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Queen cells late in year

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QuickFreddie 

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Hi There,

First time poster here. This is my first year of beekeeping and having trouble getting hold of my mentor today. I have one hive with a swarm that was caught for me after my nuc absconded!

I was inspecting today and found 2 queen cells along the bottom of 2 of my frames, one of which is sealed. The queen is still about and laying well.

I'm under the impression that this could just be supersedure at this time of year. Am I right in thinking this? I don't want a swarm on my hands so close to winter as they have been doing so well!

Do I remove the cells or not? Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks!
 

Hebeegeebee 

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Hi QF and welcome,
My view is that if the queen is this years and still laying then I would not want to risk a queencell in the hive and would remove it. Others may say let nature take its course...
 

QuickFreddie 

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Thanks for the advice. I did get in touch with my mentor in the end and both you and he recommended the same course of action!

The queen is safe for now :)
 
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Good Luck Quick Freddie, and I hope you enjoy the forum. You were lucky - you had 2 replies (your mentor and Hebeegeebee) and they matched...this is....unusual on here ! So well done!
 

oliver90owner 

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Well, I will be a litle different.

Not a lot of info about the colony but if a strong one I would be moving HM into a nuc temporarily and seeing what happened to the main colony, with a view of keeping options open at this time of the season.

I would expect to re-unite later if/when the new queen fails to mate.

It just keeps my options open that much earlier, so for that much longer.

My question is now: What do you intend to do if they build more supercedure cells?

Regards, RAB
 

Hombre 

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I have to agree with RAB.

Supersedure is a big confidence thing until it has been witnessed. It is a bit scary as it looks like a big risk of swarming if the analysis is at all wrong. I would suggest that the analysis finds few queen cells and the queen still laying as they approach the time for sealing and a continuation of laying afterwards despite the weather being favourable for a swarm to leave if that was the intention. Eventually the new queen emerges and a good/increased level of laying ensues, indicating that the new queen has become mated.

You know you got the call right after the event, but RAB seeks to mitigate the risk, which is understandably the best thing to do if the colony has the strength to make a nuc.

The T-shirt is on order :) The evidence was less than compelling, but leaned heavily in favour of supersedure. I took a chance on it and was proven right. Being new and having no prior experience of supersedure, I was willing to risk having to pay school fees for the lesson if it turned out badly. I did have other colonies to fall back upon if it had gone awry.
 
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Poly Hive 

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Cart and horse comes to mind here.

Are there drones? If not then what?

If I found cells in one of mine (knowing I have no drones which is pretty much the case) I would knock them out, kill the queen and unite.

PH
 

oliver90owner 

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Poly Hive,

That might be my course of action eventually, dependent on time, season etc. The spanner in the works, in this particular case, is that it is his/her only colony.

Unfortunately we have no idea where in the UK, whether the swarm was an early prime or a late cast (as in date, development, how strong it might be, etc), so, frankly, have little to go on.

Presumably, but not necessarily, the colony is strong (or the poster would not be suggesting swarming (even though she is still laying after the cells are already capped)). There may even be nothing in them!

I have experienced swarming, after preventing a supercedure, but that was not at this time of the year and in much different circumstances. I just feel that knocking down the cells (if viable) is not the way to go in this instance.

Regards, RAB
 

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