Beekeeper Question: What’s This?

A relative newbee found this in her second year hive. She assumes it is a group of supercedure queen cells, but wonders why they want a new queen because it is a strong hive. She noted that:

  • A month ago the hive had a great brood pattern extending over 5-6 frames.

  • Now there’s a great brood pattern extending over 14 frames in the 2 deeps, but about half of it is drone brood.

  • There did seem to be a lot of drones in the hive, but it is that time of year (mid-April).

She asked, “What’s going on here? And, how does this work? Does the queen lay eggs in queen cups, knowing they’re going to overthrow her?”

Readers, we’d all appreciate your insights. You can quickly help out the newbee by commenting on this article on the Kelley Bees blog, or send your comments to and we’ll run them in a future issue.

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