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Do sealed emergency queen cups always produce queens?


#1

Fairly new beekeeper here.

One of my hives was busting at the seams last week so I removed a few frames with brood, eggs, pollen and capped honey and placed them in a nuc box.

Doing an inspection today, I noticed that there are three or four capped emergency queen cups. Does this mean that I’ll definitely have a new queen in a few weeks, or is it still too early to tell?


#2

Which box has the queen cells? The nucleus, or the original hive?

Well, nothing in nature is 100%… :blush: The only way to know whether you have a fertile new queen is to see eggs and uncapped larvae in the box which had queen cells (and no queen).


#3

The key word is fertile, although, as Dawn says, nothing’s 100%. I think it would be safe to say a new queen will be made and hatch.
Whether it makes it back from the mating flights is another matter…


#4

The nucleus is the box with the queen cells. The original hive that I pulled the frames from still has a productive queen.


#5

That sounds good to me!

Thanks!


#6

Hi Jason, you’ll definitely have a new queen, however, as @skeggley said, there’s no guarantee she’ll make it back successfully mated. I read in one of my early books that a queen has a one chance in 7 of failure. That is always something to keep in the back of your mind whenever you do a split. The good news is: if you do 7 splits, only one will fail:)


#7

Thanks Jeff. I’m definitely not ready to do 7 splits!


#8

If you have sealed queen cells, you’ll have a new queen in a few days. Then she has to leave the hive for a few hours and mate with up to 40 drones and make it back without being bird food.


#9

You are welcome Jason. If you have enough bees to break the split into two, that will be good insurance in case one queen fails.