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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    971

    Default Successful walk away split - but early supercedure cells

    A few weeks ago I made a walk away split from one of my strong colonies. Took the old queen, two frames of capped brood and a frame of honey. These were put into a nuc and moved to another site.

    The queenless colony proceeded to make a queen. Everything progressed as was to be expected. Checked yesterday, and found plenty of new eggs and larvae. New queen seems to have a great laying pattern. On some new comb, I found two queen cups. These cups looked to be intended to supercede the new queen.

    My questions are, is early supercedure normal with walk away splits? The queenless colony was very strong, plenty of stores, bees and eggs to make a queen from. We have had drones flying for quite some time as well. If they place an egg in the new supercedure cups, would it be practical to take the queen and start another colony?

    Thanks
    Shane

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,872

    Default Re: Successful walk away split - but early supercedure cells

    If they're empty, nothing to worry about, normal to have cups around

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,699

    Default Re: Successful walk away split - but early supercedure cells

    It is common to find queen cups here and there throughout a brood nest of a good hive. I call them play cells, as if they are playing with wax. I think maybe they keep them around for 'just in case' reasons. Keep a watch on them, chances are small that they will actually use them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,872

    Default Re: Successful walk away split - but early supercedure cells

    You see cups often in recently queen less hives as well

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Ash Grove MO. USA.
    Posts
    535

    Default Re: Successful walk away split - but early supercedure cells

    Cups without eggs in them are common.
    It's also been common for queens that were raised early in the spring to be superseded before fall. Often while their still laying like champs. For me anyway.

    I believe it has to do with how many drones they mated with and how strong their QMP is

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    2,028

    Default Re: Successful walk away split - but early supercedure cells

    I'll add to the reassurance that queen cups do not indicate imminent supercedure or dissatisfaction with the queen. There is a lot of turmoil going through a hive when a split is made and who knows what is going through the hive's collective brain when faced with such dramatic changes? Can't blame them for preparing a life raft for use if needed. That there's no eggs or brood in them means the hive still sees value in the queen.

    If you do see brood in them soon, that is the time to consider making a split or, possibly, a nuc to overwinter.

    Wayne

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    971

    Default Re: Successful walk away split - but early supercedure cells

    Thanks for the input,

    This is my first walk away. In the past, I would wait until the queen laid an egg in the cup. Then I would put the queen in a nuc. For late splits, I would provide a queen or cell.

    Not sure if I like the walk away splits. Seems like a long time to be without brood. Thought I would give it a try.

    Shane

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