During my failed honey harvesting/hive inspection, I also did an inspection of Demeter. Remember I marked the new queen blue with a white dot and I posted pictures of those combs on the green frame that looked like lungs?
Well, I have a problem: I saw queen cells right along the edge of that “lung comb”. Not queen cups mind you, queen CELLS and they were hanging down so nicely just like swarm cells, because they were on the edge of the comb. Thinking in my head “Please, please, please don’t have larvae in them” I looked inside. I knew they WOULD have larvae in them because they were elongated. And yes, of course they did. Of course.
What to do, what to do?? In my head it’s just a jumble: Are they superceding or swarming? Are they not happy with her? How can they not be happy with her? She’s laying everywhere, loads of brood. Why would they swarm, there’s hardly enough in here to swarm. TELL ME damn it!
So what did I do? Nothing…at the time. I needed to figure out what the heck my plan was going to be.
But now I think I have one. I may take the newly marked queen out into a nuc. This will allow two things to happen:
1. IF they plan to swarm, this removes the old queen and a large chunk of the population to decongest this absolutely NOT congested hive. This will leave Demeter with the queen cells to hopefully make a new queen??
2. IF it’s a supercedure for some reason, then they should still build supercedure cells in the nuc since the queen will still be unsatisfactory.
If the queen cells in Demeter fail to make a successful queen, I’ll still have the eggs from the marked queen to help them make another queen.
As my husband says, “There’s always something with these bees.”