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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Jefferson Co,WV, USA
    Posts
    88

    Default Swarm cells and supercedure cells... Oh my

    I did a full pull apart on 2 of my hives yesterday as part of my transitioning to all med. boxes (the nucs came on deeps) and found one of the russian hives had 6 capped queen cells in it 2 on high on the face of the frames and 4 on the bottom edge (I broke one by accident and it had a white pupa in it)

    I have been moving open frames from the edges to the center to keep the brood nest open and they have good solid frames of capped brood w/ only the middle area open so unless her pheromones are weak then it looks like a swarm prep to me even w/ the queen cells on the faces

    my question is what shall I do... if it was a supercedure happening I'd let it and if it were a swarm I'd split and recombine (maybe into the one weak hive I have) my problem is don't trust my interpretation of the signs and if I split and combine to a different colony I could leave a colony not queenright

    also the fact that my queens are not marked and I can't spot them to save my life makes things a LITTLE harder
    I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself. - Oscar Wilde

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,774

    Default

    Try to consider everything in it's context. The context of a hive likely to swarm would be a lot of bees, possibly a lack of space, a backfilled brood nest. The context of a hive likely to supersede. It's either of medium or low strength and often there are signs of the queen not being up to par, such as scattered brood, too many drones/workers (like significantly higher than 20% drones) etc.

    Location of the cells is one more thing in the context, where high in the middle is more likely to be supersedure and on the edges of the comb or the bottom is more likely to be a supersedure.

    Actually, though, either way I wouldn't destroy the queen cells. If you're really having trouble then maybe the right question is whether it's strong enough to split or not as you may get more queens that way either way.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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