about 12 queen cells in one hive. Harvest some? or let them bee?
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  1. #1
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    Default about 12 queen cells in one hive. Harvest some? or let them bee?

    These are the supersedure cells, not swarm. It just seems like a waste to let all them duke it out to the death. What are your opinions on this?

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  3. #2
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    Jul 2017
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    St. Charles, MO, USA
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    Default Re: about 12 queen cells in one hive. Harvest some? or let them bee?

    Once you get over 3 or 4 "supersedure cells" the position on the frame becomes irrelevant. They are most likely going to swarm. If you have the equipment and bees, make a split with the existing queen and use most of the cells to make splits as well.

  4. #3
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    NW Florida
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    Default Re: about 12 queen cells in one hive. Harvest some? or let them bee?

    Leave a few in the hive, then either use the extras to start new colonies or cull them.

    p.s. to get more accurate advise on many questions, you need to add your general location under your name. Much of beekeeping in region specific. My region is going into dearth time, northern US is in their main flow. What they should be doing, I needed to do months ago.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  5. #4
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    Default Re: about 12 queen cells in one hive. Harvest some? or let them bee?

    >These are the supersedure cells, not swarm.

    There are 12 cells. They are NOT supersedure cells. They are swarm cells.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmco...tm#supersedure
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  6. #5
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    Default Re: about 12 queen cells in one hive. Harvest some? or let them bee?

    I might call them emergency replacement cells if the queen was accidentally rolled or injured during your last inspection (like mine was). I was able to split my stack into 3 separate mating nucs as well as pull 3 emerged virgins over to other queenless nucs. I also have 3 more in roller cages waiting to emerge.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: about 12 queen cells in one hive. Harvest some? or let them bee?

    Quote Originally Posted by nortex View Post
    These are the supersedure cells, not swarm. It just seems like a waste to let all them duke it out to the death. What are your opinions on this?
    Use them, destroy them, let the hive swarm, those are more or less the options. As I cannot see your location, I'll just guess ,, northern Texas. If in your area there is flow left then you can split. I would think there are drones now for mating. Lease desirable option is to let them swarm. Unless you are talking about a really large hive (40 frames of bees or more) 12 sounds like swarm cells, so be aware of the swarm impulse.
    GG

  8. #7
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    Default Re: about 12 queen cells in one hive. Harvest some? or let them bee?

    Ok, thanks for all of the info. I should have also said that I'm in the Denton, TX (North Texas) area. (I added to my profile) And also, the hive I'm referring to is just a nucleus hive purchased from Texas Bee supply about a month ago. (I bought 9 nucs and 1 full hive getting into beekeeping just a month ago.) The frame with most of the queen cells is in the middle of the frame but that is also the bottom of the comb that they have drawn so far. There is no way that they are feeling crowded since they were placed in a 10 frame brood box. I may have rolled the queen because I (being new) have entered the hive probably more often than I should trying to learn as fast as I can. So now Im wondering if I should do a split even though the hive has plenty of room to grow. It would produce 2 mini nucs I suppose.

  9. #8
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    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
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    Default Re: about 12 queen cells in one hive. Harvest some? or let them bee?

    Crowding is only ONE of the factors that tip a colony into swarm mode/mood.

    You have an incipient swarm, so you'll have to deal with it as such, even it makes no sense to you. You have three choices.

    Cull them -it will only buy a you very temporary reprieve, perhaps just days.

    Or split them, which will act to disturb their age-class assortment, usually enough to get them out of balance and disrupt their swarm intentions.

    Or let them swarm.

    Everything else is a variation of one of the above. Your plans will need to take into account your location, including whether you have a strong enough flow to grow out additional hives, and whether open mating is an option for you with regard to AHB.

    Ten colonies for a beginner is an ambitious undertaking.

    Nancy

  10. #9
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: about 12 queen cells in one hive. Harvest some? or let them bee?

    Bees have an urge to reproduce, like every species. Being crowded is one thing that pushes them in that directions. But the time of year is just as strong of a trigger.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  11. #10
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    Jun 2016
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    washington, vermont, USA
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    Default Re: about 12 queen cells in one hive. Harvest some? or let them bee?

    designate a couple hives as your "learning hives". Get into them often and do your learning and mistakes there. Get into the other hives only for real reasons or when you have something to actually do (adding space, filling feeders, the occasional brood check, or if you think there is an issue to be addressed). Split the hive in half that has the queen cells. Are the cells on more than one frame hopefully? If so just put a frame with cells in each of the 2 nucs. Then split up the remaining bees, brood, and resources. Now you have just doubled your chances of getting a mated queen in a couple weeks. Make sure your mating nucs are not set in the middle of a straight line of hives or something like that. Try to make it as easy as possible for the virgin to find her way back. If you have 10 hives in a line all facing the same way decent chance you will have some problems. Best of luck bud

  12. #11
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    Default Re: about 12 queen cells in one hive. Harvest some? or let them bee?

    Quote Originally Posted by nortex View Post
    Ok, thanks for all of the info. I should have also said that I'm in the Denton, TX (North Texas) area. (I added to my profile) And also, the hive I'm referring to is just a nucleus hive purchased from Texas Bee supply about a month ago. (I bought 9 nucs and 1 full hive getting into beekeeping just a month ago.) The frame with most of the queen cells is in the middle of the frame but that is also the bottom of the comb that they have drawn so far. There is no way that they are feeling crowded since they were placed in a 10 frame brood box. I may have rolled the queen because I (being new) have entered the hive probably more often than I should trying to learn as fast as I can. So now Im wondering if I should do a split even though the hive has plenty of room to grow. It would produce 2 mini nucs I suppose.
    You Can split if you have several queen cells. It would be if you wish for more hives. Or if you have a hive with a dud queen you can place a frame with 1 cell in it and let them supercede. Or what ever you wish for,, queen cells can give you options.
    try one ,
    GG

  13. #12
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    Denton, TX
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    Default Re: about 12 queen cells in one hive. Harvest some? or let them bee?

    Thanks again all of you for all the info. I would like to split this hive. I have some cardboard nuc boxes on hand. I could use 1 or 2 of them to get one or two splits. The queen cells are on 3 different frames. I can transfer them to permanent hive boxes later when they get situated and I can verify there is a mated queen. My guess is a few weeks down the road.
    When the first queen hatches, does it open the other queen cells to kill off the competition or does she wait till they hatch from their queen cell? It matters when deciding if I want to harvest a queen to replace another dud queen.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: about 12 queen cells in one hive. Harvest some? or let them bee?

    Quote Originally Posted by nortex View Post
    Thanks again all of you for all the info. I would like to split this hive. I have some cardboard nuc boxes on hand. I could use 1 or 2 of them to get one or two splits. The queen cells are on 3 different frames. I can transfer them to permanent hive boxes later when they get situated and I can verify there is a mated queen. My guess is a few weeks down the road.
    When the first queen hatches, does it open the other queen cells to kill off the competition or does she wait till they hatch from their queen cell? It matters when deciding if I want to harvest a queen to replace another dud queen.
    It depends, most of the time the first queen out will open the side of the other queen cells and sting the queen before she emerges. Sometime they emerge at the same time as they were from same day eggs, then they may fight or 1 may leave with a swarm. you can try to cut one off and stick it into the dud hive, if "should" result in supercedure. for me , to replace the dud queen, I would do your cardboard nuc box hatch, mate, plan, then decide on which one goes where. Often when I do 4 hatches I get 2 or 3 good queens sometimes they get lost, do not mate well can't fly, bad weather, etc. So if it were me, I would make as many NUCs as you can. Leave the dud queen lay until you have a "laying replacement" . Then newspaper add the new queen on top the Dud queen hive on top 2 Queen Excluders, leave for 2 weeks, then inspect, leave the excluder on the bottom on the new queen box, separate them in between excluders, set the top one on the lid, with excluder under it, IE know she stays in there. IMPORTANT verify the new queen is laying still in the top, If yes, find the bottom dud queen, kill her, recombine the whole hive with out the excluders.
    Benefits:
    Old queen continues to lay until the new one in mated and starts laying (up to 2 weeks) and 2 more after combine
    newspaper add confirms the new queen is accepted by the "hive" before the dud queen is killed.
    2 excluders keep the queens separate, until you confirm the acceptance and success of your new queen, with 1 excluder they could fight on it and sting each other thru it killing both of them.

    sounds complicated but is not. I like it and "coast" new queens on top of other hives a lot. Good way to go from 3 frames of bees to 10 with a new queen, smaller step replacement method, you can change your mind pull the top box and have increase.
    Also if you suddenly have a ripe cell or a friend offers a queen. You can drop the new queen onto the bottom board, add the supers back, move the old/dud queen away(split) most of the bees go to the old location, beefing up the new queen. you then kill the old/dud and offer the ripe cell or new queen to the dud queen brood nest.
    this leaves options and at times you may shift and try something else.
    or coast 1 queen for 2 weeks, move the dud away, then coast the other, then kill the dud effectively splitting the dud queen hive into your 2 new queens, and getting 7-10 thousands more eggs from the dud, for the month you play with this.

    or , or , you get the point so many ways so little time
    GG

  15. #14
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    Jun 2019
    Location
    Denton, TX
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    4

    Default Re: about 12 queen cells in one hive. Harvest some? or let them bee?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    It depends, most of the time the first queen out will open the side of the other queen cells and sting the queen before she emerges. Sometime they emerge at the same time as they were from same day eggs, then they may fight or 1 may leave with a swarm. you can try to cut one off and stick it into the dud hive, if "should" result in supercedure. for me , to replace the dud queen, I would do your cardboard nuc box hatch, mate, plan, then decide on which one goes where. Often when I do 4 hatches I get 2 or 3 good queens sometimes they get lost, do not mate well can't fly, bad weather, etc. So if it were me, I would make as many NUCs as you can. Leave the dud queen lay until you have a "laying replacement" . Then newspaper add the new queen on top the Dud queen hive on top 2 Queen Excluders, leave for 2 weeks, then inspect, leave the excluder on the bottom on the new queen box, separate them in between excluders, set the top one on the lid, with excluder under it, IE know she stays in there. IMPORTANT verify the new queen is laying still in the top, If yes, find the bottom dud queen, kill her, recombine the whole hive with out the excluders.
    Benefits:
    Old queen continues to lay until the new one in mated and starts laying (up to 2 weeks) and 2 more after combine
    newspaper add confirms the new queen is accepted by the "hive" before the dud queen is killed.
    2 excluders keep the queens separate, until you confirm the acceptance and success of your new queen, with 1 excluder they could fight on it and sting each other thru it killing both of them.

    sounds complicated but is not. I like it and "coast" new queens on top of other hives a lot. Good way to go from 3 frames of bees to 10 with a new queen, smaller step replacement method, you can change your mind pull the top box and have increase.
    Also if you suddenly have a ripe cell or a friend offers a queen. You can drop the new queen onto the bottom board, add the supers back, move the old/dud queen away(split) most of the bees go to the old location, beefing up the new queen. you then kill the old/dud and offer the ripe cell or new queen to the dud queen brood nest.
    this leaves options and at times you may shift and try something else.
    or coast 1 queen for 2 weeks, move the dud away, then coast the other, then kill the dud effectively splitting the dud queen hive into your 2 new queens, and getting 7-10 thousands more eggs from the dud, for the month you play with this.

    or , or , you get the point so many ways so little time
    GG
    Thanks GG and everyone for a great deal of info to chew on! I have done 2 splits into nuc boxes so we will see how it goes.

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