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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Question

    I made a few splits last week and in one of them I had not seen any activity at the entrance. This one I had placed five frames from an established hive. There were at least two, maybe three queen cells on the frames I started with in the center of the nuc.

    I removed the top and was relieved that there were lots of bees in the nuc. I pulled out the outside frame to make a little room to inspect the inner ones. I turned it around and saw that I destroyed a capped supercedure cell when I pulled the frame out there was also an open swarm cell on the bottom of the frame.

    Well, I was upset with myself and put it back carefully and decided that I would not risk ruining any more cells. This is why I don't like to run ten frames in a box. But this is not my question.

    Does a swarm cell always swarm and does a supercedure cell always supercede? I don't think you can ever say always when it comes to bees, but if a swarm cell hatches before a supercedure cell, and she kills the supercedure queen will she likely stay? I think I know the answer, but I would like your take on this issue.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,481

    Post

    >Does a swarm cell always swarm and does a supercedure cell always supercede? I don't think you can ever say always when it comes to bees, but if a swarm cell hatches before a supercedure cell, and she kills the supercedure queen will she likely stay? I think I know the answer, but I would like your take on this issue.

    I assume we mean a swarm cell when it is on the bottom of the bar and a supercedure when it's in the middle. But emergency cells are all over the place. For an emergency cell they just look for larvae the right age, not the right place. They decide what to do based on the current conditions and some kind of consesus of the hive. So, no, a swarm cell doesn't always swarm. I often pull a frame with swarm cells out and make a split and they don't swarm.

    Even swarm cells and supercedure cells are not ALWAYS in the "right" location. But they are often enough to give us clues as to their purpose.

    I haven't found that 9 frames or 10 frames is my problem with queen cells, but rather that they stick out and they often are slightly attached to something else and fragile enough that they break when I move them at all. Sometimes you can't see them no matter what until you've destroyed them.

    Certainly IF you need to inspect a hive that you expect to be rasing a queen, pull the end frame out first and then keep sliding frames over and putting them in another box as you go. That way you have plenty of room. Never pull a frame out of them middle on any hive. But you'll still destroy some Queen cells no matter how careful you are.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    ROME, GA - USA
    Posts
    27

    Post

    NO MATTER WHAT CONDITION IN A HIVE DEVELOPES NOTHING TELLS THE QUEEN SHE HAS TO SWARM. WHAT I MEAN IS THAT IF THE HIVE HAS NO QUEEN SHES NOT GOING TO LEAVE EXCEPT TO MATE AND THEN SHE RETURNS TO CARRY ON THIS HIVE. IF A QUEEN IS BORN SUPERCEDURE OR UNDER SWARMING IMPULSE AND THE QUEEN IN THE HIVE IS NOT LAYING OR IF SHES LAYING DRONE'S SHOWING HER TO BE INFERTILE THE WORKERS WILL DESTROY THE OLD QUEEN IN MOST CASES AND THE NEW QUEEN WILL STAY. HOW EVER SAY YOU HAVE 2 QUEEN CELLS IN A HIVE, AND THE OLD QUEEN IS POOR THE OLD QUEEN WILL SOMETIMES BE KILLED AND THE OTHER VIRGIN QUEEN WILL CARRY ON A SWARM. I HAD A SWARM ONE TIME THAT HAD 3 SWARMS TO COME OUT IN THE SAME DAY AND EACH TIME THE SWARMS GOT SMALLER.

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