I have what looks like a swarm cell. Should I scrape it and add space or split them? I wasn’t prepared for either as I wasn’t expecting to need more than two deeps this season since it’s a brand new nuc. There are fresh eggs so I don’t think it’s a supercedure.
Can you please describe how many frames your colony has?
Based on your initial description it sounds like swarming (and this is the season for swarming).
But let's see how many frames on each box they have covered with bees/brood or honey before we can confirm if they're in swarming mode.
Usually we don't recommend scrapping queen cells, because some colonies may go into swarming mode even after removing the queen cells. Once they swarm out with the existing queen, you are left queenless and with no queens in the pipeline (which will force you to buy a queen).
Usually we recommend setting aside the frame that has any queen cells, making sure the original queen is left in the original hive. You could add some frames with queen cells to a nuc (you probably have the original nuc cardboard box and can use that one) and let them raise their own queen (instead of scrapping those cells).
You can replace the frames you take out of the hive with some new ones, so the colony will have more room to grow and hopefully will forget about swarming.
In the case they swarm anyway, or if the original queen dies for any reason, you could have the new one that will be made in the nuc as a backup.
Just making a nuc is sometimes enough to cool down a swarmy colony.
Of course, making a split will also work, but that's only if you would like to end up with two colonies. It would take more feeding (and hardware) to make sure the two colonies get to where they should be before winter.
If you would rather stay with one colony, setting up the backup nuc may resolve the issue without having to set up a second hive right now.
@aristidesbeekeeper. I just went out and checked them again. I’d say 14 total frames are completely full of live bees. I have about 10 frames of brood in various stages including eggs. 5 capped and 5 uncapped. I saw 6 new queen cups that are empty, all on the bottom of the frames plus the one that has the larva in it that’s uncapped. No capped queen cells at this time.
I have one deep and 5 mediums available for use but I have no frames for them. What do you recommend? I can come up there sometime tomorrow morning for whatever supplies are needed.
What do you recommend? I can come up there sometime tomorrow morning for whatever supplies are needed.
That's a hard question to answer, because it depends on what your goals are (many options are correct, and the right answer depends on what you'd like to accomplish).
If you would like to just prevent swarming and keep the colony going with the existing queen, taking some frames out to a nuc to let them finish any queen cells sounds like the most moderate approach. It will be the lower cost option too.
If something goes wrong, you will have a backup option.
In case you need anything from the BeeManiacs store, we are closed due to COVID-19 but we put together online orders within 24 hrs (usually within a couple of hours).
You can place an order selecting "pick up at store" and we will confirm as soon as the material is ready to be picked up.
If you have the cardboard nuc that came with the bees, you can certainly use that box to set up the nuc.
Thank you for the info. I don’t have a nuc box as the beek I got the Nucs from had me bring my hive boxes and transfer them on site. Oh well, I think I will split them and I’ll be placing an order tonight with you. I did add a super on tonight to give them space, maybe that’ll settle them a bit too.