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Not really a question, just a newbee sharing what I did last night.

Last evening after school my mentor came over and we installed my two nucs. The first nuc went great. My mentor, John Neely, told me that these were the most docile, populous nucs he had ever installed. We located eggs, brood, and the queen.

The second nuc went much the same way, with the exception that we didn't find any uncapped brood, eggs, or the queen. We did however find a queen cell. If it is just attached to the foundation it's a supersedure cell, right? So, my mentor said that he is going to get another queen from my nuc supplier to replace the dead one.

I want to do this the right way. Should we remove the supersedure cell, or just leave it there? I should mention that my mentor has only been keeping bees for about 5-10 years with 15 hives, so he said that with all of the stuff that I've read, that I probably know more about it than he does.

What should I do?
Thanks
beekeeper39
 

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Hi beekeeper, This is my first year, too- I hived two nucs about 2 weeks ago
I went through a similar situation, where I had one hive that had no eggs, larva or queen. I think I killed the queen when hiving them or during my first inspection (maybe not so careful with frames). I received a lot of advice from the BB, but I made the mistake of removing 2 supersedure cells. Luckily, today, I did an inspection and there is a queen and she is laying a heep of eggs. The advice I took away as a newbie is to let the bees do what is best for them. My "beekeeping for dummies" says as a newbie one should buy a new queen so you can be more assured of genetics... and it saves time. But, now I understand that the bees will use an egg that is already 3 days old and go from there.... mine obviously had a queen cell that I didn't see/destroy (lucky for me). All is well for now. Let me know how you make out, we are at about the same point: first year, two nucs, yada yada... good luck!

D
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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The nuc supplier should provide you with a queen. If the cell in the hive is capped it's at least 5 days into the cycle of raising a queen so that queen will be laying anywhere from 10 to 20 days from now. If you get a queen and install her she should start laying in two days or so. I wouldn't destroy the cell until you have the new queen in hand. Supplies of bees and queens are scarce this year.

In general (not always) swarm cells are on the bottoms of the frames and supercedure cells are in the middle and emergency cells are anywhere that was handy.


[This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited May 04, 2004).]
 

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Mr. Bush, I am just curious-- you are so up on all this stuff-- are you a professional beekeeper? How many hives do you have, etc? Did you pick this all up from life experience? trained entomologist? Thanks.
 

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>Mr. Bush, I am just curious-- you are so up on all this stuff-- are you a professional beekeeper? How many hives do you have, etc? Did you pick this all up from life experience? trained entomologist? Thanks.

I am, by culture, Lakota. I am 1/16 American Indian by blood, but I have always identified with Native Americans and their philosophy. It permeates my style of beekeeping. I believe in understanding how things work naturally and working with that. In the Lakota style, I will give my credentials, both positive and negative. I started studying beekeeping in 1972 when I was hoping to become self-sufficient. It was really because I wanted a self-sufficient source of sugar, but as soon as I started studying bees I was hooked. What fascinating creatures! I have always read a lot and learned a lot from books but also have always tried to apply it and see how it fits into reality and into the "whole".

I started my first hive with a queen I bought and bees from feral hives in trees and houses. I was a carpenter and I was very economically challenged at the time (poor) so I built a lot of experimental equipment with the scraps of wood I brought home. I built two queen hives, horizontal hives (I’d never seen one but wanted to help a lady who loved bees and had a bad back and it seemed like a good idea), top bar hives, based on pictures and descriptions of Greek basket hives, (I’d never seen one of these either but wanted to try it). I had a box hive with just one bys for the top and let them build whatever they wanted. I was fascinated by what the bees did, but I took the books’ information on comb spacing and cell size for granted and never measured these. I was working towards trying to have a natural system of keeping bees.

I had bees off and on from then until now. About 1998 I had my first hive mysteriously die out. I had no idea what caused it. Some research revealed it was mites. The only solution I could find to the Varroa was Apistan. The only solution I could find to the Tracheal mites was grease patties or menthol. I started using the Apistan and the grease patties.

In all these years, until recently, I’ve only had from 1 to 7 hives. My perspective is different than a commercial keeper. And even among commercial keepers their perspectives are different depending on the accessibility of their beeyards and what their product is. You manage differently if you have to drive 200 miles to your hives than you do when they are in your backyard. Some sell honey, some sell pollination, some sell both. Many of my opinions have changed in recent times sometimes due to new experiences or new information but sometimes due to reassessing previous experiences based on comments by other beekeepers. Sometimes we do something and something happens and we connect the two in our minds as cause and effect so we don’t try it again. “Post Hoc Ergo Proctor Hoc” is the primary error in logic. When we try something with bees that doesn’t work sometimes it’s more complex than just that the technique didn’t work, but the circumstances surrounding it.

So a lot of what I have learned besides from books and experience, has been here. Listening to a variety of opinions based on a variety of experience and then I try new things or reasses old things I had decided against.
 
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