Supercedure cell? What are my options?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Keosauqua, IA, USA
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    237

    Default Supercedure cell? What are my options?

    Popped the top off of one of my hives and saw some uncapped queen cells. Upon further inspection I noticed their, was in fact, royal jelly and larvae. They appeared to be 1-2 days old. I didn't see any eggs in the hive. Just some other young larvae around the same ages. This was a swarm I caught last year--- Could of been an old queen that needed superceded.
    Kind of worried. I've seen very few drones in my hives. Would there be enough matured drones for a successful mating flight in the case that this is a supercedure?

    Two me I see only a few options.
    Leave well enough alone-
    Or remove the frame with the QC and put it in a nuc, in the case that its a swarm. (Which I doubt it is)- Seems risky, cold nights still.
    "In all honesty, I don't think any of us know what were doing. Just what we've done."

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
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    3,745

    Default Re: Supercedure cell? What are my options?

    Doesn't sound like swarm cells given the description of the brood situation.
    Don't know the stage of your spring but I'd think to early for pulling a nuc by what you've said.
    Sounds early for the chance of a good mating but an emergency is an emergency for the bees.
    I'd leave them be and check back in 10 days to see if they completed the qcells. I'd take my chances
    on them making a good queen and then check back towards the end of next month and see what the status is.
    By then it'll probably be warm enough to fix what ever has gone wrong if anything has gone wrong.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Keosauqua, IA, USA
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    Default Re: Supercedure cell? What are my options?

    I agree on the nuc situation. I got to thinking and it is probably an emergency cell rather then supercedure. Like you said.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
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    1,372

    Default Re: Supercedure cell? What are my options?

    First things first. Is the hive queenright?

    • Start a calendar today. Mark today as day #3.
    • Put a queen excluder in between the brood nest boxes. Place an upper entrance shim on the hive if there isn't one (so any drones can get out)
    • Check back in two days. If you have eggs the hive is queenright and the queen is in the box where the eggs are.
    • If you have no eggs then you have emergency cells, let them be and hope for the best. If you are queenless, take out the queen excluder now.
    • If you see eggs then the hive is queenright, and this is a supercedure. I hate to loose a queen, even an old queen so I'd start getting ready to rescue the queen (unless her daughters are mean). More on the reasons why in a minute. Leave in the excluder to help you find the queen in one week. Queen and cells on opposite sides of excluder if possible.
    • On day 8 your queen cells should be capped. This is a calendar check point, make this day 8 if it is not. The queen will emerge 8 days later on day 16.
    • Day 11 If the queen cells have not been torn down, move the old queen and one to two cups of bees to a nuc with pollen, honey, and if above 55°F 1:1 syrup. Queen cells stay in the old hive. Be super careful now, try to not disturb the frames with cells.
    • Day 18. Take a quick peek. Queen cells should be open, meaning you have a virgin queen. Be very gentle at this point, peek, don't go moving frames.
    • Don't bother the old hive now until day 28. By then you should have eggs. If you don't see eggs by day 30 or so then the new queen did not successfully mate. Pinch and recombine (why I hang on to the old queen).
    • If you have a successfully mated new queen, then let the old queen lay eggs that you transfer back to the old hive for a brood bomb for fast spring build up, or if she is still a good queen then now you have a new split.


    disclaimer: Your climate is significantly different from mine - adjust accordingly.
    Last edited by JConnolly; 02-21-2017 at 06:43 PM.
    Zone 6B

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Concord, VT,USA
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    143

    Default Re: Supercedure cell? What are my options?

    Unless production is vital to your operation, why not go with their instincts as a great learning opportunity?
    7 years; 3 colonies.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Keosauqua, IA, USA
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: Supercedure cell? What are my options?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beerz View Post
    Unless production is vital to your operation, why not go with their instincts as a great learning opportunity?
    Did it twice last year. A couple hives superceded their boughten Queens. I like to see what everyone does.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Concord, VT,USA
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    143

    Default Re: Supercedure cell? What are my options?

    Can't fault you for that!
    7 years; 3 colonies.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
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    4,646

    Default Re: Supercedure cell? What are my options?

    Do you have any worker brood? Open and capped?

    I would be suspicious that those are drone larva in the QCs.
    Post pictures.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Keosauqua, IA, USA
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    Default Re: Supercedure cell? What are my options?

    Quote Originally Posted by FlowerPlanter View Post
    Do you have any worker brood? Open and capped?

    I would be suspicious that those are drone larva in the QCs.
    Post pictures.
    I have worker some worker brood in young stages (2-3 days) and some capped. Not much. But they're just starting to bring pollen in.
    Will do when I get pictures.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
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    4,646

    Default Re: Supercedure cell? What are my options?

    >I have worker some worker brood in young stages (2-3 days) and some capped

    Sounds like a supercedure, hopefully with any luck there will be a few drones around when the new queen goes for her flight. It is also possible the bees or queen tears down the cells later.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Keosauqua, IA, USA
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    Default Re: Supercedure cell? What are my options?

    That's what I'm thinking. If I get a dud with a bad pattern I suppose I'll requeen later.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    NE PA
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    114

    Default Re: Supercedure cell? What are my options?

    If you get a dud? I find it hard to believe winter is over in iowa and regardless of some unseasonably warm days i duobt you can raise a viable queen and considering the weather it suggests using a queen excluder at this time could leave a queen isolated from the cluster during chilly nights and or split the cluster. However i would ensure you are queenless if you are not queenless i would isolate /nuc the queen so she could be reintroduced in the event she is viable. In the mean while raise your qc in the parent colony to prevent lw. End of march your parent colony will be due to receive supplmentry brood as thay will be getting old. Thats decision time. If you have a viable queen in the nuc you know what to do , if you dont you need to consider how many resources are you going to put into them before you can get a queen shipped and compare it to what your return might be as to flow capture and brood produced. Then consider what you would get from a boomer if you combine them and at what time you would split off of that boomer. And return to your original number of hives and keep in mind when you can purchase a queen can be different than when a queen might arrive alive on a last note i wouldnt consider combining now as it would be taxing on the stores remaining and im only guessing end march first week april for your area and first reliable flow to combine

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
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    Default Re: Supercedure cell? What are my options?

    This happened to me my first year. It was definitely a supercedure in February, here in VA. I could still locate the old queen and she was laying sparsely. Upon the advise of more seasoned beekeepers, but against my gut instinct, I let it play out. I ended up with an unmated queen all through March and really set the hive back. In retrospect, I should have pulled the original queen over to the nuc and let the queen cell play out in the big hive. Then I would have had a mated queen to put back in the hive in 30 days if things didn't work out.

    That is what I'd recommend you do if you can still find the original queen.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Algérie
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    56

    Default Re: Supercedure cell? What are my options?

    Oui!c'est une très bonne méthode,merci.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Kirksville, Missouri USA
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    Default Re: Supercedure cell? What are my options?

    Me, I would check and see if a queen is there, or find eggs. If I found eggs, I would take out the supercedure cells and let the old queen ride for a while longer. If the queen is gone and eggs are there, they still have opportunity to make another. This is probably too early to get a mated queen where your at.

    A supercedure cell is built out from the comb face, even the comb could be chewed away from it some, because it is a planned cell. An emergency cell is started with a regular worker brood cell and it's not built out from the comb the same. If emergency cell, then the queen would be gone.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
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    2,674

    Default Re: Supercedure cell? What are my options?

    Just my thought, but I would let the situation play out, and check for a good egg laying pattern in about 4 to 5 weeks. Plan to requeen if you don't see a good laying pattern at that time. AND, place an order for a new queen NOW. Mated queens are hard to come by this time of year and you will probably be put on a waiting list. The sooner you place your order, the better the chance you can get your new queen when you need her. If you don't need a new queen at 4 to 5 weeks, you will most likely be able to cancel your order with no negative consequences.

    Another alternative would be to buy a new queen now (if possible), and, when you get her, pinch the old queen and crush any queen cells, and install your new queen 24 hours later. Essentially taking control of the re-queening process yourself to make sure the new queen is properly mated and to get a properly functioning queen in the hive sooner rather than later.

    I also like ruthiesbees suggestion.




    .
    Last edited by shinbone; 02-23-2017 at 08:20 AM.
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Algérie
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    56

    Default Re: Supercedure cell? What are my options?

    Bonjour
    Combien de temps pour que le nouveau nucleus sait qu'il est orphelin et commence à créer des cellules royales ?

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kirksville, Missouri USA
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    1,770

    Default Re: Supercedure cell? What are my options?

    Ils peuvent savoir en quelques secondes qu'ils n'ont pas de reine. Vous pouvez entendre une colonie rugissante quand vous prenez la reine loin, et entendre le bourdonnement quand il est de retour.

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