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Discussion Starter #1
For those of you that have helped me in the past , realize that I am a very anxious person. Well, today, I took a breath and made a decision based on my own logic, and I hope it was the right thing to do. I honestly did not have time to come, make a post and wait for responses. I was mid inspection already and felt I had to act. I was inspecting 1 of my single deeps that I got as a nuc on june 16th. Things looked slow going last inspection, so I got a little complacent. I inspected today and I saw what I believed to be swarm cells. there were about 6 of them, all on one frame, and toward the bottom of the frame, but not hanging off the bottom bar. there were three along the bottom about an inch or so up and there were three going up the side about an inch or so in. I was not sure if they were supersedure cells or swarm cells as they were not displayed as typical for either. So upon further inspection, I did notice open brood and a very good amount of capped brood (even on outside frames) frames were all drawn and working but 1. so based on that info, I had to assume they were swarm cells and they were over crowded. I crushed all 6 and there were white almost developed queens in there. I got another hive body and frames (now I know why I keep this stuff in stock) and added it to the single. The other single from a nuc from the same day, did not have swarm cells but I figured it was right behind (only 2 frames not drawn) so I added another deep to that as well.

The main question i recon Is, from my description was I correct in assuming those were swarm cells, and if so, I will assume I handled the situation ok? Aside from taking the frame with the cells and putting it in a nuc, is there something else I could have done? sorry for the long winded post, and if you are still reading I thank you for your time.

todd
 

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Newbie here, so wait for more experienced folks to chime in, but I wanted to post! Take a breath, you're doing great.

Worst case - you're short a queen because they were emergency cells. You'll know soon. If you are missing the queen you have another colony to provide a frame of new eggs for a replacement so you should be fine. That's why they tell us to start with 2, isn't it? :D

Otherwise, it sounds like you did the right thing if you weren't hoping to split the nuc - with such a small colony and only 8-9 frames it probably wasn't a good time to split anyway! You could consider moving some of your full frames from the bottom up to the top box. Put a couple of empty frames in the bottom in their place, of course. Encourage the bees to move up and realize all their new space. Experienced Beeks could give the best arrangement of the frames. My local breeder suggested I move 1-2 frames of honey up next to 2 frames of brood so the top went something like this: E E E E B B H E E E and then the bottom would be something like...(depending on what you have down there) E H B B E B E B B H. Adjust according to your frames and the suggestions you get, of course. I've heard where adding another box wasn't enough to stop a swarm unless the frames were moved up or even checker boarded, does that make sense? Hope it works out for you!!
 

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are you sure that hive hasn't already swarmed? and they were depending on those cells for a new queen?
you saw open brood, did you see eggs or day old larvae? did you see the queen?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Clyde that thought never crossed my mind, however, the population did not look like it had diminished. If anything it increased. But I think I will look at them on thursday and look for early stage larvae. I honestly thought that they hatch new queen first, then swarm. Thanks for the education as usual.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I leave for vacation on friday... so, if I see no early stage larvae on thursday,the solution would be a donor frame from another hive correct?
 

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yup. and that frame w/ eggs on it from one of your other hives could be put in on any day up until you you go on vaca.
(probably could put it in tonight as they know when they are queenless pretty fast- within hours)

come to think of it, I'd make it easy on myself and put that egg frame in anyway. If they need it to make a queen they'll use it, and if
not then the eggs will develop into worker larvae.
 

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What you have described would be supercedure not swarming. July typically is when most supercedure occurs. You have another hive which is good insurance if things don't go right. They might build more queen cells if they are intent in superceding. Good luck and enjoy your bees!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Slowdrone,
The cells weren't where text book supercedure cells are located, nor were they where text book swarm cells are. The reason I assumed swarm cells is other clues. Like all frames working instead of only 5 upon last inspection. and there were plenty of brood. Why would they supercede a good laying queen? then again, just because I like the queen doesn't mean they like her. Well, either situation, a donor frame can't hurt.
 

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No back filling of the brood nest, location on the comb of the queen cells, it is July when supercedure is common. Good advice with the frame of eggs though. They will either remove the eggs, capped the cells, or build more queen cells. A frame of eggs are good insurance. Never tear down queen cells it usually causes more harm then good. I don't go by the book I go with my decades of experience.
 

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there's no mention of backfilling or not. overcrowding swarms issue anytime, mainly July and August here.
Not enough information to determine if supercedure or swarm cells. I go with my experience also.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
slow drone,
I am not being argumentative at all here, I am honestly picking the brains of 2 guys that have some experience under their belts. although you guys may not agree, the debate does help guys like me out. My question is though, If I should never tear queen cells out, what would have happened if those are swarm cells. should I have just added the second deep and left the cells be? Or would they still be in the swarm "mode"? Is swarming this time of year not as detrimental as some make it out to be? all the books I read almost make the word "swarm" a bad word.
 

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Exactly backfilling wasn't mentioned. You will always get more than one answer. I'm not arguing what others are saying just giving another opinion. Based on the different opinions you can better analyze what better fits into what's going on in your situation. One opinion isn't worth a hill of beans more than one is where you'll find more information. Doesn't hurt my ego if someone doesn't care for my opinion not running a popularity contest here just trying to help. I also learn from others opinions here that's what I like about Beesource.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you both for your take on this. I actually learned alot. I have to read up on backfilling and understand that more and what to look for. I remember the term in 1 of my books but obviously did not retain the info. Thanks again fellas.

Todd
 

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If those are supercedure cells it is very likely the queen is in the hive and there are some eggs still in the comb. But 6 Qcells is alot for supercedure, most times there are fewer Qcells and mostly higher on the frame, but not always.
Swarm cells are normally numerous (like 6+) and low on the comb and the queen would have quit laying days ago to get into flying shape. So no eggs in the comb but some older uncapped larvae is common. The queen is probably not in the hive and has already left if the Qcells are capped.

Tearing down swarm cells does not stop them from swarming, most times. They'll build more cells if possible and try again, but if the queen has left and no larvae or eggs are present you have made a queenless hive.

I split those hives that have queen cells, even if it's a temporary split and regardless of swarm or supercedure Qcells. There is to much risk of swarm by not splitting . Lot's of ways to do the split depending upon one's goal.

So many of the signs of supercedure are subtle that it goes unnoticed many times. For example: A marked queen is missing in the hive but a unmarked queen is laying away; or they are both in the hive ( the marked queen & an unmarked queen). Late in the season a queen that should be replaced seems to be laying gangbusters until you look closer and find a young queen in there also who's likely doing the laying. All having been superceded.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
wow. I will be saving that post as a reference. I just remembered, that I dropped a frame today from that hive, and was afraid I killed the queen by dropping it, that made me look for the queen on other frames and I did indeed see her.(I forgot about that little episode) so yes the queen is still in the hive, but it sounds like, from what you are saying that they will swarm. Those six cells were all capped and had queens in them. I made a bit of a goof up there. My work schedule stinks this week and won't be home during daylight hours so on thursday, I will be donating a frame of eggs and young larvae to this hive, and then another frame when I return from vacation. now I must read up more on swarms. I really did not think that I would be dealing with swarms so early in my beekeeping journey. The bees win again!

thanks clyde!
 

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My opinion is the same as slow drone's.
If I've got the picture right this is a supersedure. If the queen is still in the hive ( which I doubt) they may be ok.

Tearing down queen cells is the surest way to doom your hive IMO.

You posted while I was typing. If the queen is still in the hive they are ok. They will more than likely supersede anyway.
 
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