Opened a hive this AM to give my father a look at my bees and when I pulled a brood frame, I was surprised to see a capped supercedure cell along with about three other uncapped queen cups that had jelly in the bottoms.
I later did a full inspection and even though I did not find the queen, there was brood in all stages present. Swimming larvae, standing eggs, fat larvae etc. so it is evident the queen is in there and still laying.
Here are some pics of what I found:
The capped QC (top brood box)
Swimming larvae and eggs (top brood box)
Brood (top brood box)
Brood (bottom brood box)
The queen has been laying as recently as today from what I saw so my quandary is what to do?
It is apparent the bees aren’t happy with something about this queen although it isn’t apparent to me.
It is really too late in the season to hope for successful open mating but I could let nature take its course and see what happens, If that fails, I do have two nucs with laying queens so I could always do a combine in a few weeks.
I could remove the cups and capped queen but that may not change the bees minds. They may try again.
I could remove the QC and cups, pinch the queen they don’t seem to think is up to speed now and do a combine as well.
I have no idea what course of action to take or what others may exist.
Any ideas or advise?