I decided to remove them because I could see newly laid eggs and larva that was approximately 3 days old. That is evidence that there has to be a queen in the hive. As I've mentioned in a previous post, I'm learning way more about beekeeping as I manage my own hive then what I learned in my class - and with each visit into the hive I find myself full of new questions and in some cases new challenges.
During previous hive examinations, I have come across 3 swarm cells. This is another way to create a new queen. Swarm cells are usually found near the bottom of a frame. Bees will create these cells if they feel crowded in the hive. This is done because the bees think the hive is full, so they create a new queen so when she emerges, they can split off and go elsewhere. When I discovered the swarm cells, I removed them and rearranged frames in the hive to give them more space. It seems to have done the trick because today there were no swarm cells, just supercedure cells (queen cells). Supercedure cells are typically found in the center of a frame. Both cells look the same (like a large peanut), so their location in the hive helps you differentiate the two.
So now I am left with this burning question: Why are my bees trying to create a new queen?! I have seen the new eggs and larva so I have a queen - why do I need a new one?! After digging around a little, I have come to the conclusion that my queen must be weakening or failing. Sadness! (weep-weep // sniff-sniff) The queen I have (or had)...came with my original bees, so I don't know how old she was to begin with. Lovely! SO...this should be interesting! One way or another, things are constantly evolving! Stay tuned!