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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Arundel, Maine USA
    Posts
    1,207

    Default supercedure cells on queen cage?

    I hived a package of bees on Thursday April 10. I checked on them on Tuesday April 15. They almost had the queen out, but not yet, so as suggested I poked a hole in the candy. When I checked again today, she was out. When I pulled the empty queen cage out, I saw this.

    http://s156.photobucket.com/albums/t...t=IMG_2951.jpg

    http://s156.photobucket.com/albums/t...t=IMG_2952.jpg

    So, I looked for the queen. She's there, and beautiful! She was walking around sticking her but into cells. I didn't see any eggs, but the frame she was on was covered in bees and I couldn't get them to move, and I didn't want to brush her off accidentally.

    A couple of questions...

    1) Do you think the bees got desperate cuz they were queenless? or do you think they're planning to overthrow the government?

    2) If you believe they want to replace her, should I let them or should I call the supplier and get a new queen?

    3) They can't make supercedure cells with out eggs, so what were they thinking?

    4) Because the bees were building these cells, do you think this could lead to laying workers?

    Thanks for your help!
    Let's BEE friends

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cleveland, Texas
    Posts
    1,378

    Default

    It is not unusual for new packages to supercede right away. I would leave them alone until they have some sealed brood for you to evaluate the queens laying pattern. If the pattern is spotty, then they probably need a new queen. In theory, getting a replacement queen would cause less of a setback to them than letting them supercede their current queen. That theory only holds if the replacement queen is good and they don't decide to supercede her as well.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Default

    It looks more like burr comb to me. I don't think it is a queen cell.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Arundel, Maine USA
    Posts
    1,207

    Default

    Iddee, I hope you're right. I guess in retrospect, it's not a big deal. It would just be nice for things to go smoothly...
    Let's BEE friends

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Arundel, Maine USA
    Posts
    1,207

    Angry

    Ok, my suspicions were right. They were trying to build emergency or queen cells. There were no eggs, no larvae, no capped brood. Nuthin! Maine_Beekeeper came over and helped me out. I called the person I bought the package from, and he referred me to the supplier who said they couldn't get me a queen till the end of May. With a queenless hive, I had no choice but to travel to the nearest queen (3 hours drive total) plus 3/4 tank of gas, tolls and $17 extra dollars later!! To be clear, the man who sold me my new queen was wonderful and it's not his fault that he and I are so far apart.

    So, she's sitting in her queen cage, and the bees are tending to her until I can hang the cage and they can release her. (I didn't hang the cage, because I didn't get home till 8pm) I have to work extra long hours tomorrow, so I'm gonna have to hang the queen cage and then rush off to work in the morning. Now I'm 2 weeks behind, and when you add the 3+ days it will take to release her, plus the 3 weeks it takes for the brood cycle, now I'm REALLY far behind where I should be. I'm really not happy with the people I got these bees from, and don't think I'll buy again. Oh well, my loss...

    On the bright side, I got to hear the difference between my colony with out a queen and the excited buzzing they made when I placed the queen cage with the new queen in the hive. It was a pretty cool experience. I guess that alone could have been worth the hassle.

    So, what would you guys do? Would you expect some sort of a refund from the supplier?
    Let's BEE friends

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    goshen, ma
    Posts
    359

    Default

    yes at least for the queen

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,471

    Default

    You did kill or remove the old (non-laying) queen, right? I'd expect the supplier to correct this problem. A refund for the queen would be expected.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Arundel, Maine USA
    Posts
    1,207

    Default

    The old queen is gone, yes. I got my new queen. As suggested, I poked a little hole in the candy to give them a head start on getting her out. Today, they were almost through, but I decided to peel the screen back and release her. Of course, fate wouldn't have it any other way, she flew off! I heard her "chirp" it was the coolest thing ever. I had read a post once referencing the sound, but I had never heard it before. No way to describe it. She did it twice.

    Anyway, I searched through the frames looking for her. She was no where to be found. I knew she had flown off but was hoping she had come back. I heard another strange noise, which I suspected might be her. I picked up the last frame, which I had already looked over twice and there she was. The crowd went wild. They started humming (a very lovely sound) and fanning. I put them back together and I'm gonna leave them alone for a few days.

    I have to say, it's stressful when things go wrong, but it's a great learning experience.

    I'm going to call the supplier tomorrow and get myself a "credit" for a new queen. Then I'll do an over-wintered nuc or something.
    Let's BEE friends

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