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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just inspected a colony that was kind of lackluster a week ago. Today I found a robust population, with several charged queen cells singly and on different frames, in the young larva stage. I also found a good capped queen cell in the center of a frame AND I found the queen, who looked nice and fat, not slimmed down at all, not runny, and I found a frame of eggs. This would seem to me to indicate supercedure rather than swarm potential. What makes swarm a possibility to consider is that the hive was getting a bit crowded and they'd started making a honey dome at the top of the top box. It's been a week of real progress for this colony! I can't quite make sense of all these details, that don't quite go together in the way I'd expect. I can't decide if this is supercedure or swarm. In any case, I squashed all the partial cells, and put both the queen and the capped cell each in their own nuc box with stores and some open/capped brood. I probably over-reacted as I couldn't figure out what was going on, so I also did a Snelgrove swarm stopping manipulation. The only difference of course is that I removed the queen.

I can reverse any of this and recombine in some configuration. Not sure yet what's the best approach. Curious to hear any suggestions or reactions to what I've described above. Oh, and I'm in Cincinnati.
 

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Curious to hear any suggestions or reactions to what I've described above.
I got nothing.., but questions:) Lackluster to robust in a week? Must have been a lot of capped brood hatching? Does it matter if swarm cells or supercedure, you crunched all but one(how many)? Curious how they were partial q cells and one capped (how far from the capped stage were the others?) What Snelgrove swarm stopping manipulation? If you took the queen and the queen cell and put in separate nucs, & crushed everything else, is the mother hive starting a cell from an egg or larvae? Maybe I am missing something?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I got nothing.., but questions:) Lackluster to robust in a week? Must have been a lot of capped brood hatching? Does it matter if swarm cells or supercedure, you crunched all but one(how many)? Curious how they were partial q cells and one capped (how far from the capped stage were the others?) What Snelgrove swarm stopping manipulation? If you took the queen and the queen cell and put in separate nucs, & crushed everything else, is the mother hive starting a cell from an egg or larvae? Maybe I am missing something?
I had the same question about whether I missed seeing a lot of capped brood last time around. I didn't look at every frame, but did kind of assess the colony's strength from looking at some frames in each box. Clearly I missed the bigger picture (smile.) I am curious too, as to how there could be queen cells in various stages of development and one capped. The Snelgrove swarm-stopping manipulation is something you can find out about through Wally Shaw's "the many uses of the snelgrove board" - google it! And yes, I intended for the bees to make a new queen using egg or young larva. But I was also just trying to do something in the moment to a) prevent a possibly imminent swarm b) try something new with taking away the queen since I actually found her (not typical) and c) preserve a viable queen cell for a nuc, since I've promised a couple of nucs to friends. So of course, I was not clear in my goals but didn't want to waste the resources (Snelgrove recommends destroying or removing capped cells .) And thought I'd see what might happen if the queen was also separated from the mix.
 

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I have done the same sort of dithering over what could have been either swarm preps or supercedure. Some cells on frame bottoms as well as near centered. Safer to consider it about to swarm and be mistaken. If you have only one colony and abort a supercedure, then you have a problem. As long as you have other colonies to borrow brood from you have only lost a bit of production time.
 

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I am curious too, as to how there could be queen cells in various stages of development and one capped. The Snelgrove swarm-stopping manipulation.. So of course, I was not clear in my goals but didn't want to waste the resources (Snelgrove recommends destroying or removing capped cells .) And thought I'd see what might happen if the queen was also separated from the mix.
Understand and use Snelgrove boards, I guess I was thinking more of which method 2 you used (original or modified?), but reads like modified? Can't wait to read how this shakes out o_O
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Understand and use Snelgrove boards, I guess I was thinking more of which method 2 you used (original or modified?), but reads like modified? Can't wait to read how this shakes out o_O
Complicating things is the fact that we're looking at a string of nighttime lows in the upper 30s, so instead of risking chilling the nucs, I've hit upon the brilliant (imho- smile) solution of making up a real split with the resources of the two four-frame nucs, by combining all the frames in a medium box and the queen cell, and placing it on my shortest stacked hive above a Snelgrove board, just for warmth for the next week. And I'll return the queen to the hive that she came from. I'm inclined to put her down below with all the foragers and the empty comb. I am also going out of town in 5 days, further complicating things. I think this solution is promising. What was I thinking - scheduling a four day trip right during swarm season? You'd think I'd have learned by now that everything revolves around the bees?
 
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