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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    27

    Default Supercedure Cell

    I saw what I think is the beginning of a supercedure cell today. The hive was started from a package and installed on April 17th. They are starting from bare foundation and have drawn out 6 of 8 frames completely. Frame 7 was started and they haven't touched frame 8. This was the only supercedure cell in the hive. I added a second brood box today and took one drawn out frame from the bottom and put it on the second brood box. I saw the queen today, there seems to be lots of brood and I can see larvae. I'm not totally sure how to judge her brood pattern, it isn't is good as my other hive, but not sure that is bad either. What should be my course of action at this point?

    I couldn't figure out how to post a picture... but one is located here

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,505

    Default Re: Supercedure Cell

    If that frame of brood is typical of what she's laying, they are replacing her and you should let them. Very spotty brood pattern.

    If there is nothing in that "queen cell" it's just a cup, they tend to keep a couple around all the time, more if there is Russian in their genetics.

    Peter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clay Count, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    819

    Default Re: Supercedure Cell

    Do not cut out a supercedure cell unless you plan on installing a new queen. The bees know best in terms of if they need a new queen.

    Sometimes you have to move the most outer frames inward to get them to draw them out, but sounds like you did the right thing by adding a box.

    It is common for them to build small queen cups in case they need to raise an emergency queen. You can check for an egg in the cup to see if it is going to become a supercedure cell or just wait to see if they build it out to a full queen cell. Just be careful when you move the frame so you don't destroy the cell.

    Supercedure is more common than you might think for new package bees.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by MDS; 05-08-2013 at 09:32 AM.
    Try living life with the attitude it's not about what you want to do but what you should do!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Supercedure Cell

    Great, thanks. There is nothing in the cell and there is Russian in their genetics. I will just keep monitoring it.

    I also got stung yesterday. I was walking away from the hive and took off my veil and a little bugger started flying all over my head and stung me in the forehead. This is the first time I've seen any aggression at all out of the hives. But now my eye is swelling shut... sheesh. I've been trying to convince my friends that bees don't just sting all the time and they are generally pretty docile, but I don't think this will help my cause...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Ogden, Utah
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Supercedure Cell

    Quote Originally Posted by jwsjeff View Post
    I was walking away from the hive and took off my veil and a little bugger started flying all over my head and stung me in the forehead.
    Since you're posting pictures anyway, might as well throw up a photo of your sting and subsequent swelling. I could use a chuckle.
    If God doesn't want us to eat animals, why did He make them out of meat?
    Zone 5b - Utah - Elevation 4,300 ft

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Southeast Virginia
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Supercedure Cell

    Is there truth in the theory that the placement ( top or bottom of frames) and the amount of queen cells can determine whether it is a supercedure or swarm prep?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clay Count, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    819

    Default Re: Supercedure Cell

    y
    Quote Originally Posted by VARyan View Post
    Is there truth in the theory that the placement ( top or bottom of frames) and the amount of queen cells can determine whether it is a supercedure or swarm prep?
    Yes, generally swarm cells are more numerous than supercedure cells. Also swarm cells are generally located at the bottom of the frame and supercedure are generally not.
    Try living life with the attitude it's not about what you want to do but what you should do!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Southeast Virginia
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Supercedure Cell

    Good to know. Also, love how many times generally is used. Isn't that the case in almost all of bee keeping. However, it's those little clues that the girls give us to help guide our management. Thanks for the info.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clay Count, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    819

    Default Re: Supercedure Cell

    Ya, seems like anything is possible in beekeeping considering all the variables.
    Try living life with the attitude it's not about what you want to do but what you should do!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,505

    Default Re: Supercedure Cell

    Queen cells are made where the bees find it easy to remove old comb or re-work comb to make the larger cells, and if they don't have any malleable wax in the frames they will build queen cells on the bottom or anywhere else. Since the locations suitable for good queen cells are limited in an established hive, when the bees start the 20 or so typical of swarm preparation, they will build quite a few of them on the bottom of the frames. I suspect they prefer middle of the frame or ends of frames because it's easier to keep them warm, but for swarm prep there just isn't enough room.

    Supersedure cells usually number less than 10, so they build them at the ends of frames or in established queen cups.

    Peter

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