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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I opened one of my hives today and found the inner cover connected to a few of the top bars. This comb was filled with honey (I guess this would be "honey bound"?. Upon further inspection I found a peanut shaped queen cell about mid way up on frame 4. The cell is not capped and as far as I can see there looks like there is a bunch of white gooey stuff in there(queen jelly?). Frames 1 and 10 are not completely drawn out. The rest is full wiith brood, honey and pollen. Question: What are the chances they will abort this supersedure now that I have place a medium deep with drawn comb on top of the brood chamber?

Would it be to late to split them if they cap the cell (I live in Jersey and they are very busy with lots of stuff in bloom)? How long do I have to get this done?

This sure is fun! Beats worrying about work all the time!

Fat Nancy
 

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It sounds like you only have one box? If so, add a super. They often build queen cells that they never use. If you have more than one box, you might be able to split, but I'm not familiar enough with your area.
 

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>I opened one of my hives today and found the inner cover connected to a few of the top bars. This comb was filled with honey (I guess this would be "honey bound"?.

It's just burr that's full of honey. Odds are they are out of room, since they don't usually fill it until they've filled the super below it. Honey bound has to do with the brood nest. If you examine the brood nest and all the places that used to have brood in them are full of honey then it's honey bound. Typically you see small patches of capped brood surrounded by honey/nectar.

> Upon further inspection I found a peanut shaped queen cell about mid way up on frame 4. The cell is not capped and as far as I can see there looks like there is a bunch of white gooey stuff in there(queen jelly?).

Sounds like a supercedure.

>Frames 1 and 10 are not completely drawn out. The rest is full wiith brood, honey and pollen. Question: What are the chances they will abort this supersedure now that I have place a medium deep with drawn comb on top of the brood chamber?

You putting a medium on is irelevant to a supercedure. A supercedure is because they are not happy with the queen. Not because they are out of space. What you're describing doesn't sound like a swarm cell unless there are more of them on the bottoms of the frames.

>Would it be to late to split them if they cap the cell (I live in Jersey and they are very busy with lots of stuff in bloom)? How long do I have to get this done?

I'd leave them alone. If you think the brood chamber is honey bound, and they are bursting with beesn, then add some empty frames in the middle of the brood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Mike.

They did look crowded and when I took off the cover they were busy working the old comb. I thought I read on one of the posts here that if the brood nest was honey bound then they would supersede the queen. It's a Russian Queen and I think she's only a year old. There is a ton of brood (even in the frame of drone foundation there are all fresh eggs). I was hoping to get another hive out of this but if you think I should wait I will.

Fat Nancy
 

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>They did look crowded and when I took off the cover they were busy working the old comb. I thought I read on one of the posts here that if the brood nest was honey bound then they would supersede the queen.

Swarm, not supercede.

>It's a Russian Queen and I think she's only a year old. There is a ton of brood (even in the frame of drone foundation there are all fresh eggs). I was hoping to get another hive out of this but if you think I should wait I will.

How many frames of brood? How many frames of bees? If you've got two deeps or three mediums worth of bees, you could do a nice split right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There were 4 frames of brood, in 1 deep not including the eggs in the uncapped drone foundation (which also had some honey in it). The rest had honey and pollen. The outer frames were not completely drawn out. I moved those in and reversed them. I find the queen eveytime in this hive slowly walking around looking for a place to put an egg (maybe I like her cause she's easy to find! the other one runs!) After I put that medium super on in an effort to give them more space, there were a lot of bees in it the next day cleaning up the old comb. I really want to stop looking in there so much and let them get on with their business but I also want to learn and manage correctly (I guess the first time is for learning!)If I leave them alone to raise the new queen will they likely swarm soon after? If you send me your e-mail I can send you some pictures of what iI think is the supersedure cell. Sorry I don't have a way of linking to them. Thanks again.

Fat Nancy
 

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Michael Bush sezs:
Swarm, not supercede.

tecumseh replies:
methinks so also. If the cell is uncapped and you can still see a small larvae you probably have another 6 to 7 day max before the cell is capped and the swarm takes to the trees. This is a process which once initiated by the bees is difficult to halt by the beekeeper. I would immediately think about splitting the hive, especially if you thought the existing queen is of an acceptable nature. I think the bible calls for placing the existing queen on a couple of frames of very young brood and filling the remainder of the box with foundation (you can distribute the frame of pure pollen and nectar pretty much evenly). Make up your split with what remains and set this new hive slightly off to one side. Leave the old queen in the old location to catch the field bees. Be a bit careful and try not to jostle the box with the new queen cells since they can be a bit fragile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok so now I'm a little more than confused. I think Mike was saying that they would swarm if the brood nest was honey bound, not that they would swarm if they were superseding. right???? Or are they going to swarm in both cases?
 

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I interpreted Michael's comment to mean that he thought you had a supercedure cell, not a swarm cell, since it's in the middle of the frame and not on the bottom. This would be my conclusion also.

If you had all but the outer two frames drawn, it was time for an additional super, which you provided. I'd say you did the right thing.

If there are only 4 frames of brood, I don't think you have enough yet for a split. They should expand happily into that second super, as you've observed.

As a new beekeeper, I have the same conflict as you do in terms of opening them "too often". But I think it's important that I learn, and in the long run that's more important than bothering the bees too often. In my opinion, you're doing exactly the right thing. Good luck.
 

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>think Mike was saying that they would swarm if the brood nest was honey bound

Yes, I'm saying they would swarm if they were too crowded or honey bound. Being crowded or honey bound will not cause them to supercede.

> not that they would swarm if they were superseding. right???? Or are they going to swarm in both cases?

Superceding will not cause them to swarm. Being crowded will not cause them to supercede, it will cause them to swarm.

My guess is that they are superceding, not swarming and that the best thing to do is let them.
 

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Hi I'm a new beekeeper too! I too wonder about opening my hive too much. Anyway, I have not found my queen in the packaged hive that I set up in April...although, there is soo much activity. I just added my first super which is really my second brood box - I think I said that right. Then when that is full, the next super will be their food for the winter and when I add a 4th, I may get to have some honey this year. I only have 1 hive. I'm using the Brushy Mountain English Garden Hive - 8 frame supers.

How do you know if your queen is there even if your frames are filling up and it looks good..Does anyone ever NOT see the queen?? She's marked, but I swear I cannot find her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Cyndi,

I have two hives and have yet to see the queen on one. I know she's there cause I see eggs and brood everytime I look. I think she runs when she hears me coming, shy I guess. Good Luck. I hope you get some Honey.

Thanks all for keeping me on course. I will leave them bee and let them supersede.

Will this free up some bees and help with production because there will be a delay in the new queen laying eggs?

Does the old queen sometimes win the battle?
 

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>How do you know if your queen is there even if your frames are filling up and it looks good..Does anyone ever NOT see the queen?? She's marked, but I swear I cannot find her.

Sometimes I don't find the queen. Usually I do, if I'm intent on finding her. I'm usualy content to see eggs and brood.

>I have two hives and have yet to see the queen on one. I know she's there cause I see eggs and brood everytime I look. I think she runs when she hears me coming, shy I guess.

Maybe. But most laying queens are too busy laying.

>Thanks all for keeping me on course. I will leave them bee and let them supersede.

Or change their mind.


>Will this free up some bees and help with production because there will be a delay in the new queen laying eggs?

Maybe and maybe not. Sometimes the leave the old queen and the new queen both until fall.

>Does the old queen sometimes win the battle?

I hesitate to say never when it comes to bees, but I have never seen the old queen kill a new supercedure queen. I don't think the workers will allow it. An old laying queen is not in the mood to kill other queens. That's the job of a new queen.
 
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