Empty hive but huge amounts of stores

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It occurs to me that the difference between "swarm" and "supercedure" cells might just be the strength of the colony raising them. They'll build the queen cells wherever is convenient in either case, but a weaker colony, as might be the case when a queen is aging and needs to be replaced, may only have the resources to raise a very small number of queens. A colony that is busting with bees and stores and therefore likely to swarm can probably raise many.

Isn't that why we're told that really strong colonies are required for raising lots of queens and that if lots of queen cells are placed into a colony that isn't strong enough they might either ignore them or tear some cells down?

It's possible I suppose, at least sometimes. I've had experiences with my bees that seem to indicate it's a fair bit to do with what the workers reckon of the queen. Somehow they assess her condition/suitability and probably, not infrequently, by the time the beekeeper decides it's time to take the queen to the gatepost (particularly with infrequent inspections) , the bees have probably already taken action or started to.
Sometimes of course it's easy to see the queen is sickening by her body condition and movement and then seeing supersedure cells is no surprise.

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