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Queen Cells vs. Queen Cups

Also read: Swarm cells vs supersedure cells

A queen cell is simply a cell in which a queen is actively being raised. A queen cup, or emergency queen cup as they are often called, is an empty queen cup that bees often have in the hive. Bees keep these empty cups ready in case they need to rear a queen. But, unless it has a larva in it, it’s of no concern. If there is a developing larva in the cell, then you need to decide if it is:

  1. A supersedure cell - the bees replacing a failing queen. See “My hive has queen cells & a laying queen, now what?
  2. A swarm cell- half of the bees are preparing to leave with the queen.
  3. An emergency queen-  the hive has lost their previous queen. See I think my hive is queenless...what should I do?”
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