Failed Supercedure

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Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
196
Reaction score
10
Location
Moved back to Fife
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
3 National
Afternoon all,

After many years away from Beekeeping and this forum (although I have still been having a read, and see that some of the names from my past are still here), I have been lucky enough this year to host 2 hives on the 10 acre site I now manage for a charity in Fife.

I have 2 hives, which were donated , one which was a slow hive, but recovering well and the other a swarm that was collected.

The swarm hive decided to supersede early August so this hive was left alone to allow for mating. Checked on the 5th September did not see the queen or eggs, checked again today and there are 5 emergency cells spread over 3 frames. The hive has a healthy population of bees.

So my question to you guys, with far more experience than me, is would it be better to destroy all the cells and purchase a mated buckfast queen. Or split the hive with the cell hive on existing location and allow the cells to hatch whilst making a queenless hive ready to accept a mated queen.

Your help would be gratefully appreciated and it is so good to be back!
 
I would say it's too late now to expect a queen to emerge and mate in the small window you have left - especially up there. So you are left with option 1
You also can't be 100% sure they are queenless, soTake the QCs down, add a test frame and then take stock in a few days' time.
 
Couple of questions,
The swarm hive decided to supersede early August so this hive was left alone to allow for mating.
What made you think that and more precise date please?
You have brood now but have you seen a queen and is it worker brood? I have seen bees trying to make qcells out of drone brood when desperate. You need to be exactly sure of what is what before you do anything, especially that there is a queen.

If you introduce a new queen she will probably be killed. If there is a queen and they're not happy with her, I would probably unite with the other one rather than faff around.
 
Especially if Fife, they probably have their thermals on already!!

We are over a hundred miles North of Fife, and its been in the high teens and low twenties centigrade, with just a couple of day's rain so far this month. In one hive yesterday I saw a reasonable number of lovely, stripey drones (they're usually dark here), and today there was that sort of kerfuffle on the landing board that you get when the weather's right and the drones feel the urge.....someone's queens got served today. :)
 
Hi Jeff,

Have just checked my records, Capped supersedure cell was found on the 21st July, located central on frame 6. Emergency cells do not look they are from drone cells, but are slightly lower on the frame than the one previously found. Will try a test frame as Jenkins advised after destroying the cells, if cells are drawn again, then maybe the best solution would be to merge and nurse one hive through winter rather than a weak one requiring investment on another queen.

Luckily I do have a second hive.

Impressed by the speed that I have received replies, thank you guys and look forward to spending time with you again.
 
Hi Jeff,

Have just checked my records, Capped supersedure cell was found on the 21st July, located central on frame 6. Emergency cells do not look they are from drone cells, but are slightly lower on the frame than the one previously found. Will try a test frame as Jenkins advised after destroying the cells, if cells are drawn again, then maybe the best solution would be to merge and nurse one hive through winter rather than a weak one requiring investment on another queen.

Luckily I do have a second hive.

Impressed by the speed that I have received replies, thank you guys and look forward to spending time with you again.
Unless you are certain the open brood you have there is worker brood, you need a test frame from the other hive
 
I captured a swarm in June. Marked the queen and after a couple of weeks they had drawn out 6 frames of 14x12 with bias. Since then (July) I have moved them to a full hive and they have tried to supercedure 3 times. I checked at the weekend and there is 6 supercedure cells so this makes it the 3rd supercedure. The original queen is still there as she is marked along with 4/5 frames of bias with bees covering all 14x12 frames.
As I’m in the midlands my plan was to let them try one more time and if it doesn’t work buy a queen in.
 
Half a dozen cells is not superscedure, if this is a third Q replacement/swarm attempt then surely one should have let the earlier Q replacement play out and intervened as a swarming sign.
Even though a good brood pattern is seen the bees have a reason to replace her, one simply has no idea if the Q in the swarm is young or old.
One needs to try and work with the bees rather then against them.
 
It’s still the original queen from the swarm when it arrived. Despite the bees supercedure attempts she is still there. I know as I marked her straight away and it’s still the same one. There is 4-6 queen cells each time on the face of the comb hence why I’m assuming these are supercedure cells.
 
Left them there. They capped them though and queens emerged as saw a hole in the end.
 
Same marked queen is there from the original swarm. Not spotted any more queens either.
 
Sorry not sure I understand as they haven’t swarmed and they still have the same queen and this is the 3rd set of queen cells since the swarm arrived. If they were swarm cells wouldn’t they have swarmed once the queen cells were capped ? Hence my assumption they were supercedure cells. First time this has happened to me so keen to understand what’s happening and best course of action.
 
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