Its the end of winter here in Perth, Australia.
I wintered with 3x 8 frame boxes… the top being a flow separated by a cover board.
The colony has become active… so i checked them today. The middle box is basically brood and one frame of honey. The bottom box is half brood half empty comb. Both boxes were spilling over with bees. The flow had hardly any bees in it and is 2/3rds full of honey.
I found 5 queen cells on the face of the comb… 2 in the bottom box close together and 3 in the middle box close together. They were all in different stages of development… the most advanced was about an inch long with a plump larvae inside.
So they dont look like swarm cells… long and on the bottom of frames… but i read on @Michael_Bush website that that can be a myth.
I need to prevent a swarm as i’m in an urban area and so may get irritated neighbours and if they choose a local spot they’ll probs get sprayed by pest control.
I dont particularly want to split as I dont particularly want to have to manage two hives or have two extraction techniques.
I’ve never managed to identify an egg and so am at a loss as to how to tell if the queen is in there. A local experienced beek has advised me to cut the cells out and see if they rebuild.