Good news is they are not swarming. Bad news is they are making queen cells. I killed the oldest one and left the rest. I did not see the queen but I saw fresh eggs and it was very crowded with bees so I could have missed her (brand new marked queen).
There are 4-5 frames that are hardly used but honey and brood is all mixed up. I unmixed a few. Not sure why they want to swarm other than too many bees. I put the flow hive on to give them space to spread out even though they have more frames to fill out.
If they wait for me, I may try to do a split this weekend.
Time will tell but I am wondering if they went queenless and what I see are emergency queen cells. I could not find the queen (though there were piles of bees). I saw eggs and the queen cells I think were different ages which leans toward swarm cell.
Hi Joe, I have seen a lot of evidence that bees change their mind about swarming. However it sounds like your hive wants to swarm. You are probably in the swarm season. In that case, bees will decide to swarm, regardless of what we think. Remember swarming is how they reproduce. We all know how strong the urge to reproduce can be.
I never leave swarm queen cells on frames when I do splits to prevent swarming. I always allow the splits to make emergency queen cells, they rarely swarm when I do that.
Hi Joe - I’m in the same situation here, and as of yesterday I feel fairly certain I don’t have swarm preparations (or emergency queen makings) quite yet. I went back into my hive that I was concerned about and ended up seeing the queen cups either torn down or empty, plus I found brand new eggs in worker cells.
It’s been very hot here & I know you’re not super far away, have you also had 90 F days? My son also texted me a photo of some impressive bearding yesterday while I was at work, worrying they were about to swarm! I told him about bearding & he looked up more info and went outside and put a beach umbrella up to shade them
Anyway, I was wondering - did you see any eggs, larvae etc in the queen cells you mentioned?
Yup, I saw some cups with fresh eggs in them and one or 2 with larva swimming in jelly. I tore the oldest one down to buy time. Would have torn them all down but I could not find the queen so I don’t want them to go queenless.
I am away and can’t do a split until Saturday so I am hoping they wait for me. Just bought and installed the queen 2 weeks ago and don’t want to lose her.