Swarm or supercedure?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Loganville, GA
    Posts
    180

    Default Swarm or supercedure?

    Hello,
    I am not sure about situation in one of my hives. I found several capped queen cells along with the queen in this hive. The hive is not even close to swarm numbers, in fact I was thinking of removing a box. I inspected it and found some larva about a week old and capped brood but VERY few eggs. I also noticed one of my queens wings were chewed on. They have decent stores considering the time of year and I am feeding them. I am thinking they are going to supersede her but wanted to get an opinion. Thanks for the help

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    4,135

    Default Re: Swarm or supercedure?

    That would be my guess since the queen cells are capped and the old queen is still there. How many queen cells were there? The times I've seen a supersedure take place there weren't more than three or four capped cells, sometimes only one or two.

    You could move the older queen into a nuc if you have the resources from that hive or treat it as if you're introducing a queen, using a queen cage, to unrelated bees in a nuc. If the supersedure queen (new queen) doesn't return from her mating flight, you have the mother queen to put back in the original hive.

    Keep us informed.
    "Sometimes the best action, with bees, is no action at all."

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Loganville, GA
    Posts
    180

    Default Re: Swarm or supercedure?

    I saw at least four capped and one uncapped that i damaged removing the frame. It did have royal jelly in it as well. Unfortunately, my hives are all still building so I do not want to remove any brood until they have built up numbers a bit more. Still so much to learn! Last time this year I was splitting a hive in three because of swarm cells due to really early warm weather.

    Why would the bees damage her wings? When I found her three weeks ago, her wings were both perfect.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    4,135

    Default Re: Swarm or supercedure?

    Brad,

    No idea where she got, or why, the wing damage.

    Sometimes mother and daughter will co-exist in the hive for several weeks together, even laying eggs on the same side of the same frame, before the mother queen disappears. Maybe she'll stay until you can find enough resources to build a nuc for her. Four queen cells sounds about right for a supersedure.
    "Sometimes the best action, with bees, is no action at all."

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Monkton, MD
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Swarm or supercedure?

    I thought I would just tag along on this thread. I have a hive whose queen appeared to be missing a week ago Saturday. Didn't see her or any eggs. I thought that maybe I squashed her when reversing the boxes previously. It has been far too cold for swarming or drone rearing, even though this is the calendar time of year when swarming usually happens. So I thought I would toss in a frame with eggs today, but instead found two queen cells on the bottom of the one frame I pulled out. (It had only just finished snowing.)

    So now I am wondering swarm cells or supercedure cells? It is still too cold to do a real inspection, so I can't tell you much else about the hive, other than it has a smallish sized cluster, and a low mite count. It is in it's second year, so swarming seems possible, but without any drones being reared, how would they get the queen mated? And do they care? I feel I should be able to figure this out somehow by thinking hard, but since it is late, I will put it out to the group.

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