Honeyflow.com | FAQ's | Community |

Hive Inspection feedback


Hi All,

A little back story…I installed my bee package on 4/13 and they swarmed on 5/3. I got a few of them back and put them back in the hive. I’ve been feeding them sugar syrup and watching them intently as they fly in and out of the hive. I did my first inspection today to look at each frame and their progress.

How do they look? It looks like they have been making great progress, but what do I know. I think I see a queen cell on the second frame. Is it common for a new package to swarm? Should i have removed the queen cell? I see some larva so I think things are going well. Any tips are greatly appreciated.




It seems like there are a lot of drone cells in there for the amount of comb that they have drawn and I believe I see a queen cell in Picture 13 and 16. Do you know for sure that you have a queen in this hive?


G’day Mark, I’m wondering if you have a queen in that hive because you have a lot of capped drones in worker cells. That queen cell looks like the ones they build when there is only a laying worker. I have no idea as to why they build those queen cells when there’s no queen. I see them a lot in queenless hives.

If you have access to some frames of brood, I’d give them one every 10 days or so until they start building queen cells in the worker brood.

I generally cut all the comb out that contains drone brood as part of my SHB strategy.

Another tip of mine is: try & space your frames out evenly, say 3mm between each frame & both sides. You’ll find if you get it right at the start, it will be easy from then on because the bees put propolis around the lugs, making it easier to replace the frames.


Hi Mark,
Thanks for posting all these images, it always helps… in short, a new package should not swarm. However, if there is something wrong with your queen then they may succeed her and create a new queen. I did see a queen cell on one of your frames, was this capped, uncapped or has the new queen already hatched? Don’t destroy any queen cells until you know what is going on. Check for eggs, this will tell you if there is a viable queen laying. You have a good spread of bees for a package, especially considering they have already swarmed, are you sure they swarmed? It may have been a mass orientation flight.


Thanks for the replies. I hope I still have a queen, seeing the larva in a bunch of cells made me thing that there was one in there, even if I didn’t spot her…but I hate to assume.

@Rodderick I’m pretty sure they swarmed because they had been out of the hive for a couple days before I was able to get a few back in the hive. From what I could tell the queen cell was uncapped.

There is so much that I don’t know. Thanks for the advice.


I would check for eggs, and if you do find eggs make sure that they are at the bottom of the cell (not on the edges) and also check if there are instances of two/multiple eggs in the same cell.


If I could blow up the pictures more it would help, but it looks like only drone caps that I see… which makes me think they are queenless and have laying workers. The queen cell will likely fail, but is a good sign that if you could get a queen right now they might accept her. In a week they probably won’t… A frame of open brood and eggs from any hive would probably fix things right now (based on them building a queen cell) but again, in a week it will take longer to fix things…



I can’t see any brood other than drone brood. Looks like laying worker to me but its a bit hard to tell as I can’t enlarge the photos.