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Queen Cell on new comb after split


New beek here from Gold Coast Australia.
Two weeks ago I undertook a walk-away split with a bursting brood box to create my second hive.
I took 3 frames of eggs brood and honey and placed it in a nuc box with a couple of empty frames of foundation.
I replaced the frames with a mixture of foundation and foundation less frames. There were frames of eggs left in the original hive

A couple of days later I checked both boxes, The queen is spotted in the nuc box, things are going well.
In original hive there are queen cells developing in the brood box, the new frames have some new comb drawn out. The hive is a bit more aggressive than normal for lack of queen.

Today I opened the hive and found an empty queen cell and a queen cell torn through the wall. So I assume the new queen is out. However there are still a number of capped queen cells in the hive. So she must of got out only in the last day or so.
As expected in the hive, there is capped brood but no eggs and no larvae. Waiting a few more days for the new queen to start laying.

What I noted was 2 queen cells on the newly drawn out foundation less frame. It was surrounded by honey in the comb. How could that be? There was no queen in the hive, there was no eggs or comb on the frame when we put it in there. What is going on here and do I need to do anything?

Thanks in advance for your help.
These were originally @JeffH 5 frame nuc from August that were exploding by October!


I am not an expert. But I have just done a similar split- only in ours the queen stayed in the original hive. Both are doing well.

several things: from what I have read- be very careful at this stage with your original hive- when the new queen is very young and not yet mated- best to to take great care as the queen is vulnerable. I didn’t inspect mine at all from the time I saw there were queen cells being constructed- until a week after the time I expected the queen to have mated. If your queen has just emerged it takes from 2 to 4 (usually 4( days before mating flights- and then- mating flights will only succeed if the weather is good (I was told the temp must be above 24c- but I don’t know if this is true). After that it will take another 8-12 days before the queen starts to lay. So if your weather hasn’t been good- it may take a while yet before you see any eggs/larvae.

I observed new young larvae at the projected time so knew mating was successful. i have decided not to inspect again for a few weeks to let the new queen get established and the first round of brood to emerge. I have noted big increases in pollen intake over the last few days so that’s a good sign that there is a lot of brood rearing happening.

About the queen cells on the foundation: were they capped cells or just ‘cups’? If they were simply uncapped cups i am going to guess they are nothing to worry about- just what the bees do when they have queen issues. And if they were capped- other than the mystery as to how the bees managed to maneuver larvae into them- again I am going to guess it’s nothing to worry about?

So in short: it seems you have nothing to worry about. Just be careful with the new queen.


Thanks Michelle and anyone else reading but they were capped queen cells.