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does a new queen always destroy the other growing queen cells if she is viable?

 
John Master
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Location: Wisconsin
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I have a queenless nuc that built 4 queen cells. one hatched, the other three were still sealed. Another hatched, the other 2 are still sealed. Does the new queen always destroy the remaining queen cells in a colony? Trying to decide what to do. I have a use for those queen cells in a different hive if this is not always the case, I don't want to pull them out if for some reason the first two that hatched aren't alive. I haven't seen her during my inspections but I try to get in and out of there since I am meddling with it so much.



 
Troy Rhodes
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Always? No. 95% of the time? Yes.


check for eggs in 2 weeks, and don't be peeking every day, the bees hate that...


Finest regards,


troy
 
Michael Cox
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John - I saw this just last week in 3 nucs. Each of them had been made with about 6 queen cells from a hive that was preparing to swarm. In each on we could see that at least one queen had hatched and that some, but not all, of the remaining queen cells had been ripped down.
 
John Master
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Anytime I go into a hive I have a reason for it, otherwise I can tell whats happening inside just by seeing whats happening at the entrance. I am in this nuc way more often than I want to be but If I hadn't been watching them fail to build a queen the first go round I Wouldn't have known to add a frame with fresh eggs for them to have another go at building a queen. All 4 are empty now so I am going to leave it until aug 1 and then look for eggs. If I have a laying queen again then Ill move them into fullsize gear and put some stores on it for winter. If they cant get a new queen made im gonna have to do a newspaper combine and put them back into a healthy hive.
 
John Master
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Also, went and checked my other hive that was working on a queen for the last quite a few weeks and alas, eggs! There were two queen cells still growing in the same hive as a laying queen. Those will be good trade bait for more beekeeping gear like built comb.
 
Cj Sloane
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Next time move those queen cells to a nuc with a frame of brood and a frame of honey for a brand new hive. Get yourself a yield!
 
John Master
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The thought crossed my mind but I was already having trouble getting my other hive queenright. ultimately these queens never developed fully, maybe not enough jelly in the feeding stage. if I cant get my nuc up and running with a laying queen soon, I may have to combine them back in with a different hive...
 
tel jetson
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a little late to the game, but I'll add my own observations.

does a new queen always destroy other queen cells? no. on a sort of nitpicking level, queens will sting and kill other queens, but it's the workers doing the actual tearing down of cells, so a queen never destroys other queen cells. my less semantic/more practical answer: it is not terribly uncommon for the first queen to hatch to also leave with a swarm. multiple virgin queens also sometimes leave with a swarm.

some of my hives only swarm once, then resume their more typical routine. others seem to have settled on three swarms. what this tells me is that a new queen will only kill other queens if she will not be leaving with a swarm shortly. how much of this is dictated by the queen's attendants versus her own instincts isn't knowledge I'm privy to. my guess, though, is that it's a lot easier for a queen to be kept away from other queen cells by her entourage in a large-ish hive than it would be in a nucleus hive or a one-body brood chamber with an excluder over top.
 
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