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Queen brood patterns and life span


Do queens know when the hive is full and start slowing down with the laying or does it mean they are getting old and need replacing. Eg. In a double brood box 4 weeks ago i had both boxes full of brood with a great pattern and a couple of frames of honey on each end. Today i have the top box full of honey and the bottom has a tiny bit of capped brood and a couple of half frames of uncapped brood. One other thing crossed my mind is i have a new queen but did not see any old queen cells


If you have a new queen and the colony starts to run out of space as you describe the colony will swarm
In 4 weeks they could have done so and torn down all the old queen cells. The bees with no brood to tend have filled the top box with honey


Colonies know when the hive is full, and make swarm preparations… :wink: The queen doesn’t usually slow down her laying if there is food, pollen and climate to support her offspring.

I suspect that either they swarmed some time ago, or they superseded the old queen. If the new queen is recently mated, she may only have started laying a week or so ago at the earliest, hence the lack of capped brood.

They usually take them down within a few days of hatching, so it is easy to miss them.


It’s the house bees that dictates how much a queen lays. She will only lay in cells that are properly prepared for her, also she can only lay according to how much food she is fed. If she doesn’t perform to the expectations of the house bees, she will be superseded.

I often see leftover queen cells, however I never look for them. The fact that you have a young viable queen doesn’t warrant looking for the leftover queen cell.


Yes…the bees rule the queen and will replace her if she’s not up to their expectations