supercedure v. emergency queens - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    Default Re: supercedure v. emergency queens

    I guess I sort of understand at least part of this....

    I've never knowingly plunked a queen excluder between brood boxes, only between brood areas and supers, so that explains why my bees have never gone into queen cell making mode above the excluder.

    But isn't it frequently suggested that dividing a multiple-box brood nest with an excluder is a way to determine which box has the queen in it by seeing which has eggs after three days? (This would be in lieu of actually finding the queen.) If what you report about an excluder prompting initiation of queen cells is common, wouldn't that mean the beekeeper would also often find a whole mess of unexpected trouble in the box (es) without the queen?

    And, this is a question Juhani: why would they be considered supercedure cells, rather than emergency cells? That really baffles me!

    I must be unusually dense today. Think I'll go out to my bee yard and ask the bees about this.

    Nancy

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  3. #42

    Default Re: supercedure v. emergency queens

    Quote Originally Posted by enjambres View Post
    I guess I sort of understand at least part of this....

    I've never knowingly plunked a queen excluder between brood boxes, only between brood areas and supers, so that explains why my bees have never gone into queen cell making mode above the excluder.

    But isn't it frequently suggested that dividing a multiple-box brood nest with an excluder is a way to determine which box has the queen in it by seeing which has eggs after three days? (This would be in lieu of actually finding the queen.) If what you report about an excluder prompting initiation of queen cells is common, wouldn't that mean the beekeeper would also often find a whole mess of unexpected trouble in the box (es) without the queen?

    And, this is a question Juhani: why would they be considered supercedure cells, rather than emergency cells? That really baffles me!

    I must be unusually dense today. Think I'll go out to my bee yard and ask the bees about this.

    Nancy
    Yes you will get a mess. Sometimes two queens and huge ares of brood in the harvesting day, and little honey, big disappointments happen...

    To your question ( I just wrote in my previous message):

    They are not emergency cells because they do not build them always above excluder, it depends on the amount of queen substance present and the willingness of bees.

    Emergency cells are, by definition, cells built in a case of a queen loss and they build them always.


    Supersedure cells are considered to have better quality. In a a queenless situation cells are built 100% sure. This is why queen producers use queenless starters and queenright finishers, have done that ever since when.

  4. #43
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    Default Re: supercedure v. emergency queens

    Has anyone, either by accident or for the benefit of science, allowed queen cells (made above an excluder) to hatch out while the queen is below? Does a swarm occur? Does the virgin queen seek out and kill the old queen? Do the workers kill the old queen? Is the old queen abandoned? Other results?
    Zone 7a - 1650ft

  5. #44
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    Default Re: supercedure v. emergency queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post

    They are not emergency cells because they do not build them always above excluder, it depends on the amount of queen substance present and the willingness of bees.

    Emergency cells are, by definition, cells built in a case of a queen loss and they build them always.
    I'm not getting the absolute logic behind this. If they are building the cell above and excluder because they no longer have a queen in that area, doesn't it meet the reason for an emergency cell? Also, the method of building indicates an emergency, not a pre-planned event such as supercedure.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  6. #45
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    Default Re: supercedure v. emergency queens

    It does seem possible that there needs to be a/some different classification(s) of queens reared by honeybees when human intervention is involved, other than just swarm/supercede/emergency. I do not underestimate that the bees know that Mr. or Mrs Beekeeper has re-arranged the hive, and that they know that for any of the 3 reasons they normally make queens, it's just time to make one/some queen cells for whatever reason.

    When we import several frames of capped brood 10 days before grafting, we've added a supercharger to the smallblock. When we feed them pollen substitute, we've tilted the pinball machine. When we Cloake Board or Double Screen Board them, we are trying to trick their senses. Hybrid reasons for rearing queens are involved.

    We seem to get excellent results when we combine colonies to make a strong hive 2 weeks before the main nectar flow, when we start after drone cells are capped, when there is a good strong nectar / pollen flow, when we import enough capped brood 10 days before grafting the number of queens the CB colony will support, when we feed the "Hello" out of them, and when we cut cells out before any early-hatching virgin queens can set about destroying their sister queens.

    Doing some or all of the above alterations to the normal beehive calendar helps to take advantage of combined swarming impulse, supercedure response, and the exact timing can be tripped by removing their access to mama queen thus triggering emergency response. Kept honeybees really need a/some multiple-impulse category(-ies) of queens.

  7. #46
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    Default Re: supercedure v. emergency queens

    I think they are emergency cells in every case. The cells are started from pre-existing worker larvae. The bees start the cells in brood above the excluder because they think they are queenless.

  8. #47
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    Default Re: supercedure v. emergency queens

    @Juhani,

    I completely understand how "queen producers use queenless starters and queenright finishers, have done that ever since when."

    That's a completely different situation and it's not where I am hung up.

    I am hung up on why a queen cell started above a queen excluder from a previously laid egg or very young larvae in a worker cell could possibly be anything other than functionally identical to an emergency cell. Even if the bees sensing a lack of localized QMP above the excluder are reacting in the same way as a bees in colony where there is a deficit of QMP that would trigger development of primary supercedure cells.

    In other words I can understand what might make them want to make queens cells above the excluder (and how their motivation to do so might be the same as in the case of supercedure) but I can't wrap my head around how previously-laid egg and/or newly hatched larvae above the excluder are really any different from previously-laid egg and/or newly hatched larvae used to make emergency cells in a suddenly queenless environment that has the same eggs and young brood resources.

    Are you saying that somehow the bees in the excluder-situation would delay starting queen cells until they had newly hatched eggs that were always raised as queens, whereas bees in an emergency situation wouldn't do that? How do we know that bees making e-cells (assuming an abundance of both eggs and young-enough larvae) wouldn't do so as well? And instead would just pounce on the first marginally acceptable worker larvae they came
    to and try to stuff royal jelly down their mouths in a desperate attempt to requeen themsleves? I think bees are smarter than that.

    Please note I am not talking about a grafting situation above a queenless starter box, we're talking about the effect of inserting a queen excluder between brood boxes where the queen is still below the excluder.

    If the bees make queen cells above the excluder, I can't see why these cells wouldn't be functionally, biologically, physiologically or developmentally the same as emergency cells, even if the motivation to start them is similar, or even the same as, when there is a failing queen with reduced QMP triggering a supercedure. They may be "superceding" but with the queen excluder in place there's no way they can get the queen upstairs to lay some eggs in "supercedure" cells. They have exactly the same resources to work with as any split, namely the pre-existing eggs and young larvae.

    Do we know how bees go about selecting candidate-larvae for making queen cells in an emergency situation?

    Nancy

  9. #48

    Default Re: supercedure v. emergency queens

    The only logic is the one I already said: instincts make bees work, and it is three different situations when their instincts make them build queen cells, and according to these instincts are the cells named.

    their instincts make them to start swarm preparations, they build swarm cells
    their instincts tell their queen is failing (not enough queen substance), they build supersedure cells
    their instincts react to total lack of queen substance, they build emergency cells

    Above excluder there is the situation when part of the workers might think they have a failing queen, that is why they sometimes make cells.

    I wish my bees would do that more often, it would make queen rearing much easier, but usually when i put queen excluder, they do not make cells above it. Even if they do, they very often tore them down before they hatch, another proof that they are supersedure cells which were made because some bees thought that they need a queen, others did not.

    The amount of queen substance was enough for some bees to tore them all down. As I wrote the amount of queen substance and the willingness to build cells (= for practical beekeeper this is the same as willingness to swarm) decides whether thay make cells or not.

    We cannot name cells according to their looks, because that varies so much.
    Last edited by Juhani Lunden; 04-26-2018 at 09:54 PM.

  10. #49

    Default Re: supercedure v. emergency queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    I think they are emergency cells in every case. The cells are started from pre-existing worker larvae. The bees start the cells in brood above the excluder because they think they are queenless.
    My experienced co-worker just confirmed this.
    Supersedure cell eggs are laid by the queen into a cup in an action of renewing the colony, not raised out of worker larvae in case of emergency. So queen cells above an excluder are emergency cells always.

  11. #50
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    Default Re: supercedure v. emergency queens

    When you do a sudden and total separation of bees from the queens pheremones you will have cells started on everything from drooping eggs to probably 2 or 3 day old larvae. According to snelgrove, older age bracket bees are less discrimating than the youger nurse bees and will start converting older larvae. From projected emergence timing and the tendency for first one out to be the succeeding queen we would tend to get less desirable queens from older larvae: that would be counter productive. I have seen it written that bees may cull these cells to cure that problem. I dont see that happening with the double screen board and doubt it would above an excluder either.

    The degree of panic may well be different between bees separated only by an excluder, by a double screen (Snelgrove) board, and that created by killing the queen or total separation. In using the snelgrove board the timing of capping of the cells seems to suggest that the bees wait a couple of days and choose to build cells around what would have been eggs at the time of initial weaning from the queen pheremone. In other words a net result closer to supercedure than emergency conditions.

    I think we are quibbling and splitting hairs over very subtle differences of why the bees do as they do, and whether it makes any significant quality difference in the queens produced. I think we can agree that taking the age of the comb and egg placement to extremes can blur the line in appearance between emergency and supercedure cells. Similarly with the question of whether there is any difference in quality between a classic supercedure and queen cells induced by partial separation from the queens pheremones.

    I would bet at least a nickel that there will be a difference between Italian and Carniolan bees in how predictably they will start cells when separated by an excluder.
    Frank

  12. #51
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    Default Re: supercedure v. emergency queens

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    I would bet at least a nickel that there will be a difference between Italian and Carniolan bees in how predictably they will start cells when separated by an excluder.
    good discussion here, many thanks to all for contributing.

    frank, what do you predict the difference might be between italians and carniolans?
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  13. #52
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    Default Re: supercedure v. emergency queens

    I think the Carnies are more likely to start cells. This time of year with them a cold spell can cause the queen to cut back laying and they will start cells. No way are they ready to swarm. I guess something just didnt "smell right" to them; perhaps the cluster gets split. I have seen discussions where people claim something infallible with their local stock seems impossible for someone from an area with a generally different bee stock.
    Frank

  14. #53
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    Default Re: supercedure v. emergency queens

    interesting. your observations tend agree with my hunch that a good queen artificially presented with more prepared cells to lay in than she can keep up with might be a trigger for supercedure.

    in the case of an excluder or snelgrove board the workers don't get the opportunity to make a cup beforehand, so they do the best they can with what they have to work with.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  15. #54
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    Default Re: supercedure v. emergency queens

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    My experienced co-worker just confirmed this.
    Supersedure cell eggs are laid by the queen into a cup in an action of renewing the colony, not raised out of worker larvae in case of emergency. So queen cells above an excluder are emergency cells always.
    Well said.
    It isn't about appearance; it's about origin.
    Each cell type is the result of colony impulse.
    I have exactly ONE more hive than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond dispute!

  16. #55

    Default Re: supercedure v. emergency queens

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryVanderpool View Post
    Well said.
    It isn't about appearance; it's about origin.
    Each cell type is the result of colony impulse.
    Exactly, and these impulses are

    -lack of queen substance (emergency cells)
    - inadequate amount of queen substance (supersedure cells and swarm cells)

    In a queen right colony there is always queen substance around. Bees go through excluder all the time.

  17. #56
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    Default Re: supercedure v. emergency queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    In a queen right colony there is always queen substance around. Bees go through excluder all the time.
    Yes they do. But how often is open brood suddenly elevated above an excluder. Not a usual thing. Bees carry nectar through an excluder and have no brood above.

  18. #57
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    Default Re: supercedure v. emergency queens

    i believe it is generally accepted that better quality queen cells result from using a queenright finisher. this is typically accomplished by placing uncapped cells above an excluder over a queenright colony.

    in the case of starting cells in a queenless upper chamber it seems likely that the bees above the excluder or snelgrove would be aware of the queen's presence below, and so just like the differences seen with the finisher i don't think we can completely discount the effect of having a 'queenright' starter.

    so i agree with juhani's assertion that starting cells above an excluder or snelgrove in a queenright hive is qualitatively different than when the queen is completely removed from a hive and emergency cells are initiated.

    for the past couple of weeks i have been harvesting cells in brood supers a week after pushing the queen down below an excluder into an empty deep.

    most of the good looking larger cells are already capped suggesting they were started from larave.

    i am finding these at the bottoms of the frames and in the burr comb areas where fresh drone comb has been drawn but not laid in. by appearance these cells are indistinguishable from other swarm cells and supercedure cells that i see.

    these were not floated out of a worker cell, although i do have some cells here and there that were. these tended to be smaller and uncapped. i'll have to pay more attention to this next time i'm out.

    there has been some discussion on bee-l recently about weather or not worker bees will move a fertilized egg or small larva to a queen cup. i think what i may be seeing is the fashioning of a new queen cup in soft comb.

    either way, these cells were made by very strong colonies during a very intense pollen and nectar flow and at the time in the season that swarming starts up. they look great. we'll see what kind of colonies they produce.
    Last edited by squarepeg; 04-27-2018 at 09:30 PM. Reason: typo
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  19. #58

    Default Re: supercedure v. emergency queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Yes they do. But how often is open brood suddenly elevated above an excluder. Not a usual thing. Bees carry nectar through an excluder and have no brood above.
    You are right they donīt. But queen substance goes through excluder with the bees. Bees change food and queen substance as their basic instinct.


    This very interesting and rewarding discussion is mainly caused because an excluder does not belong into a natural beehive.

    We cannot know what goes on in the bees brains but man has studied the behavior of bees, and the types of queen cells they make.

    Definitions say that different cell types are caused by definite colony impulses in a wild living beehive.

    Then comes a beekeeper into the picture and puts and an excluder between brood. I imagine some bees, if they could think, would say "What the heck is that?"

  20. #59
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    Default Re: supercedure v. emergency queens

    SP, I just yesterday moved a medium full of mostly capped brood above an excluder in attempt to return it to being a super. I'll check Sunday to see if the bees have built any qc's in a new section of comb that had eggs in it. That would be a bonus.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  21. #60
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    Default Re: supercedure v. emergency queens

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    Classic Swarm Cells ?

    Attachment 39381

    Right size, quantity and location on the comb.

    Only they're not - these are emergency queen-cells. Perhaps this is what Wally Shaw was talking about - 'full-size' fully vertical emergency cells being drawn on brand new comb ?
    LJ
    The queencells you refer to in the attached picture look to be made as a result of a queen-rearing exercise by the beekeeper where brood is put into a queenless colony - not the same as emergency queencells raised after a queen goes missing from a colony or after a split. So therse are essentially emergency queencells but planned for by the beekeeper. Confusing or what!
    May your bees read the same books as you do
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