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Discussion Starter #1
While I have kept bees for over five years in the US, we moved to NZ and I have my first hive here. Everything is so different, it is a struggle with these bees. They seem to be some sort of Italian variant.

So far they have filled out two bottom boxes and I placed a super on 4 weeks ago. Not having any experience with this breed or this queen I put an excluder on.

I just checked the hive this morning and they are in advanced swarm mode. There is no comb drawn in the super and the bottom boxes have no open brood. I pulled out 15 queen cells, some ready to hatch. I did not see the old queen in there but assume she has been slimmed down for flight and has completely stopped laying. I have no drawn comb (having to start over again here) to give her more laying space. The best I could possibly do is put a third deep on and checkerboard. Any thoughts? I have never had to deal with such advanced swarming before.

At this point I don't really want to deal with a swarm, although I do have spare nuc boxes on hand. There is no guarantee that breaking out a nuc form this hive would stop them anyway.
 

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We see the poster above only reads half the question before he answers. You are in New Zealand hence the NZ

Since the queen already shut down and many cells were ready to hatch you may have problems. They could have swarmed with the old queen already and you killed the chance of them having another queen by cutting the cells unless you missed a few. As many cells that you had it is doubtfull it is supercedure you are seeing. Don't put on the excluder until they are drawing and filling in your super. Then make sure the queen is below it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I may certainly missed a cell or two, one or two may have actually hatched while I was in there. I doubt they have swarmed already with the old queen based on the number of empty cells (virtually none) and the fact that the hive is jam packed. There were frames of capped brood that were totally circled in pollen and capped honey and most every other frame was solid honey. In hindsight I should have pulled a queen frame and made a nuc for insurance.

I know a made a boo-boo with the excluder. I pulled it out. I think I will give them a week or two and see what happens. If they draw more queen cells I can always make a nuc (which I don't particularly want). We are coming up on the hottest months and hopefully they will slow down with the derth.
 

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i used a excluder last year i moved a med full of brood and put it above the excluder and the box with eggs and a box of undrawn foundation below the excluder. thay will come through the excluder to keep the brood warm and thay will dray the box of empty out fast to make room for the queen to lay. may not be the right way but it worked for me
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Forgot to mention that the eclls were al mid frame, so they are swarm cells. The hive is very active right now, but it's mid afternoon and there is loads of clover out, so it's not unusual.

Just baled hay and now I'm off to cut down some trees along the paddocks. I'll check back later tonight.
 

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I'll take back my statement of them being swarm cells. Mid frame sounds more like supercedure cells. Swarm cells usually are hanging on the bottom of the frame.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok, mid to bottom but that is not a hard and fast rule. The conditions of the hive scream out swarm....all capped brood, completely jammed with no room to lay and have not moved up into the super (my fault). They are ideal conditions for a swarm.
 

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Were the cells drawn from an existing worker cell or from a cell cup that the bees made in a already downward position. When you break/cut off a supercedure cell you can see that it was started from a normal worker cell. What ever it is only you can see to verify. I wish you the best of luck with your old hobby in a new setting.
 
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