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Queen Cups!

May 26th The weather was cooperating this evening and we could get out and do an inspection and see what the bees have been up to this week. I lifted the whole 2nd box off the top and placed it ever so gently on the top of the  lid that was placed next to the hive. The bees were a little excited but with the inner cover left on they didn't get too flighty. The bottom frames were really stuck together with Propolis and the color of the wax is starting to go quite brown. I'm surprised the first and 2 frame on the bottom box have nothing drawn out on them.  I'm thinking when I go in next week I will pull the first frame out and place it closer to the middle of the box. I'll have to ask some other beekeepers if they suggest that. What was shocking was that on frame # 8 there was what appeared to be 3 queen cups that I didn't see last week. I'm feeling a bit nervous now although from what I have been reading is that the queen cups are built for a"just in case" situation. As well as I could see with reading glasses through fine black mesh of the hood, the cells contained no eggs or larvae. Here is a picture of the cups.  I'm pretty sure they are queen cups but someone correct me please if I'm mistaken.

Click on the photo for a hi-res version

[caption id="attachment_268" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="queen cups"]queen cups[/caption] [caption id="attachment_269" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Frame 8a_4 bottom queen cup"]Frame 8a_4 bottom[/caption] There is a little concern as the bees continue to ignore the first 2  and last frame of the bottom box. I'm going to do some research and see if I should move the empty frames on the outside  towards the center of the box. I don't want to screw up the brood nest but if they are making queen cups this could be a precursor to swarming and that could be from a perceived lack of space (among other things)
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