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Queen cells? Swarm cells?


Just did my inspection. Finally recieved my flow hive 2 today.

Added on extra brood box. My first one was getting overcrowded. Notice these today anything to worry about??

Will adding the 2nd brood box help?

Swarm or no swarm?

Vince …

Diffinately won’t hurt to add that super … The girls looked like they were getting a bit crowded!

Did you see any royal jelly n/or eggs in them ? I see a few extra drone cells near by too. How much brood you see n was it capped n solid or mixed (eggs up to new capped cells) ?

Those do look :eyes: like swarm cells but maybe you’ll be lucky. You need to keep a good every second week Hive inspection. That keeps you ahead of trouble n issue as well as acquaint you with going on in your hive.

When a box gets 80% full it’s time to ADD another during thus active busy forage season. Things don’t happen just over night but missing inspection can cost you a possible lost by swarming.

It’s all a learning time n curve. Good luck n enjoy :wink:!



. These are replacement queen cell. Usually found mid way up the frame surface. My Queen was found missing.


Those are queen cells in the first picture. Look in them. Tomorrow they will be closed and your colony will swarm. Do they have royal jelly in them? Is your queen stil there?


Hello Vince, adding the extra brood super is a positive step, what you have in the pics are queen cells and a few drone cells. Keep and eye on your honey super and when it is 80% full of honey if it is capped you can extract the honey or simply drop another honey super under it, that will reduce the number of bees on the frames of honey and make it easier on you and the bees. I am assuming we are talking about a traditional hive?


Do you find that giving bees another brood box of foundation stops them swarming once there are charged queen cells?


Hello Dee, It really depends on the reason behind the swarming. With a single brood box with a QX that is cramped for room and all else fine is the super I have added a second brood box after finding queen cells with success. I leave the queen cells so that if the colony does swarm then there is a replacement queen being produced. If the colony decides to stay they will destroy the queen cells.
I also have an empty hive with foundation in the apiary and found it being occupied with a swarm if the scouts have found it in time.


If there is a queen/eggs and queen cells, why not just cut them out to prevent swarming?
This is what the beekeeper I’m working with does.


Coz it doesn’t really work, especially if your queens are not clipped. That is old school thinking. We used to be taught that in the UK 30 years ago. Now people know that splitting works much better, and a modified Snelgrove split is about 95% successful in swarm prevention. :blush:


Because if you do that the bees will make more queen cells and on older larvae
This results in 3 day old larvae being used for queens. These are capped two days later and a swarm can be gone five days before you next look in ( if you are inspecting weekly)
You can inspect every three days to take queen cells down but your bees will probably abscond and I wouldn’t blame them.
I agree with @Dawn_SD. A split will stop them swarming and keep your colonies healthy and in good spirits.
Really old fashioned thinking and not caring for the bees at all.
I hope beginners don’t think it’s a good way to manage bees.


The fellow is splitting his hives as it is Spring now, he has about 30 hives. But as it is Spring, he is also managing the queen cells by cutting them out of the newly split hives…
Not sure if that changes what I was trying to say :honeybee:

p.s. this is for my new hive - he says I need to check it each week for queen cells and cut them out…
Maybe a different scenario to Vince…


Not really. He is still giving you an opinion that is more than 50 years out of date. Destroying queen cells does not remove the urge to swarm. It just means that if the bees do swarm anyway, you will more likely be left with a weak, queenless hive.

These leaflets give you a much more up to date method for managing a hive with queen cells in it:

Hey @Dee, can i stop banging Wally’s drum yet? :smile:


Keep banging till everybody gets the message :rofl::rofl:


So i got a call from my neighbor today while im at work that she saw a swarm. I guess it was inevitable. What should I do next? Should i wait to inspect? Anything I should or need to do?


Yes. You need to inspect now to reduce the swarm cells to one. Mark the frame. Then return in six days to remove any emergency cells made.
Listen to me this time?


Mark the frame - VERY good advice!! So easy to lose track of where you saw those QCs. I now include a marker in my beesuit pocket along with rubber bands, compact magnifying glass set, and an Xacto knife.


Drawing pin


aka thumb tack in the US :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


That only works if you think about why the bees have decided to make a new queen and that swarming is in the colonies best interests. Then you need to do some positive actions besides cutting out the Queen cells. Just cutting out the queen cells will only result in more queen cells being made.
Adding another brood box or another super is a positive option if the colony is over crowded and I have done that with success if you do not want to increase the number of hives you have in the apiary, but there is often people wanting to buy a bee hive so doing a split is often a good option.


Shortly after the first queen cell is capped, the colony swarms. The scenario for a swarm is such that there are a lot of emerging bees at the time of the swarm so that in a day or two often you hardly notice that there are less bees. So if you have a capped swarm cell, odds are they swarmed yesterday… and if this is the case and you destroy the queen cells the colony will be hopelessly queenless.


In my case, a new Super was put on the brood box. So, there should be enough room for the bees to expand.
And there was a new queen.
So, if they were to build a queen cell or two now… what does that mean? (haven’t read the pdfs yet that Dawn attached).
Because of the beekeeper asking me to check for queen cells, I was under the impression that it was because that’s just what they do in Spring :neutral_face:
So cutting out the cells is okay… Good to know anyway, that really, the queen cell should be left in case the hive swarms.