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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wish I had my camera to take pictures. I split out swarms cells from a nuc that got too big too quick a couple weeks ago, moved the resident queen into a new box. Today watching the flight of the swarm cell split and noticed yellow jacket chewing on what seemed to be the abdomen of a virgin and thought huh, thats wierd. When I looked inside found a fastastic laying pattern, exactly what i was expecting. But the queen was is in poor condition, one wing gone, back leg gone and she was seriously shaken but still laying away. Then I found another live virgin....both queens were on the same frame not fighting, but the bees were definately trying to protect the laying queen, not paying much attention to the virgin as she ran all over the place. Also found 2 or 3 more capped cells the virgins ended today and a few new cells just layed in today by the newly injured queen.

I guess they weren't happy with the new queen, she seemed just fine to me, nice and big. Its wierd that the laying queen didn't end the cells, usually if its a superceder the virgin won't attack the laying queen, maybe since the laying queen was new. Not sure confusing.
 

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The reason the virgin queen does not attack the reining queen in a supercedure situation is because of their close genetic make up. The reining queen often stay in the hive until the attendants decide to quit feeding her. A newly added queen would only have this relationship with queens from cells made from her brood. Amazing creatures!
 

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Yes interesting....why the new laying queen didn't destroy the cells eludes me. As if the workers prohibited her. Ill let them settle it naturally, who knows the laying queen could be dead by tommorow. We'll see if the new emergency cells with eggs come to fruition.

the story on this nuc is a long one. I've been observing it and experimenting all year. The bees have been trying to supercede a 2 year old queen since april when she was split out into a nuc to make a cell builder. In end of april this split was strong then split down and with a superceder cell and sold as a nuc....doing very well I might add. The resulting hive with old queen was intentionally made very weak. They recovered very very slowly, not many bees at all. I was experimenting with how little resources they needed. And I mean little. The only reason I guess they eventually turned it on, is because I put them on drawn comb, they had a partial frame of pollen and thick nectar. They continued producing cells but they would get torn down, probably poor quality. Then eventually in early June as the population grew a cell finally made it. The daughter and mother were coexisting together. Then which really suprised me.... new swarm cells were made on the bottom of 2 frames due to crowding, just before the superceder queen started laying. At this time there was old queen, daughter queen and capped and open swarm cells. Thats when I split. The mother who was being superceded stayed and 3 frames with superceder queen and swarm cells were transfered to a new nuc. I figured the new queen would tare down the cells, well that didn't happen, she is the one that was attacked today by emerging virgins. They also made a few more cells that were just capped a few days ago that the virgins destroyed and then the new ones with eggs today.

Looking back, I should have taken the swarm cells and put them with the old queen. Put the new daughter queen in her own nuc. Finally give the workers what they have been wanting all year, Oh well! I also checked the old queen nuc and sure enough there are 2 superceder cells. Hehehe, this is on the verge of sadistic.
 

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That is an interesting chain of events, Over the years I have observed many unusual and different occurrences within the hive. events I figured would be disastrous have turned out great,
some I thought to be inconsequential became disasters.
my nomadic life style has also taught me that a few minutes of latitude, or being on the east or west side of a mountain range can have a huge impact on the bees. growth, preparation, and timing can be dramatically affected.

Experimenting with bees can result in discoveries that can change ones understanding, and offer a better feel for management parameters. Thanks for sharing yours!
 
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