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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there any physical difference. Is there somehow I can tell. This is my second year and Ive got what I think are queen cells hanging from the bottom center of my top hive box. I have no nuc boxes, no idea which of the two they are but the hive seems pretty strong this year and I just put on my honey supers. If there is any differences perhaps someone could shoot me a few photographs. Id be more than game to try and catch the swarm, if thats what it is, but can I use a deep for a trap. Its all I got. Thanks to all of yall, everyone is always most helpful here.
Matt
 

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Is there any physical difference. Is there somehow I can tell. This is my second year and Ive got what I think are queen cells hanging from the bottom center of my top hive box.....
Hanging from the bottom of the second box would indicate swarm cells. They say that cells up on the frame are supercedure. Also there is a certain number. I can't remember but a writer claimed that something like 5 or less could indicate supercedure and more swarm. Position I think is more reliable.

Sounds like a swarm to me anyway.
Are they capped - probably not if the queen is still there? If so then it will be almost impossible to try to somehow stop the swarm. So best to split it. That is a lot easier than trying to catch a swarm (believe me).
The idea is to make the hive think the queen and the swarm have left.
I would have to look it over again - I've only made one split before... And there are different ways to do it. I will let others with more experience describe the process.

But no there is no physical difference between swarm and superceder.. for emergency cells there may be.
Mike
 

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Supercedure cells, normally 5 or less, swarm cells more than 5, normally.

Swarm cells can be anywhere and everywhere. A strong hive will have them spread all over, center, bottom, top of frames, more towards the bottom though.

Supercedure cells very seldom found on bottom of frames, as they are usually made in cell cups that have been made ahead of time "just in case" by the bees before hand, in the centers of the combs usually. These are the cell cups that some beginners call queen cells and that some people remove all the time and the bees keep building them back for that "just in case" time of need.

These supercedure cells are the ones that can be cut out easily, and maybe even from plastic foundation (I've not tried) as they are built in cups that were made out from the surface of the foundation, more on the facing of the combs so they can be filled and hang more straight down.

Some people will injure a leg of a queen so that she can still lay but be damaged, so that the workers will make supercedure cells and then the beek can cut them out and make up nucs with them for raising queens. This can be kept up so long as the workers will continue to build and raise these supercedure cells.

I went over to a friend's house to look through his hives for him and they had swarmed and had swarm cells spread out all over still and Qcells were emerging as I was going through the hives! These queen cells were so very large and nice looking, it made me decide to try something. I've decided to take a couple best hives of mine and crowd them down to a single 8 frame deep and encourage them to build out swarm cells for me to make increase from. I'm betting they make some very nice queens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I also meant to tell yall that the beehive wasnt hot at all. I didnt find the queen but everyone was real calm. Anybody in NEGA got some medium nucs to sell!
 

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Walter T Kelley's is in Ga. However, I don't know if they have a pick up center, or if it's ditribution only.

If nothing else, make some out of 1x8x6 pine (if you won't be using finger joints). I made 3 last night. Lowes will cut the board for free.
 

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Walter T Kelley's is in Ga. However, I don't know if they have a pick up center, or if it's ditribution only.

If nothing else, make some out of 1x8x6 pine (if you won't be using finger joints). I made 3 last night. Lowes will cut the board for free.
Kelly's is in Kentucky unless they have another location I'm not aware of.

Rossman's is in Georgia.
 

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Make yourself a couple of really cheap and easy nucs. I mean easy. D COATES, another member here posted his nuc plans/pics. I'm now making these. Nothing but plywood, glue, nails and a saw are needed.
Here's a link to his pics/plans...
http://s196.photobucket.com/albums/aa190/Drew454/Nuc%20plans/?action=view&current=2010-03-17205915.jpg

Just scroll thru the pics to see how it's made. Seriously super easy...

Here's what he said when originally posted his pics/plans
"Here are plans and measurements for nucs I make. I think they are simple and you can make 4 five-frame nucs out of one 4' x 8' sheet of 15/32 plywood that sells for +/-$10 at Lowes or Home Depot. I use them for swarm traps, queen breeding nucs, and I overwinter nucs in them. I also leave the bottom off of some to stack on other nucs to make 10 frame nucs. I use thin 1 1/4 inch nails, titebond III glue, and I paint them to ensure I get many years of service out of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I removed my left index finger with the table saw two weeks ago and I have absolutely no plans on running it for at least another month. Maybe headed for Lowes. I sincerely appreciate all this help though. If anyone would like to explain the splitting procedure this is all new news to me
 

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Here is a bit of info Walt Wright shared with me on a simular subject.

Clues identified before:
...SS cells are normally less in number than swarm cells. SS cells can range from 1 to about 10. My rule of thumb is 6 or less on any level as the brood nest expands upward, but have occasionally seen more.
...Swarm cells normally exceed 20, but sometimes are less in hard times.
...SS cells are normally roughly about the same stage of devopment, while swarm cells will often range from egg to capped. Expanding on that just a bit, the colony in SS is in a hurry. Having decided that the Q needs replacing, they move out smartly and populate cells in a short period. The swarming colony will stretch out population of cells to provide backup cells in the event of primary Q loss.

Adding a few more notes: (See article in POV on the subject)
SS cells are generally built on bases built in advance of the need. And provided for just that purpose. Those advance bases for cups are not normally provided within the existing Q travel areas. A favorite place is on the bottom of the feed pollen frame. (within the warmed cluster area but outside the queen's traveled area)

Although it may not be universal, normally SS cells are built on the left side from the back of hives that face south. (warmed by morning sun)

Tilt the box with Q cells and get an accurate assessment. If the frames with cells are filled with brood, think swarm. If the frames with cells are mostly pollen, think SS.
 

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>Is there any physical difference. Is there somehow I can tell.

It's not about location, it's about context. Location is one piece of the puzzle. The time of year, the crowdedness of the hive, the open space or lack of it in the brood nest. So lets try a couple of senarios.

If I found queen cells anywhere in a hive that is crowded and the brood nest clogged with nectar, I would assume they are swarm cells.

If I found queen cells anywhere in a hive that is dwindling, has lots of room in the hive and lots of empty cells in the brood nest, I would assume they are supersedure cells.

True, the swarm cells tend to be on the edges of comb (not necessarily the bottom), while supersedure cells tend to be more in the middle of the combs, but I would not draw too strong of a conclusion just from the location.
 

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M B is right, of course. I see SS every year on nearly every colony, if I look for it. It's a byproduct of checkerboarding. I don't look for Q cells any more, but sometimes am in the brood nest for other reasons. I think that relative stage of cell development is the best indication of colony intent.

Before CB, have seen colonies go right down to the reproductive cut off timing with all preps complete and decide their queen was not suitable to foster a swarm. (They resist wasting resources) At the last minute they elect to supersede in spite of having the broodnest partially backfilled.

After repro c/o, strong CBed colonies SS within the next month. I stay out of the brood nest for that period to prevent fracturing SS cells.

Thanks Hambone.
Walt
 

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In your opinions, is it true that queens kept from swarms cells will foster swarmy colonies, whereas queens from supercedure cells will not?
 

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Five years ago, I would have responded to that question with a positive NO. Most of my stock at the time were originally feral swarms, and CB was an effective swarm prevention measure. Reproduction by swarming is a colony inalienable right. Those species that do not reproduce die out.

Today, I would temper that some. Working with locale "surviver" swarms, there is some evidence that these colonies bend the rules to generate a swarm. Items such as: late swarms, small swarms - early, and not wasting much colony energy on rearing drones fall into the rule-bending area. In their defense, swarming just might contribute to species survival. Varroa takes some time to overpower the colony. The colony that gets off a swarm in its second year is sustaining the species, even if they themselves eventually crash.

Have always disagreed with the concept of requeening swarms to offset "swarmy" genetics - made no sense to me. But now I waffle some on preliminary data.
Walt
 

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Oops - answered the wrong question.
In answer to the question asked, sounds like voodoo to me. Same genetics. In either case, the colony does the best job possible to rear the best queens. Either colony or species survival depends on it.
Walt
 

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If you have a super, just cut a board to fit INSIDE the super so that it is 5 frames wide. Put a solid board on the bottom, and one on the top and crack the top so they can get in and out. I have done this in emergency situations.....if not, come down here and get one of the cardboard nucs I have. you can have one if you need it no charge. bout an hr to 1.5 from you south depending. I will be here all day, and If i am not, I will leave it out front for you.
 

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Make yourself a couple of really cheap and easy nucs. I mean easy. D COATES, another member here posted his nuc plans/pics. I'm now making these. Nothing but plywood, glue, nails and a saw are needed.
Here's a link to his pics/plans...
http://s196.photobucket.com/albums/aa190/Drew454/Nuc%20plans/?action=view&current=2010-03-17205915.jpg

Just scroll thru the pics to see how it's made. Seriously super easy...

Here's what he said when originally posted his pics/plans
"Here are plans and measurements for nucs I make. I think they are simple and you can make 4 five-frame nucs out of one 4' x 8' sheet of 15/32 plywood that sells for +/-$10 at Lowes or Home Depot. I use them for swarm traps, queen breeding nucs, and I overwinter nucs in them. I also leave the bottom off of some to stack on other nucs to make 10 frame nucs. I use thin 1 1/4 inch nails, titebond III glue, and I paint them to ensure I get many years of service out of them.
Do you have a layout plan for getting 4 of these out of one sheet of plywood? thanks. -James
 

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>In your opinions, is it true that queens kept from swarms cells will foster swarmy colonies, whereas queens from supercedure cells will not?

In my opinion, if they are swarming under conditions that bees would be expected to swarm under, I think they are the best quality queens you can get and are no more swarmy than any bees. If they are swarming under conditions that are not typical for swarming (dearth, fall, when the hive isn't that large etc.) then I'd be suspicious that they may be "swarmy" genetics. All in all I don't worry much about it, but I would be suspicious especially of those that get the "swarm fever" and afterswarm themselves to the death of the colony...

As Walt said, reproduction is the inalienable right of every living organism and necessary for continuation of the species.
 
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