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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Regular August queen supercedure, good trait, or just coincidence?

    Hello all,
    I have been looking at my records, and I took notice that one of my hives has superceded its queen every mid-August since 2009. I thought it must have been coincidence, because they did not do it this year. However I looked into that hive today, and the original queen has been superceded!? There is a fresh new unmarked queen in the hive, and this is also the only hive that has not yet evicted the drones. It also has had the lowest mite loads every year. So I am wondering if anyone else has experienced something like this too. Also, what do you think, it is just happenstance, or a desireable trait? Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,365

    Default Re: Regular August queen supercedure, good trait, or just coincidence?

    I think it a desirable trait and you should raise some daughters. Does the colony maintain multiple queens?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Regular August queen supercedure, good trait, or just coincidence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Does the colony maintain multiple queens?
    I did not see the original queen, but I suppose she may still be there. There are eggs, which would indicate the presence of a laying queen. The queen looked mated to me, meaning she had a slightly enlarged abdomen, and did not race around the comb like a virgin typically does. I have had a few nucs and a cutout earlier in the season that superceded the queen, but waited to kill off the old queen until the new one was laying. Could be the case, but I doubt it. Any other thoughts? Thanks Michael.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,514

    Default Re: Regular August queen supercedure, good trait, or just coincidence?

    cool stuff wb.

    we have had an unusually high number of small late season swarms across the state this year. the working assumption is that these swarms are post-supercedure.

    a few of my hives did this. i think it's a good trait too, because the colony will have a fresh queen to begin their spring build-up.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Regular August queen supercedure, good trait, or just coincidence?

    I am positive this was not post late season swarm supercedure. They have not been crowded at all. Also, our nights are regularly below freezing, and daytime temps are normally 60 F, not higher than 70 F.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,514

    Default Re: Regular August queen supercedure, good trait, or just coincidence?

    understood. i had never heard that the superceded queen might take off with a small swarm before, but others have said that they observed it. the few that i saw issue from my yard came from hives that were not crowded.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: Regular August queen supercedure, good trait, or just coincidence?

    Does anyone know why the bees would decide to supercede in August?
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,514

    Default Re: Regular August queen supercedure, good trait, or just coincidence?

    Quote Originally Posted by sfisher View Post
    Does anyone know why the bees would decide to supercede in August?
    the more i learn, the more i realize how much i don't know.

    i had a conversation with my state apiarist yesterday. his thinking was that the marked increase this year compared to previous years, in these small swarms issuing late in the season, (and if these are indicating supercedure), might have something to do with the fact that we had an unusually long bee season.

    i.e. spring came very early, and summer is lasting late.

    his thinking was that this longer season may be wearing the queens out faster.

    interesting stuff.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Regular August queen supercedure, good trait, or just coincidence?

    I see late summer supercedure in a lot in my feral derived hives and think it is one of the mechanisms that helps with varroa control, giving the colony a late summer brood break and a fresh young queen going into winter.

    I read something from Ross Conrad on it and I think he is right.

    While I find that my July mite counts are often high in the 5 - 10% range, my September mite counts drop significantly on hives that shut down brood rearing (and often supercede) during our late summer heat and dearth. I did sugar roll tests on 10 large 2 year old hives Sept. 15 - 23 and all were in the 1 - 3% range.

    Don Semple
    Overland Park, KS

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,514

    Default Re: Regular August queen supercedure, good trait, or just coincidence?

    makes really good sense don, thanks. almost all of my bees were derived from feral mutts.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Regular August queen supercedure, good trait, or just coincidence?

    Thanks for the thoughts so far, everyone!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Asheville, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: Regular August queen supercedure, good trait, or just coincidence?

    There's no brood break with a planned supercedure, only a swarm or emergency queen.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,879

    Default Re: Regular August queen supercedure, good trait, or just coincidence?

    I wish all of my hives would supercede in August. The late summer swarms I catch are usually boomers the next spring.

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