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Flow hive 2 week check Supercedure queen cup plz advise (pics)


Ok, so the story behind this… I got 4 frames of drawn comb from a local beek to get me a running start. I fed them 4 quarts of syrup (3.8 liters) over two weeks and i think they bound up the frames with syrup. They are pulling comb but slowly. The frames i gave them were a bit moldy which i think they focused on cleaning up becaus you can’t tell now. Anyways. I think the queen is laying where she can and its a chaotic brood pattern because the rest of the cells have syrup in them. i do see quite a bit of brood just in odd patterns. This queen came with the package

I pulled the feed to see it it improves.

Here’s some pictures. I think those might be drone cells in the middle of the comb? unless they are tearing down the cells around it. Please advise.
@Michael_Bush @Valli ?

Unmarked Queen:

Supersedure Cup with new egg:



Queen in the first picture
A queen cup/play cup in the second. Did you look to see what was inside it?
There are also a couple of sealed worker cells, some cells with worker larvae, some empty cells and some cells with nectar/syrup in them.
The third has, indeed, got quite a few drones being made.
Why did you feed over two weeks? Has the weather been so bad the bees couldn’t get out?
the general rule is to give a new nuc a litre or so and then let them get on with it.
You need to leave the bees to grow at their own pace and they won’t let you down


i thought those were drones. I added the side view down the frame to show the height difference. There is an egg laying down in the queen cup. Should i prepare to split? I’ve heard that they sometimes make them and tear them down. I am leaving them be for a week at a time.

As to why i’ve been feeding, here in Alaska there’s nothing really out yet. Pussywillows and some trees just started giving pollen. I’m mostly worried about them superceding my purchased queen. I will not be feeding them anymore as they are just binding up the frames with it.


It’s hard to tell what is in the uncapped cells exactly. The cappings are certainly scattered, and that’s never a good sign. The few caps I see are not clearly worker or drones. It’s easier to tell when there is a patch of capped cells rather than one here and there. Obviously the top picture is a queen. The cup is there (don’t know if there is a larvae in it). I suppose part of the issue may be how fast they are taking syrup and backfilling. If you are using a jar, try a new lid and only put a few holes in it. Like four or five instead of a lot. That will slow them down so they don’t backfill where the queen needs to lay. But it also may be a drone laying queen. She often lays a solid pattern but the egg police try to remove all the drone eggs in worker cells. If you have another colony, a frame of open brood and eggs every week for three weeks will usually fix anything. They can raise a new queen if that is their intent and if there are other issues it won’t interfere with them.


there was a new egg laying down in the queen cup.


If they are preparing to swam don’t go tearing down any Cups /Queen cells. If they want to swarm they will.

Have you got a mentor? If you are going to do an artificial swarm you need to understand the process, plan what you need to do and stick to it - If it is a drone laying Queen you need day old eggs to make sure they are able to make a new Queen.

This where having a strategy and sticking to it helps.

A frame of new eggs will get you out of trouble if she has become a drone layer.

You need to be sure what you will do in either scenario and this is why Beeks say you need to have spare equipment on hand; to deal with various scenarios.


Im 50 miles from anyone really. I do have some people i can contact but no one that will come out to my hives that i’m aware of. i did see worker brood also. She’s a brand new mated queen straight from the package. i think the cells are too full of syrup and she cant lay properly myself.


Put some fresh comb or foundation in the brood box so she has room to lay, move the syrup up and see what happens - if she thinks there is plenty of store she may try to swarm so give her more room to lay


I only have the 4 frames of drawn comb in each hive to work with. I’ll move an empty frame into the middle of the hive. I’m still on a single super. They are moving out but slowly its still cold here. 45-50 F in the day.


Do you have spare frames with foundation? You really need to keep more frames than just filling the current boxes. - I have about 150 frames but only 2 hives presently - come swarm season and being able to swap frames around, the extra frames will be used


yes i have extra frames but not drawn. But the ones in the hives aren’t drawn yet except for the 4 i got from a keeper 100 miles away.


Do you not have any spare foundation? You can make starter strips or wooden strips to start new foundation if you have none. Just to give the bees a guide to build on.


sorry i edited my post after i understood what you meant. Yes i have extra frames with foundation.


Try not to break up the brood nest too much. Have a look at Checker boarding


they are starting to build comb on the adjacent frames with foundation. I’m wondering just let them go for a week or put one frame that they’ve already started on between the drawn brood combs?


I wouldn’t mess up their house (rearranging frames is like putting the kitchen next to the master bedroom) if the weather is still often cold. Just put the extra unused frames on the outside and have a beer or twenty while you wait for them to wake up and smell the roses! :smile:


Yeah they have room to expand and they are slowly. i think they just took too much syrup. Hoping they tear that cup down once the queen gets more room to lay.


I agree with Dawn
Don’t go splitting the small brood nest with foundation. There are not enough bees to cover the existing brood if you spread it out. Let it grow naturally.
I think I read somewhere, or remember Michael Bush saying that package bees can be superseded.


Package bees often get superseded. I think it is the only reason any of them survive at all…


interesting. I guess since the queen laid the egg that will supersede her the genetics will carry on. Should i look into a split or just let it happen?