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I was checking a couple of nucs yesterday and saw something odd; a supercedure (??) cell with jelly in a walk away nuc that had been made 28 days previously. The cell was on the surface of the frame about 1/3 the way down the frame. The nuc was queenright as evidenced by uncapped larvae in the nuc. No capped larvae. I didn't see the queen; I rarely spend the time to look. So long as I have larvae and or eggs, I assume HRH is there and doing her job.

Any idea of what's going on? :scratch:I guess the new queen could be damaged or deficient in some way and is being replaced. Otherwise I just found it really odd that a recently mated queen would be superceded. I'd be the first to admit that I could have damaged the queen in an inspection, but I hadn't been in the nuc since I put it together.

Any thoughts?
 

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You said the cell had jelly in it. Was there a larva as well? Some types of bees will keep a queen cell in production in the hive all the time. Russian breed will do this commonly. I figure others do too. They just tear it down if not needed and rebuild a new one. If there were eggs and young larva i wouldn't worry too much.
 

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You said the cell had jelly in it. Was there a larva as well? Some types of bees will keep a queen cell in production in the hive all the time. Russian breed will do this commonly.
Thanks for the reply. I didn't see whether there was a larva in the pool of jelly. There was a good amount of jelly, though. The bees are local mutts in an urban area but primarily Italian lineage from what I can tell. I have noticed that they're prone to making dry queen cups which I see very frequently.
 

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I had this happen last year on a strong hive that superceded, new queen was laying well but a few weeks in I found cells, I removed them all only to have them keep building more, so I let them replace her eventually and the hive was queen right with a good pattern before winter.
 

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There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding on why bees supersede the queen. The bees do not count eggs. The number one reason is her pheromones. If she does not make enough it will not motivate the colony and hold things together. It is an indication of her fertility (in general) but she may still be laying well when they sense it's time to replace her. Bees that sense this BEFORE she fails are what you want. Bees that don't sense this until AFTER she fails require you to requeen them because they can't figure it out. If she was banked and not laying for some time, she will not make enough pheromones. If she was poorly mated she will not make enough pheromones. I have never seen a downside to letting the bees supersede anytime they want, unless you have some $600 breeder queen you want them to not dispose of...

Another reason is a lot of disturbance. Bees tend to blame everything on the queen, so a lot of disturbance is often followed by supersedure.

The common comment seems to be that the queen is laying well so the bees have no reason to supersede her. If they had no reason they wouldn't be doing it...
 
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