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Discussion Starter #1
I over wintered two hives, one was booming the other was struggling population wise. She lays but not as prolific.

Plan was to re-queen and for the last 3 weeks I have been moving to a new house and could never make time. Was going to re-queen last weekend and was advised not to move bees and re-queen around same time.

I cleared and pulled the honey stores from Spring flow, and moved the two hives on Saturday night 6/28.

On that night I noticed I had left one of those green drone frames in for too long, I pulled it and all the drones had hatched and the cells were backfilled with honey. It was the only frame I pulled during the move, and I pulled it up without creating space from an outermost frame like I normally would. I rolled a lot of angry bees as I pulled that frame. There were queen cups on the bottom edge as is typical on some frames. I put the frame back in....because everyone was home and very pissy.

On 7/1, yesterday, I did my first inspection post move. I moved the bees from the countryside to a neighborhood, and so the goal of the inspection was two fold. Access the mite population with all those drones, create space in the hive and make sure I don’t have any swarms in the neighborhood....so nervous about this.

I went through both hives and the only thing of note was in the struggling hive on the bottom of that drone frame was two long capped queen cells. They are right next to each other. There are queen cups all over the hive and none are capped nor have eggs or jelly from what I could see. There seems to be the same amount of bees, and full honey stores. I am hoping these are supercedure cells and not swarm cells.

I hung two five frame nuc swarm traps in trees around my property, and put a queen lure & lemon grass soaked paper towel to catch a swarm that might be cast.

What are your thoughts on what I should be doing next? MANY THANKS!!!!
 

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Those are swarm cells. I would take those cells and a couple frame of brood and put them in your nuc box. Putting a nuc box which is actually a little undersized to attract a swarm anyway is a fine gesture but seldom works out.

You sound handy, go to http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/newhome.html and find plans for a taranov swarm board. That way you don't need to hunt hard for a queen and then you leave the swarm cells in the parent colony to requeen it. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The queen is marked, unless its worn off.

She is there because I saw eggs.

So swarm is imminent?

Perhaps wishful thinking but I was under impression that if swarm cells there would be many and two would never be right close to each other. Whereas supercedure cells normal number 1 or 2 and are typically groups together.
 

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Are you possibly thinking drone cells placed horizontally under the frame are queen cells? If they are peanut looking cells on hanging vertically they are swarm cells. I am not there but my guess is that a swarm is coming. Sometimes half the frames in the brood nest have swarm cells, sometimes just several on one frame of one age and another batch just being started somewhere else.
 

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If not sure, and nobody can be, why choose swarm or super cells? Treating them like swarm cells gets you a new queen without the risk of a failed superceder. Bank that old queen until the dust settles. Combine them later if you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
They are definitely queen cells, I take no offense to the suggestion but just want to be clear.

So the suggestion would be take the swarm cells and some bees, put them in a NUC or other hive box and create an artificial swarm. I assume this will not eliminate the risk of swarm just greatly reduce? If the virgin queen mates and is successful, then I should add her back in after pinching the old failing queen. I have queen cages - hair roller style.
 

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:So the suggestion would be take the swarm cells and some bees, put them in a NUC or other hive box and create an artificial swarm."
Many different ways. Usually the queen is found and moved. (As in Dave Cushman site) You can use the cells as a separate nuc and leave a frame for the old hive, making three way split. Need enough bees though, including getting through robbing season. Who gets to keep most of the brood really seems to vary.

MB view:http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm
 

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Vance is fairly positive in his opinion that the cells are swarm cells, but I can't leave that unchallanged. I say they are supersedure cells.
Walt
 

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They are supercedure cells. Swarm cells would be many cells, just two cells is supercedure. The placement of the cells don't tell the story, the number of cells is what tells. The problem is that with a real crowded situation, they may swarm to replace the queen. Just make sure they have some space and let things ride, is what I'd do.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The guy I buy my queens and bees from agrees they are supercedure cells. His advice was let it ride, or pinch the old queen and replace with a mated queen. Not sure what is in my best interest, cost of a queen is not an issue. If I pinch I would probably take the queen cells and start a nuc to overwinter, though I would be doing this right during robbing season. Thoughts?
 

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My thought is you already have an unbalanced set of hives, one strong and one weak. You have done the spring harvest so honey is not a big issue till fall. Probably a good idea to do some balancing any way. If you want a nuc (always a good idea to me) use some of the larger hive's brood to balance the 2 hives and make the nuc with the bought queen.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My thought is you already have an unbalanced set of hives, one strong and one weak. You have done the spring harvest so honey is not a big issue till fall. Probably a good idea to do some balancing any way. If you want a nuc (always a good idea to me) use some of the larger hive's brood to balance the 2 hives and make the nuc with the bought queen.
I smell what your cooking...my thoughts exactly. Sorry but few last questions....I can't buy the queen till sunday. The queen cells i have were likely capped this past Sunday/Monday, do I make that NUC up immediately? Also, my bee yard is small 12x12 feet so best I can do really is place the NUC in opposite entrance direction to the other two hives...this ok?
 

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That timing complicates things. By Sunday you could have a hatched virgin running around.
Plan A; let the bees handle it in the weak hive with the option of making up a nuc from the strong and bought queen.
plan B; Put the nuc with the cells/bees in the weak location and move the old queen and rest of the brood frames/ bees to a new spot. The old field bees do a better job of protecting a nuc. Balancing population timing is optional, as you split weak or can still be done before robbing season, though I would think you are close to that starting. Not a big plus or minus in risk between introducing queen and letting virgin mate.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Bees are such a mystery. Turns out they were supercedure cells, I found more cells today and they were all chewed from side. Found eggs again, but couldn't spot the queen. My original queen was marked and I am confident she is not there. Had help on inspection today from 4th generation beekeeper of over 400 hives. Neither of us could spot her.
 
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