Second Inspection on the new Hive

I moved the Bees from the Nuc to the HIve 3 weeks ago.
I had my first inspection last week (two weeks after moving them) and was happy with what I saw.
New comb being drawn on the new foundation frame, Larvee, capped brood and honey and pollen stores.
I didnt see the queen but with the different stages of Larvee development, i was happy to say at that stage the hive was queen right. … though there was the start of a queen cell ???

We did the second inspection on Saturday, two days ago, more capped brood 6 out of 8 frames, including the new foundation frames.
Honey and pollen on the outer frames and on every frame. … and 3 queen cells.
There were also a few drone cells as well

As the brood box was probibly 60% full, i’m guessing for some reason that these were superseedure cells. I didnt see the queen but there was still Larvee of different stages???

I guess the bees know what they want so I let them do their thing.

I’ll have a look next weekend and see if what the outcome will be.

Hi Daz, it would be good to see some photos. Assuming that the queen cells are complete with queen larvae/pupae, they could be swarm cells, or emergency queens. I doubt if they are supersedure cells.

Are you seeing any eggs? If not, the cells might be emergency queen cells.

On the odd occasion, during an inspection the bees can ball & kill the queen, which is one possibility. If that happens, the bees have to turn around & make a new one.

Hi @JeffH i’ll get some photos when it warms up.

Would they be Swarm cells if the Brood box isn’t full?
it’s far from it.

From what I can tell from the weather forecast, afternoon temperatures are plenty warm for an inspection in Brisbane…


Hi chau06 yes it will be. I’m just waiting for my mentor to arrive and we can have a look and see what’s going on.
I have a Nuc ready if we do a walk awy split.

Hi Daz, I wouldn’t expect swarm cells at this stage, seeing as the brood box is not full. Having said that, anything’s possible.

I agree with @chau06 . The day temps are warm enough to inspect hives in. Just avoid cold wind.

It depends on the location of the queen cells, as to whether they are swarm cells or emergency queen cells. Swarm cells are built on queen cups, slightly away from brood. Emergency queens are built from within the brood, often on the bottom row, if that’s where eggs are. They will choose a spot where they destroy the least amount of neighboring brood, in order to accommodate the queen cells. That’s my theory.

Hi @JeffH well we had a good look yesterday afternoon, no eggs and couldnt find the Queen.
There were queen cells.

We split the hive and will be looking for the queen again today.

Plan at the moment is, if we can’t find the queen. we are going to recombine the hives, let then raise a new queen from the existing queen cells.

If we find the queen then it will be a walkaway split.

I was too busy yesterday to take any photos

But here is the two Hives

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Hi Daz, I would suggest a different plan. What I would do, seeing as no queen can be found, I would assume those QCs are emergency QCs. I would split the colony in 2 or even 3 colonies, while making sure that each colony has QCs.

You would need to monitor each colony’s population, because the bees that have done orientation flights will return to the parent hive. You can remedy this by swapping the hive’s positions until the populations are roughly equal.

By having 3 splits, you triple your chances of getting a successfully mated queen. Also it will reduce the possibility that a swarm will issue with the first virgin queen to emerge. That is assuming you are letting the natural selection process take place, which happens with more than one queen cell per split.

Thanks Jeff

I understand what your saying, thanks.
One problem will be that I only have two hves.

I’ll discuss this with my mentor when they arrive.

No problems Daz. With an even 2 way split having 3 frames of brood with bees in each one, I find that a split that strong can issue a swarm with the first virgin queen.

In the past I have knocked up temporary brood boxes out of anything I have laying around. They don’t have to be pretty. Even a broccoli box with an entrance cut in the bottom has worked for me.


Hi Jeff

Well no queen, no eggs, no larva, plenty of capped brood and queen cells.

We left them in the two hives, both with Cells.
So hope fully in the next week we might have twoo queen right hives.

Here are the photos from today

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Hi Daz, they are classic emergency queen cells. As you can see, they are constructed from within the brood. Swarm cells are positioned slightly to the side or beneath the brood.

I’m following my own advice today. I keep taking bees away from a strong split before the first queens emerge in about a week’s time. It keeps getting stronger as more bees emerge out of the brood frames.
My reason for doing so is to avoid exactly what I’m preaching about. Being the start of spring, bees will seize any opportunity to swarm. More than one emergency queens is a golden opportunity for them to swarm with the first one to emerge. The only way to be sure that it doesn’t happen is to break every queen cell down, bar one.

PS Daz, at the risk of saying too much, it’s worth pointing out that it takes about 4 weeks from the time that a colony goes queenless, before we know that we have a queen-rite colony, on account that the odd queen fails to get mated properly, or goes missing in action.

Another thing: I looked at those photos again to observe that it appears that the busiest brood frames are on the outside. separated by new frames.

I would suggest to reverse the situation by keeping the brood huddled together in the middle with new frames on the outside. Especially during these cold nights we’re experiencing. This is especially important if you are not able to equalize the populations. Chilled brood almost always leads to chalk brood.

Hi Jeff
we did reorient the frames before closing up the Hives.

One thing i’m not sure about. I read it from different sites.
Egg stage is up to day 3, larva stage is up to day 8 (5 days) if it’s a queen she should hatch about day 16. (8 days)

is this correct or is it

Egg stage for 3 days, larva stage for 8 days and then queen hatches after 16 days = 27 days?

After the queen emerges she should start to lay about 2-3 weeks after emerging from the cell??

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I think you got it fairly right.

The way I understand it is:
For workers it’s eggs for 3 days, royal jelly for 3 days, bee bread for 3 days, then capped for 12 days. Bees emerge 21 days after the egg is laid.
For queens it’s all royal jelly during the grub stage. Then she emerges 16 days from when the egg is laid.

Therefore as soon as a colony discovers the queen has died, they have the option to use any worker egg, or any worker larvae that has only been fed royal jelly to make a queen from.

I mainly look for eggs, because sometimes it take 3 days for a colony to work out that they have no queen. So therefore any very young larvae at the time of doing the split will be too old by the time the colony discovers that it’s queenless. Because once a larvae is fed bee bread, it’s too late for that grub to get turned into a queen.

I generally find that if a colony is successful at producing a viable fertile queen, I’ll find the first worker cells will get capped after 28-30 days from when I took the split.

Having said that, if you think that the queen died during that previous inspection, it would be feasible to expect to see the first worker brood to get sealed 28-30 days from that inspection.

I had 5 colonies to check today. Out of the 5, 3 were queen-rite. One must have been briefly queen-rite until an inspection about 8 days ago. Now it’s queenless with emergency queen cells. The fifth hive has either a laying worker or a dud queen, because there is lots of drone brood in worker comb. I’ll fix that one up tomorrow.

This afternoon we got called to a HUGE swarm. A lady has 2 Flow hives. Obviously one swarmed. I took an 8 frame Flow brood box to catch them in. I’m surprised that all the bees fit in. I’ll check it out tomorrow as well.

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Thanks Jeff for clearing that up.

By my calculations, i should have a virgin Queen in both boxes by the end of next week… if successful.

BTW it looks like i’ve contracted the bad virus MFHS (Multiple Flow Hive Syndrome).
I just ordered another Flow 2+

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No worries Daz, there’s no problems getting virgin queens, the success part is when they get mated & are laying good brood. That’s what you’re looking to see after the 4 week period. This is why I like to break them down into smaller colonies before the first queens emerge. It gives me a better chance of getting more successfully mated queens.

That swarm I got yesterday was massive. I took 2 large chunks of bees out to add to two brood boxes with a frame of brood in each one, plus more frames for them to make new queens. I think I can take a third one out tomorrow & still have a reasonabe colony remaining in the capture box. I haven’t seen the queen yet. I assume she’ll be on the frame of brood that I had in the box while I caught the swarm.

Thanks Jeff

hope you find the Queens

Hi Daz, I’ll look for evidence of new queens on the 24th of next month. That’s because the frames of brood came from a large split that I did on the 24th of this month. I did another split from the swarm this morning, & it looks like I’ll split it again, that’s after killing the queen, because the bees are not very conciliatory. We got a few stings while capturing the swarm. The husband told Wilma that the lady had to jump in the pool, while copping about 30 stings during an inspection. I noticed a bit of aggression this afternoon, & that was after taking 3 good splits away from it.

I’m wondering how so many bees could swarm out of a single brood/single Flow super hive, because after taking 2 splits away yesterday, the whole 8 frame brood box was still full of bees. So this morning I took 3 frames full of bees for the split.

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Hello Jeff, this is a facinating conversation, so much to learn. I am planning an inspection next week (first for spring) to see how they are going, one hive seems to have alot more bees than the other. So itll be interesting to see if there are any swarm cells.