Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Pepperell, MA, USA
    Posts
    37

    Default not sure if I'm looking at a supercedure cell....*added pics*

    Three weeks ago I installed bees into their brand new hive. I took a look at the comb today for the first time, sans bees, using a beaver brush to get a good look.

    I saw some perfect white comb. I saw some comb that was dark orange, mostly around the edges. I saw some that was dark orange and swelled far above the surface area of the white comb (not a supercedure cell, much larger in size). I saw some comb that was capped, though sporadically placed. I saw one area that, after having seen pictures, looks to me like a supercedure cell. There was only one.

    What I'm unsure of is what exactly it is. Supercedure, swarm, something else....?

    Also, why? They are using all but one of the top bars I've given them. On two they've only built comb on a small area. It *seems* that they have enough room, but I really am too new to know. (three week old bee virgin)

    Guesses? Suggestions?

    Close-up views....

    http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/1...percedure1.jpg

    http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/2...percedure2.jpg

    and a view of the back of the comb....

    http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/5...cedurecomb.jpg
    Last edited by Bizzybee; 06-05-2009 at 06:15 AM. Reason: Reduce images to 640x480

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

    Default

    >I saw some perfect white comb. I saw some comb that was dark orange, mostly around the edges.

    Brood.

    > I saw some that was dark orange and swelled far above the surface area of the white comb (not a supercedure cell, much larger in size).

    Drone brood.

    >I saw some comb that was capped, though sporadically placed. I saw one area that, after having seen pictures, looks to me like a supercedure cell. There was only one.

    Hanging down? Where? Bottom? Middle?

    >What I'm unsure of is what exactly it is. Supercedure, swarm, something else....?

    I look more for the context than the location. In a strong booming hive that seems crowded I would assume a swarm cell. If the brood nest is being all filled in as well I would be more sure of it being a swarm cell. In a hive that is just getting established, unless they are being fed constantly I would assume it's a supersedure.

    >Also, why? They are using all but one of the top bars I've given them.

    They are full.

    >On two they've only built comb on a small area. It *seems* that they have enough room, but I really am too new to know. (three week old bee virgin)

    They should have between 20% and 100% more room than they are using. In other words for every eight bars they have filled there should be two bars that are completely empty and if you're controlling the space with a follower, double the room every time you give them more room.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Pepperell, MA, USA
    Posts
    37

    Default

    Thanks Michael. I didn't realize that drone brood swelled SO far above the surface. Also, as I was watching them this afternoon, I saw a great number of drones entering and leaving the hive. I spend lots of time about a foot away from the hive watching them so I see this as being different than usual. Does this indicate that there is a laying worker? *worries*

    Also, in answer, the supercedure cell (I think) swelled outward, not down, and was in the center of the comb.

    And they are indeed being fed daily or every other day.
    Last edited by spiritfreedom; 05-31-2009 at 12:35 PM. Reason: adding info

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Pepperell, MA, USA
    Posts
    37

    Default

    *bump to show pics*

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

    Default

    Picture supercedure1.jpg has a queen cell in it. It's that peanut shell looking structure.

    The rest all look like drone comb that is full of brood but the cappings are rather spotty. Unless you have some flat capped worker brood somewhere, it does look like either a drone laying queen or laying workers. It looks like they are desperately trying to make a queen out of a drone larvae, which will almost certainly fail.

    If you don't have another top bar hive of this size and shape, make three frames that fit and find a beekeeper to get some worker brood from and cut it and tie it into the frame. If you DO have one the same size and shape, put a frame of open brood in every week for three weeks to give them what they need to resolve the issue and to suppress any laying workers.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Pepperell, MA, USA
    Posts
    37

    Default

    Thanks Michael. It's my first hive of any kind so I certainly don't have anywhere else to take brood from. Are you saying I could find a langsthrop bee keeper and somehow procure brood from them that I could adapt to fit in my TBH?

    Also, I do see larvae today but I'm wondering if at the larvae stage you can differentiate whether it is drone or worker.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads