How To Tell The Difference Between Emergency & Supersedure Cells vs. Swarm Cells
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    119

    Default How To Tell The Difference Between Emergency & Supersedure Cells vs. Swarm Cells

    If you skip to about 43:18 in this video, Michael Bush details how to spot the difference between Queen cells you can find in your hive. Is this commonly accepted wisdom in beekeeping that swarm cells are the only type of queen cells that will be present at various stages of development? Swarm cells are all different ages, and emergency or supersedure cells are all the same age...Is this right?

    I'm asking because I thought I had caused my Saskatraz package to ball & reject their newly released queen only 9 days after she was set free in there with my micromanaging in that hive. However, the day I discovered their queenlessness, there were 2 capped queen cells, and a few that were drawn but not capped, and a few partially drawn and uncapped. So if this is the commonly accepted wisdom (please tell me - I'm new), then I guess my package just swarmed a day or 2 before I discovered those capped queen cells.

    Not that it really matters, it's just that I'd really like a deeper understanding of what I'm seeing in my hives (and also ok, I guess maybe I could feel a little less guilty LOL).

    https://youtu.be/kB-IZSSN8Lw

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,452

    Default Re: How To Tell The Difference Between Emergency & Supersedure Cells vs. Swarm Cells

    There are no such thing as swarm or supercedure cells. Bees build queencells to either supercede their queen or swarm, typically the number of cells gives it away. Cells can be of different ages, but typically during a supercedure on 1-3 cells are present and most likely at the same age. During swarming, depending on the size of the hive, you can have 4-20 cells in various ages depending on how fast they shut the queen down and when she exited the hive versus the ages of the oldest cells. If she leaves early, the bees may start drawing new cells from available eggs and larva while young capped cells are still present but typically most of the cells will be within 1-3 days of the same age.

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