend, I could come visit, depends on where you are. A motorcycle trip it always good.

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Won’t be able to do the clinic as we have commitments the wife planned. Depends on what week you are back. I work week on week off. Let me know when you are back in Dallas, should be able to line something up.

Great point on the queen cell. Everything I have read makes it sound like they just pick a 3 day old larvae or less and build a supercedure cell around it. I didn’t realize they build the cell then move the larvae.

I’ve,read a lot, it man is there a lot to learn!

If your hive is superceding the queen, I would do as @Rmcpb said, give the new queen plenty of time, 3or4 weeks before opening. I’m finding that I get a noticeably better success rate of mated queens when I leave the nucs alone for a few weeks than if I look in on a regular basis.

Anyway what’s wrong with the queens in the packages over there? We see quite a bit of this kind of thing on the forum.

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Yes Jeff that’s a very valid point. Poorly mated queens? Superseded as soon as the colony has enough bees to carry on?

And as far as position of cells is concerned. That really means nothing. Swarm cells can be anywhere as can supersedure cells. The striking difference is that supersedure cells are usually few, one or two, and often at the edge of the brood nest where the queen doesn’t often go. They are usually the same age. Swarm cells, on the other hand, are made over a period of days so are different ages. Emergency cells are made from worker cells and have a slightly different shape being extended from worker cells.


Hi Dee, I must confess that I can’t comment much about supersedure cells because I have never really identified them in any hives. I’m sure one of my hives recently superseded successfully, because it went from a struggling hive to a thriving hive without any intervention from me. I’m sure I get more hives superseding than I realize, maybe that could account for the odd hive going queenless.

I have seen quite a few leftover supersedure cells, as well as uncharged supersedure cells. I often wondered if the queen lays eggs in them, knowing what her fate is. Maybe the workers transfer fertile eggs to them?

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Show us a pic of the “supercedure cell”.

Did not take one, sorry.Frames are getting very heavy and did not want to one hand it while fumbling with my phone.

These two are stereotypical supercedure or emergency queen cells I’m 99.9999999% sure.

Based on the books I have since the cells are capped they are in the Pupa stage and should have a new queen in no more than 7.5 days from now if it was capped yesterday. So it could be even sooner as the last inspection was the 22nd of May, 15-17 days from then is June 6, 7, and 8.

7.5 days from yesterday is the 9-10 of June. Looking at the difference in dates it could be inferred that whatever happened occurred within a day or so of our last inspection.

Cells like these?

Exactly like those, only two. About where the group of 3 are on that frame.

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