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Capped queen cell?? - Be prepared.

Hi Guys

A beekeeper needs to be prepared and ready to act when confronted with a capped queen cell in one of their hives.
You need to have thought through what you will do and not 'panic' and do something wrong.
The below is just what I will try to do.

I would like to hear your thoughts and what you plan to do with your bees.

 I intend to make a 'split' and set up a nuc. if I see a 'capped' queen cell in one of my hives and the hive has a queen.

I have set up a 5 frame nuc box ready to grab and use.
It has 5 new (or re-conditioned) frames in it to be used when making the split/nuc.

What I 'plan' to do when I find a capped queen cell in my hive is; Put the frame with the capped queen cell to one side of the hive.
Get the prepared 5 frame nuc box and take out the frames and lean them behind the hive.
Then continue checking the hive looking for the queen and for eggs in the brood cells.
Then when/if I find the old queen, take the frame she is on and put her and the frame in the nuc box, then select 2 more frames of bees and brood and put them in the nuc box with the queen's frame, then find a frame with some honey and pollen and add that to the nuc box, finally add a 5th 'new' frame and get the lid on the nuc box and close the entrance.
This 5 frame nuc should be taken to a new site to stop the bees returning to the original hive.
(This is not essential, but extra bees need to be shaken into the nuc if it is to be left at the apiary)

IF I DON'T FIND THE QUEEN, I would re-check the frames, looking for her and checking for eggs in the cells.
If I still DON'T find the queen or any eggs (with my glasses on!) I would probably put the frame with the queen cell on it (just the one queen cell) back into the hive and would not set up a nuc and just put the hive back together and recheck the hive again in a week.

IF I DO make up a split/nuc
then I will rebuild the original hive by; leaving just one capped queen cell with bees and a brood frame on each side of the queen cell frame.
(It is a good idea to 'mark the top' of the frame which has the chosen queen cell on it) Then add new (or reconditioned) frames to build the hive back to 10 frames.
Keep your fingers crossed that the new queen will hatch, get well mated and rebuild the old hive.

This could take the old hive, with the capped queen cell, say, a week for the capped queen cell to hatch, then a week (or two) for her to get well mated, then a week to start laying.
So it could be almost a month before you start seeing caped brood cells again.

Good luck
Paul b.