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Cannot find queen in hive #2


More common than we realise. Happens more often towards the end of the season. One marked queen disappears over winter but in the Spring there is still a queen there. Sometimes you spot in the same hive but I haven’t personally seen that.


Supersedure then but not emergency cells. Chili’s frame has emergency cells. The bees usually make lots. There is a thing called a Prime Cell Number which relates to the numbers of queen cells a colony will make, particularly swarm cells. It explains why when you knock down all but one swarm cell the bees will make more up to that number they are pleased with. Some colonies make more than others. I did a split the other day, knocking down eight swarm cells, and returning to the colony a week later there were ten emergency cells plus the one swarm cell I had left. One colony last year made more than thirty!


Hi Dee, I think the stronger a colony is, the more queen cells they’ll make. I believe that’s their way to get a good strong queen through natural selection. I’m not a fan of breaking them down to leave only one, on account that the one we select might be a runt. Anyway I tried that a long time ago & as it turned out the one I chose had no queen inside, it was just solid wax for some reason. That was the first & last time I ever did that. I always break down swarm cells so that the bees without a queen make emergency cells. They rarely swarm when they make emergency queen cells. Only if I overload the split with too much hatching brood at once.


Well the hive was definitely queenless. As a experiment to compare to my other hive I ordered a Wildflower Meadows VSH Italian mated queen Monday, we got the queen Wednesday and installed her in the JZBZ cage.

The day before we installed, we opened the hive, got rid of the emergency queen cells and added a frame of brood from the other hive along with the nurse bees present. On Wednesday we put the queen cage on that frame of brood. The bees did not attack the cage, most just licked it and fanned their wings so I think they are happy to have a queen around. Next Wednesday will be our inspection to make sure she got out and is laying.

We will then compare the non VSH hive to this one for mite levels.


Did you make sure there was no brood they could make queen cells from that last frame of brood you added?



There were open larvae, unknown how many days old they were. Talking with the people that provided the new queen when we open in 5 more days if any queen cells exist scrape them off as long as the new queen is up and running.

The soonest one of those could hatch out if they were 3 day old when put in is 5 days after I do my next inspection.


We are now two weeks into new VSH Queen in our #2 hive. We inspected both hives today. Lots of eggs, larvae, and capped brood in both. I’ve added Freeman style beetle trap bases to both hives. I just removed the angled pieces from the flow hive base boards and reattached to the freeman style.