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  1. #1
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    Default Dumb question supercedure/swarm cells...

    Here's a question that popped into my head that makes me curious...

    I think I know that supercedure cells are queen cells on the top half of a frame and the bees intend them for replacing an old queen.
    Swarm cells are queen cells near the bottom of a frame, and are intended for swarming purposes.

    my question;
    I also know that some people cut a swarm cell off and stick it on the top part of a frame- is this done in the hopes of replacing an aging queen? Will this queen swarm cell that has been moved then become a supercedure queen that replaces the original queen?

    (I also know that trying to control swarming by merely cutting off lower swarm cells is sort of like keeping a child star in pigtails hoping it will keep her from growing up....but that's not part of my question)
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Dumb question supercedure/swarm cells...

    Cutting off the "Swarm" Queen and putting on top of the frame of a healthy hive and queen may set up a feud between queens. What a waste.

    Sometimes the bees make queen cells for future use but do not lay in them, or they're just empty until needed. Still, lower cells are doomed to swarm.

    Removing the "Swarm" queen cell and placing in a Nuc hive (on the upper portion of a frame) would be a better alternative than along with an existing queened hive.
    Honey is the best thing ever discovered ! www.greenanything.net/honey-bees.php

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Dumb question supercedure/swarm cells...

    Quote Originally Posted by SwedeBee1970 View Post
    Cutting off the "Swarm" Queen and putting on top of the frame of a healthy hive and queen may set up a feud between queens....

    Still, lower cells are doomed to swarm.

    Removing the "Swarm" queen cell and placing in a Nuc hive (on the upper portion of a frame) would be a better alternative than along with an existing queened hive.
    So you mean lower swarm cells are doomed to swarm UNLESS you move them to the upper section of a frame?...then they don't result in a swarm?
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Dumb question supercedure/swarm cells...

    Theoretically speaking, if you remove the queen "Swarm" cell, they might make another one until the ultimate problem is taken care of. Swarming is caused by at least overcrowding. Removing the Swarm queen cell and adding a brood box may or may not solve the issue, but it's worth a shot. It's up to you if you wish nature to take its course.

    I'm just saying it makes sense to use a "Swarm" queen cell with a Nuc hive. Why waste a good queen ? Still, the overcrowding needs to be dealt with to avoid future swarms if possible.
    Honey is the best thing ever discovered ! www.greenanything.net/honey-bees.php

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Dumb question supercedure/swarm cells...

    Yes thanks i have read a lot about swarming and how to avoid it. Not really asking what is the best way of doing anything.
    My question was more theoretical...about what happens when you move that swarm cell from bottom to top-

    If you left the swarm cell where it was on the bottom of the frame
    , then when the new queen emerges the old queen would take off with some of the population in a swarm, leaving the new queen there, right?

    If you moved that swarm cell to the top of the frame after it is capped, then when the new queen emerged she would fight with and/or kill the old queen, right? Strongest queen would survive. But no swarm would happen from that swarm cell, right?
    I'm just curious about the way bees do things.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Dumb question supercedure/swarm cells...

    The later.

    Set up for a feud.

    I'd bet the odds are greater that the new queen prevails.

    With swarming, I believe, the entire hive is evacuated.
    Honey is the best thing ever discovered ! www.greenanything.net/honey-bees.php

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Dumb question supercedure/swarm cells...

    Quote Originally Posted by SwedeBee1970 View Post
    With swarming, I believe, the entire hive is evacuated.
    I thought that the old queen only left with a portion of the population, or maybe half.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Dumb question supercedure/swarm cells...

    first off some folks here are confusing a queen cell cup with a queen cell.

    the position of the cell means very little. you can have swarm or superscedure cells at just about any location in the hive or a frame. you can create, thru manipulation of various kinds, swarm cells or superscedure cells 'artifically'... place the raw material in whatever place you wish and cells will appear there.

    there are several requirements for a hive to superscede or swarm and each unique into itself. most of the time a swarm cell is laid as an egg and intended to be a queen and most of the time a superscedure cell begins as an egg in a worker cell and things proceed from there.

    old school folks though that you should never use swarm cells although I can see limited downside to the practice. some of the old timer though you were selecting queens that would swarm excessively if your relied on swarm cells too much.

    but yes omie when folks use a cell like you describe they are trying to replace the queen. you would place the cell at the top of the hive to reduce the chance that the existing queen will not find and cut down this cell.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Dumb question supercedure/swarm cells...

    To add just a little more than tecumseh explained...

    A couple rules of thumb that are good 99% of the time:
    A strong hive doesn't supercede, and a weak hive won't swarm.
    5 to 6 or less queen cells are supercedure cells. More than 6 queen cells are swarm cells.

    I have heard it argued that the best quality of queen comes from swarm cells as the cells are from ideal eggs and usually able to be fed plenty of royal jelly. Second best queens are supercedure queens, as they get selected from ideal aged eggs, but sometimes the queen cell ends up being L shaped due to old cell walls the bees can't tear down, and the queen larva doesn't get fed as good. Supposedly the riskiest quality queen comes from emergency queen cells, as the bees are trying to make a new queen from whatever eggs they have on hand.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Dumb question supercedure/swarm cells...

    Anytime a queen emerges while there is a reigning queen it's likely to end in a supersedure UNLESS they were in the middle of swarm preparations. Anytime a queen is about to emerge during swarm preparations, it's likely to become a swarm queen. Any queen cell MIGHT be a swarm or supersedure cell, it's just a general tendency that swarm cells are usually hanging off the bottom and supersedure cells are usually up higher.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Dumb question supercedure/swarm cells...

    Thanks everyone...I am learning from each post.

    Now Michael....I thought it was the OLD queen who takes off in a swarm, taking a bunch of the hive population with her?...
    Are you saying the new emerging queen takes off in the swarm, leaving th eold original queen behind in the hive?
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Dumb question supercedure/swarm cells...

    >I thought it was the OLD queen who takes off in a swarm, taking a bunch of the hive population with her?...

    Correct.

    >Are you saying the new emerging queen takes off in the swarm, leaving th eold original queen behind in the hive?

    No, I am not. Is the queen who emerges from a swarm cell a "swarm queen"? Or is the old queen who leaves a "swarm queen"? I guess it depends on your definition, but to me the old queen is the old queen. The new queen is the one raised because of swarming.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Dumb question supercedure/swarm cells...

    Oh, ok I get it now. Thanks!
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Dumb question supercedure/swarm cells...

    along those same lines. I found a queen cup at the bottom of the comb today, new hive - hived on 4/19th. top bar. I saw the cup at about bar 13. They have 26 bars available after I have opened up the hive some as time has passed. 18 days ago I was in the hive and added a couple empty bars in between full bars in the brood nest. I was surprised to see the queen cup after doing all that. I am wondering if they are preparing to swarm. ?? Italians. LOL - just noticed the date on the original post.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Dumb question supercedure/swarm cells...

    If it is indeed just a cup without a larvae it means absolutely, positively, completely nothing. As all queen cups do.

    Where it is located is virtually irrelevant.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfallaci...mcellsonbottom
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Dumb question supercedure/swarm cells...

    So after reading this I'm wondering if I end up needing a queen for the small swarm I hived last week, could I take a supercedure or swarm cell from one of my other hives and put in there?

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