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The reduction of a failing queen's pheromones is probably the trigger that makes her lay in the cups. The failing queen is around for some time before she dies, and she probably starves because the nurse bees no longer recognize her as a queen and stop feeding her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The reduction of a failing queen's pheromones is probably the trigger that makes her lay in the cups. The failing queen is around for some time before she dies, and she probably starves because the nurse bees no longer recognize her as a queen and stop feeding her.
Yes, I realize that is often the case. I was just wondering if the workers ever shake the queen to get her to lay in a supersedure cell or do anything else to get her to lay in the cell when the workers have decided to replace her but she still thinks she's fine.
 

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I don't think they "make" the queen lay anywhere. They may guide her around some, but mostly they just let her lay in whatever she comes across other than backfilling those cells they don't want her to lay in. I think she comes across the queen cell and lays in it. I've often seen an egg in a queen cup and it was gone the next day. I'm sure the queen just wandered by and laid in it. Some worker saw the egg and removed it. I have never observed them shaking the queen to get her to lay. They will shake her when they are swarming to get her and everyone else excited so they run around like crazy and finally run out the door.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't think they "make" the queen lay anywhere. They may guide her around some, but mostly they just let her lay in whatever she comes across other than backfilling those cells they don't want her to lay in. I think she comes across the queen cell and lays in it. I've often seen an egg in a queen cup and it was gone the next day. I'm sure the queen just wandered by and laid in it. Some worker saw the egg and removed it. I have never observed them shaking the queen to get her to lay. They will shake her when they are swarming to get her and everyone else excited so they run around like crazy and finally run out the door.
Thanks, Michael. I asked because I am watching some interesting behavior in the observation hive. There have been empty queen supersedure cups since at least April 11th. I first observed the shaking behavior on the 16th. I videoed the queen being shaken on the 18th and it continued afterwards. The Queen laid an egg in a cell in the classic supersedure position on the 22nd. The cell was capped on the 29th and the queen continued to be shaken and pushed until she hid in the bur comb. Today, she came back out and was being attended to with no shaking behavior seen so far. So, I’ve got a swarm trap out and am waiting to see if they swarm or just supersede.
 

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>There have been empty queen supersedure cups since at least April 11th.

Those are just cups. They don't mean anything until or unless they end up with a queen larvae in them. Now that there is, if the hive is not booming, and if there are not a lot of queen cells, I would assume at this point that it is a supersedure. I can't say they don't shake the queen, but I've watched them in an observation hive a lot and never observed it. I'd love to see it.
 
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