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  1. #1
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    Default Why do they keep building supersedure cells? They have a laying queen!

    Well, so I have an update on the hive combine some of you were following from my previous posts. I checked on the hive today and they have some new brood, so there is a queen in there at least 3 days ago, maybe sooner. I'm a little confused on the whole Bush Bee Math thing, but there was uncapped brood and some of it was quite small. However, I found 1 supersedure cell on a frame. Why do they keep raising a new queen, when they already have one that's laying? These brood breaks are killing me b/c I get no eggs for like a long time until new queen is ready....

    Thoughts?


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Why do they keep building supersedure cells? They have a laying queen!

    Supersedure cells are built when a group of nurse bees become isolated from the queen and so have a lower amount of queen pheromone, even if it's just for a few hours.

    This can happen when you do a combine and remove a queen from one of the brood nests. They will build emergency queen cells in the queenless box.

    Also, if there are two seperate brood nests, a queen may move between the two nests and occasionally a nest may not get enough queen pheromone. For example, on a cold night, each brood nest may end up separating into separate clusters. Long enough to trigger emergency queen cells.

    Remove the queen cell and make sure you don't have honey frames inbetween the brood nests.

  3. #3
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    Alachua County, FL, USA
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    Default Re: Why do they keep building supersedure cells? They have a laying queen!

    They will build queen cells any time the queen pherommone is weak or absent including the conditions posted above. It is nature's way of survival in the superorganism. It is also why (and how) people sell mated queens. A weak or damaged queen is no better than no queen to survival.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Why do they keep building supersedure cells? They have a laying queen!

    They are insect's sometimes they appear really smart, and sometimes they don't. Kinda like my kids.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Why do they keep building supersedure cells? They have a laying queen!

    So, should I cut out the queen cell and put in in a nuc so I can have an extra queen? What exactly do you mean about how people sell mated queens?

  6. #6
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    Knox, Pa. USA
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    Default Re: Why do they keep building supersedure cells? They have a laying queen!

    Pheromones dictate bee behavior, not just the pheromones produced by the queen but those produced by brood. When a hive is low on brood during normal growing temperatures the lack, or decreasing brood pheromones alarms the hive even though there are queen pheromones present, they perceive this as a failing queen and think they need to replace her. Thus the supercedure attempt. As the reining queen increases production the hive will return to normal and the cells will be dismantled. If you are concerned you can remove the cells, and use them for a split, or just destroy them.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Why do they keep building supersedure cells? They have a laying queen!

    Bush bee math is pretty simple marco. A freshly layed egg takes about 3.5 days to hatch into larva. Then the bees feed large amounts of royal jelly until capped to become queen. Perhaps a horizontal presentation is easier to understand. The +- variation in timing is due to time of year, flow, weather, breed, etc at plus or minus the noted amount of days. The mean/average days are noted.

    Day 1 - Egg Layed
    Day 3.5 - Egg Hatches into Larva
    Day 8 - Cell is Capped (+- 1 day) (Range 7-9 days)
    Day 16 - Queen Emerges (+- 1 day) (Range 15-17 days)
    Day 28 - Queen is laying (+- 5 days) (Range 23-33 days)

    Like everyone has said, center and compact brood nest with honey on perimeter, if 10-frame land something like this HHBBBBBBHH where H is honey and B is brood comb.
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 07-30-2013 at 05:44 PM. Reason: UNQuote

  8. #8
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    Thumbs Up Re: Why do they keep building supersedure cells? They have a laying queen!

    Thanks Burns, that's actually really helpful. So, how do I distinguish eggs from larva. I know the eggs just look like a tiny rice grain in the cell, but when does it turn into larva?
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 07-30-2013 at 05:44 PM. Reason: UNQuote

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Why do they keep building supersedure cells? They have a laying queen!

    I would leave the cell and let the bees sort things out. They aren't necessarily going to dispose of the old queen just because there is a supersedure cell.

    Another issue is whether you actually have a "cell" or just a "cup"... A queen cup means nothing. A queen cell has a larva in it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Why do they keep building supersedure cells? They have a laying queen!

    It's a cell, cause I did see larva in it.

    BTW, how do I order a Kindle copy of your book?
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 07-30-2013 at 05:45 PM. Reason: UNQuote

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Why do they keep building supersedure cells? They have a laying queen!

    Quote Originally Posted by marcos bees View Post
    Thanks Burns, that's actually really helpful. So, how do I distinguish eggs from larva. I know the eggs just look like a tiny rice grain in the cell, but when does it turn into larva?
    Marco 3.5 days!!! Eggs will be layed vertical and begin to fall over, at 3.5 days the egg hatches into larva which is horizontal. The larva then grows bigger taking on a c shape. The cell is capped at 8 days (looks similar to a peanut shell) and the larva spins a cacoon and pupates into an adult bee.

    The easiest way to distinguish young larva vs egg is horizontal vs vertical. The larva will have segments while a egg is smooth. A newly hatched larva is also smaller than an egg. Also an egg will generally have no "royal jelly" beneath it, while a young larva generally has a small amount of jelly to eat. Good natural light and magnification will aid in identification.

    See pictures. Google image "honey bee larva and egg age"

    grafting-tool-w-larva-eggs.JPG

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Why do they keep building supersedure cells? They have a laying queen!

    >BTW, how do I order a Kindle copy of your book?

    http://www.bushfarms.com/xstar.htm#T...al%20Beekeeper

    For the Kindle I would buy the .MOBI version.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Why do they keep building supersedure cells? They have a laying queen!

    One of my hives with Russian heritage regularly has queen cell on the go, but they always remove the larvae and tear it down before capping.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Why do they keep building supersedure cells? They have a laying queen!

    Interesting thoughts guys. I really appreciate all the feedback. Yeah, maybe they are doing this insurance thing, where they build one in case something happens..

    Burns, I will upload some photos in a day or 2 so I can show you what my brood looks like. Once it curves it's larva? I that right?

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