Excessive queen cups

Opened a TBH today, checking for signs of swarming like queen cells. There were 10 bars of brood, getting on for 18 bars of bees in all – a big colony.

Found about 30 small queen cups (about the length of a worker) along the sides of combs. Some people call these practice queen cells. Nothing obvious inside them.

This seems excessive. Our other hive only made about 7 or 8, and those went all the way to inch-long capped queen cells.

Anyone know why there would be so many little cells?

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1 Response to Excessive queen cups

  1. simplebees says:

    Colonies vary a lot in the number of queen cups they make. In the same way they vary in the number of actual swarm cells they make. Whether a large number of cups leads to a large number of occupied cells, I, for one, don’t know as I tend to let the bees get on with life whenever possible. Maybe this colony has prolific swarming in mind. Or maybe they just feel they need the practice!

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