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rae 

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8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
The big swarm that we got 2 weeks ago seems to be in trouble.

- We got it out of the hedge 2 weeks ago and hived it. All seemed good, and they didn't run off.
- Last week we lifted the crown board, and saw they were drawing out nicely, so left them to it
- This week we have inspected properly. Lots of stores, lots of pollen and lots of supercedure cells - about 10, slap in the middle of about 3 frames. No sign of any other brood at all.
- No sign of the queen, though that doesn't mean anything, we only saw 3 out of 8 today....

Two questions:

- How have they created supercedure cells when they were put onto foundation, no existing brood? Laying workers?

- What do we do? I assume these supercedure cells will be rubbish? We have existing colonies that we could combine with, our pull brood from as required.
 

andypigeon 

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is they a virgin queen in there. you could try putting in a test frame to see if they build queen cells.
 

admin 

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I have found a few times with my hives that have swarmed and I have put into a seperate hive:

You hive the swarm with a mated queen,the queen lays for a day or two(just a 100 eggs or so) and then they bump her off and draw out supercedure cells.

Anyone else confirm this can be normal ?
 

oliver90owner 

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May need to go further back in the history archives.

Were they making supercedure cells, and you twarted them, and then they swarmed at shortish notice? If that were the case then the bees have possibly finished what they started and possibly in the nick of time!

Reply to admin: - certainly not 'normal' for this course of action....but bees will do what they want and not necessarily what we expect them to do. We all know that!

Regards, RAB
 

rae 

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8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
Were they making supercedure cells, and you twarted them, and then they swarmed at shortish notice? If that were the case then the bees have possibly finished what they started and possibly in the nick of time!
No, we got them out of a hedge! Initially we thought that they were a swarm from one of our splits, but the splits are all still full of bees. We now think they are someone else's bees. All we had was a load of bees, and an empty brood box with foundation. We now have a box of drawn foundation, stores, pollen....and supercedure cells. As I said, no other brood or eggs at all.
 

admin 

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I should of said "Can happen" not "Can be normal".
Anyone else come across it before ?
 

VEG 

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I have exactly the same with a swarm from one of my hives. Put them onto fresh foundation which they started drawing out nicely. The queen laid up a few frames then dissapeared, leaving 5 supercedure cells. Reduced these to two and have left them to sort it out. Will have a look next week to see how they are getting on.
 

skydragon 

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Anyone else come across it before ?
I had something similar a few weeks back, in that I had moved a laying queen into a new 14x12 BB with only one frame of drawn comb. She layed in approx 1/4 of the frame and then on next inspection she was gone, the brood was sealed and there were 2 - 3 fat superceedure cells in her place. I'll find out the end result when I get back off hols later this week. Hopefully one of the QC has hatched, she's mated and is laying... but that is probably asking a bit too much :)
 

Midland Beek 

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Do you mean you have got queen cells? As in sealed queen cells? Or do you mean that your comb has on it queen cell cups?

If you have what look like proper queen cells then your hive might not have a queen it it. Break down a queen cell and you might find that it contains nothingness. Either that, or they have raised queen cells on the eggs laid by a worker.
 
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SER 

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I had exactly the same situation as VEG, housed a prime swarm from my hive, drew foundation well, laid up 2 frames then dissappeared leaving 2 supercedure cells. They should have emerged in the last couple of days so I'll wait and see.

Si.
 

oliver90owner 

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Queens rarely swarm twice. They are often superceded, but not necessarily so, after the first swarming, or before the next time. I doubt there are many queens which would swarm 3 times!

Often she will continue laying until the new queen is mated and into lay.

Regards, RAB
 

MuswellMetro 

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? damaged Queen, during capture of the swarm..laid some eggs then ?
 
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rae 

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8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
Well, we went through them again later in the afternoon. The first idea was to see if there was a queen in there (there wasn't), but we also noticed some very small patches of capped worker brood - probably about 60 capped cells. No eggs, no larvae. So it looks like the queen has been superceded, but managed to get a few eggs out so that new queen cells could be created. We've torn down all but two of the best ones, hopefully they'll emerge and get mated.

The good news is that all of the other splits seem to have mated well and are awash with eggs and brood - so 4/4 splits have done well, one swarm has done well, and this swarm is in trouble....
 

oliver90owner 

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Is this another split coming? Or were you meaning you hope one of them will emerge and get mated? Just a subtle difference - one or two colonies!!

Regards, RAB
 

Rosti 

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? damaged Queen, during capture of the swarm..laid some eggs then ?
Seems this is a wider occurance than I thought? For me 3 swarms hived this year (all on bait hives). 2 OK, but with 1 I assumed probs were down to me - as per Muswell's post. New swarm, laying spotted at first inspection, then stopped, queen cells appear. I assumed I had damaged the queen in some way when inspecting? Didn't realise that supercedure could happen so quickly with a swarm?
 

rae 

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8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
Is this another split coming? Or were you meaning you hope one of them will emerge and get mated? Just a subtle difference - one or two colonies!!
I can't afford any more splits, I've spent a fortune hiving the ones we have already! I'm hoping that one will emerge, kill the other, get mated, then get laying.
 

oliver90owner 

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I can't afford any more splits

Go on! Give it a whirl. Sell a decent nuc to fund more building expenses!

There is a law which says if you are short of bits, another swarm will appear very soon after! No stopping you once you get going!

Regards, RAB
 

AMAE 

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I had no idea when starting out on this venture into the world of bees, that it would turn out to be (another!) equipment sport!!! I might have known that's why my other half was hooked!!;););)
AMAE
 

bushman1872 

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this is really interesting, reading these posts i realise thta I had exactly the same thing happen to my bees not a true swarm but an artificial one. Queen there after the AS and definately not damaged a week later no queen and about 5 sealed queen cells an no eveidence of a swarm strange that she was potentially superceeded as she was only an 09 queen!
 

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