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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Meriden, CT
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    Default Fall Inspection - Single Swarm Cell w/ larvae

    I did one of my larger inspections of the year today, breaking down each box. Checked pollen/honey stores, reduce entrance, mouse guard, etc.

    One thing of note during my inspection was I found one swarm cell, with larvae and royal jelly. I just found it very curious that there was only one.

    I went through this hive top to bottom, there is only this one cell. Also the queen is in there.

    What are your thoughts? What action should I take?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
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    604

    Default Re: Fall Inspection - Single Swarm Cell w/ larvae

    take no action. the bees know best.
    My first thought is a supercedure cell but it's getting very late for that. I still have drones
    here but they are all being ridden pretty hard by the worker bees at the entrance, I call it
    the fall drone rodeo.

    It's very possible and likely they destroy that cell before it ever gets capped.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Fort Gay, WV, USA
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    955

    Default Re: Fall Inspection - Single Swarm Cell w/ larvae

    Sounds more like a supersedure cell to me. Normally they will only make one or two cells when they decide to supersede a queen, but when they make swarm cells there is usually many, and of all stages. In your shoes it would be a difficult choice to make depending upon if there were still drones around. If there's plenty of drones, let them do their thing. If there's no drones, you may want to think about getting a mated queen from down south.
    Thomas Bartram - Since 2013, 43 - 8 F langs, 22 Italian & 21 Russian

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    2,928

    Default Re: Fall Inspection - Single Swarm Cell w/ larvae

    Supercedure, what's the mite count looking like and how old is this queen. I had a 2-3 year old queen replaced in October last year, that was a bummer since there was slim chance any new queen could get mated, but I let it run it's course, lost the hive.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Aurora, Colorado
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    2

    Default Re: Fall Inspection - Single Swarm Cell w/ larvae

    I recommend that you split the hive. Queen in one and queen cell in the other. If they raise a queen and she gets mated, you have another hive or you can use the queen to requeen another hive. If the new queen does not get mated, recombine the hives back into one.

    BTW, I had this happen to me, yesterday. I also lost a queen in another hive, so I'm hoping to raise two new queens.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Meriden, CT
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    41

    Default Re: Fall Inspection - Single Swarm Cell w/ larvae

    This queen is a supercedure queen from summer. She lays well and honestly it's the gentlest bees I have had yet so I hope she stays. It looked like swarm cell bc it was hanging off bottom of frame....I know that's not always true. The hive has good resources and plenty of room so not sure why the need to swarm.

    I will do a mite count.

    I have seen cells get built and destroyed so I will keep an eye out.

    If it gets capped I am tempted to make a NUC to overwinter . With drones low do I still move old queen to split?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Aurora, Colorado
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Fall Inspection - Single Swarm Cell w/ larvae

    [QUOTE=nediver;1170329]
    With drones low do I still move old queen to split?

    I'm not sure what your question is or what the configuration of your hive is.

    If you have a double deep hive with brood in both boxes, just put the top box on its own bottom board making sure the queen and the queen cell are in different hives. I recommend that the existing queen be given plenty of room to lay. If you put her in a nuc, make sure she has plenty of empty comb available to lay in as well as food and brood.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lumpkin County, GA
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Fall Inspection - Single Swarm Cell w/ larvae

    I had one hive about 2 weeks ago produce a single supercedure cell on a frame.
    It had a larvae in it about 5-7 days old and I was also able to find the queen who was laying a bunch of eggs. Since it is so late in the season, I doubted there would be enough time or drones to mate with a new queen, so I planned on combining it with another hive. About three days later, when I was ready to combine with another hive, I was going to remove the supercedure cell and squish the queen. I found the queen but could not find the supercedure cell. I marked the frame with a thumbtack so I know exactly where to look but the cell was gone. Fortunately, I waited to squish the queen until after I found the cell.
    I suggest you wait a few days and then re-inspect and see if it is still there.
    Even if the cell is still there, I doubt that they will be able to make a new queen this late in the season. Either combine with another hive or keep the hive going but remove the swarm cell and get a new queen in the spring.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Meriden, CT
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    41

    Default Re: Fall Inspection - Single Swarm Cell w/ larvae

    My point is that, drones have been ejected from the hive for the most part for the last two weeks. So concentrations are LOW. To me that means I am taking a big chance that the new queen mates and lays, and that supercedure will be successful. It could be weeks before she lays, then we are into Halloween. Carni's slow way down this time of year so even nurse bees are in short supply. I could split, see if new queen is successful and then recombine if not. Just seems like a lot of what its and work

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Meriden, CT
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    41

    Default Re: Fall Inspection - Single Swarm Cell w/ larvae

    This sounds like my gut speaking. I will check and see if it doesn't get destroyed.

    If I combine it with my other hive it will be a huge hive, like 4 Deeps. That seems big to me.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
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    604

    Default Re: Fall Inspection - Single Swarm Cell w/ larvae

    Quote Originally Posted by nediver View Post
    My point is that, drones have been ejected from the hive for the most part for the last two weeks. So concentrations are LOW. To me that means I am taking a big chance that the new queen mates and lays, and that supercedure will be successful. It could be weeks before she lays, then we are into Halloween. Carni's slow way down this time of year so even nurse bees are in short supply. I could split, see if new queen is successful and then recombine if not. Just seems like a lot of what its and work
    Leave them alone. Check in a week to 10 days on that queen cell to see if it's capped. Look for the queen then also.
    Many have seen, reported on and written about mother & daughter queens in the same hive laying away in the fall. It's not all that uncommon.
    L. Conners mentions it, I think, in Increase essentials.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Meriden, CT
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    41

    Default Re: Fall Inspection - Single Swarm Cell w/ larvae

    Quote Originally Posted by clyderoad View Post
    Leave them alone. Check in a week to 10 days on that queen cell to see if it's capped. Look for the queen then also.
    Many have seen, reported on and written about mother & daughter queens in the same hive laying away in the fall. It's not all that uncommon.
    L. Conners mentions it, I think, in Increase essentials.
    Had a few days of rain and went back in today to find what looked like a new queen. My old queen was marked, this one was not. I could not find the marked queen, but that doesn't mean she isn't there. I did see eggs, will need to check in a week again.

  13. #13
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    Jun 2012
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    Suffolk, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Fall Inspection - Single Swarm Cell w/ larvae

    Quote Originally Posted by nediver View Post
    Had a few days of rain and went back in today to find what looked like a new queen. My old queen was marked, this one was not. I could not find the marked queen, but that doesn't mean she isn't there. I did see eggs, will need to check in a week again.
    Things sound pretty good in there now. Eggs usually means they were laid by a queen who was in the hive very recently (3 days ago at least). That marked queen may have been replaced earlier in the season and it went unnoticed. Happens alot.
    Did you happen to check on that queen cell that was developing?
    I'll bet it's gone.
    I'd start to evaluate the honey stores in that hive in prep for winter and pay less attention to the queen issue given your report today. In a week those eggs will be capped pupa and there will most likely be many uncapped larvae and more eggs. If I saw uncapped larvae and more eggs during a fast hive check in a weeks time I'd be satisfied.
    How are the honey stores in there? Do you see pollen coming in?

  14. #14
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    Jun 2012
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    Suffolk, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Fall Inspection - Single Swarm Cell w/ larvae

    duplicate post.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Fall Inspection - Single Swarm Cell w/ larvae

    >One thing of note during my inspection was I found one swarm cell, with larvae and royal jelly. I just found it very curious that there was only one.

    As others have pointed out, it is not a swarm cell. I've never seen only one swarm cell...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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