Just finished my weekly inspection and found 2 capped queen cells. Heaps of brood mostly capped. Lots of bees. I’m in Donnybrook south Western Australia. Temperatures still 26 / 30 degrees centigrade. Overnight 14/ 12 degrees. Should I place another brood box on top and move some capped brood up?
I need a mentor. Only had this hive 5 weeks. So very unsure what to do. Anyone available in Donnybrook Western Australia?
Normally the presence of CAPPED queen cells would mean that the hive has already swarmed, but in this case based on 1. the fact that there are only two queen cells, 2. their position in the centre of the frame and 3. the time of year, I would think that these are supercedure cells.
The colony is trying to replace the queen without swarming. Leave them alone. I wouldn’t intervene here.
Some might advise you to break down one of the cells but I would favour leaving both. The bees will determine which one will make the best future queen.
Thanks JimM. I have a marked queen from 2018 ( red). Which I found while doing my inspection
If its supercedure, both the old queen and the new queen can co-exist for a while.
It is too late now to add a super to the hive. The present queen may be in the process of being replaced for some reason. I would leave both of the queen cells and let the bees work out which is the better queen if they both survive the mating flight and return to the hive.
Did you do a Spring split of the colony.??
I have only had the colony 4 weeks. Late start. I think it’s too late for a super. Weather will start to get colder soon.
Hiya James, for the record I added a super to one of my stronger colonies here last weekend. My main aim is to both give them more room and to get some frames drawn out for next season. Yes late swarms are going to happen as the marri flowering moves down South and production of brood ramps up as the flow begins. If it begins down there… Regardless of marri, many other native flora species including eucalyptus will begin through Autumn.
Did you get a complete hive or a nuc?
The colony was a 10 frame that I reduced to fit my 8 frame hive 2 frames were almost untouched. So I left them out. The rest of the frames were 60 to 80% drawn. With good brood both capped and uncapped.