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Supercedure cell in artificial swarm? Help!

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jbr 

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I did an artificial swarm last sunday as I found a queen cell in the colony last Saturday. All ok until inspection today when I found what very much looks like a supercedure cell in the 'new' brood box (the one with the old queen in with all new foundation under the two supers).

I had a look through the supers to see how they were getting on, top one is pretty full and half-capped. Bottom one, which I put on two weeks ago, is fully drawn and fairly full of honey, except for the two frames at the front of the hive. (these are undrawn). At this point I thought I'd need to put on a third super, underneath the teo already there.

I then went to check the brood box to see how they were getting on at drawing the new foundation. The first thing I noticed were the bees generally being 'unhappy' and moving around quickly. I didn't have time to build up the last two frames to completely fill the brood box so I put a dummy board in at the back. As I lifted the QE off, there were three balls of bees, about the size of a large plum hanging from the QE. I knocked these into the brrod box and started to look through the frames.

Some frames were being drawn out, the one adjacent to the origional frame in the centre had eggs in most of its cells. As I lifted a frame out the bees became verty agressive and would run around the brood box floor and run up the sides. This is not in keeping with the general docility of this hive.

Any ideas on what to do with the supercedure cell I found on the origional frame? It is about 2 to 3 cm long and has a larva in it. Should I take this out and create a nuc from it, using a few frames of bees from elsewhere? Or tear it down and wait for the origional brood box to be reunited with the artificial swarm? I am going to go back tonight and make up another two frames to fill the gap made by the dummy board.
 
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Poly Hive 

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Looks like you "killed" the queen and they are doing their best to put it right.

PH
 

oliver90owner 

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I did an artificial swarm last sunday as I found a queen cell in the colony last Saturday.

My first question, not knowing all the details is: Was that cell, last week, a supercedure cell? Sounds more likely than a single swarm cell, but cannot tell for sure.

If so, and they were attempting to replace a damaged queen (may be missing just part of a leg, for instance) what has changed?

It happens, she may otherwise be perfect but they will change her at some time in her life - at the end of her usefulness - when she becomes a liability for the future well-being of the colony.

Regards, RAB
 

jbr 

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RAB, I understand the supercedure bit, but I thought that this took place later in the season? Immediately after doing an artificial swarm?????

Polyhive, how can I have 'killed' the queen when there are eggs in there? It has been 6 days since doing the AS.

The single swarm cell is in the other brood box, placed 2 ft to the side of this box. I assume it's still there, as I didn't want to disturb it today. The frame with the old queen was placed into the new brood box in the original position and I don't think she could have got damaged in any way in the process.

There was no supercedure cell there last week, this has been built in the last 6 days.

Anyway, ideas on what to do now would be appreciated. Old queen to be superceeded (leave alone and let them get on with it), but what about the need to reunite both brood boxes in 7 days time?

Keep the old brood box as a 'new' colony, and hope for a newly mated queen to emerge from it?

Ideas? Thanks.
 

Eyeman 

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Hi jbr
Anyway, ideas on what to do now would be appreciated.
Tell us what you ended up doing.
This is getting to be a more common situation both following AS and when starting nuclei. I have had more experience with nuclei.
With new nuclei when I seen 1 or 2 QC's it is usually when they are still in their 3 frame nuc so I confirm the queen is alive and kicking then destroy the cells and move them up to the 6 frame nuc. I check 1 week later and if there are new QC's then I leave the one with the largest larvae and remove queen to apidea/ queenless colony or if there is enough brood and bees to a new 3 frame nuc and allow the QC to emgerge etc.
My first action is to give the nuc more space, remove QC and recheck in one week.
The problem with letting the QC emerge while the old queen is still in residence is they may swarm- this has happened to me twice over the last 2 years. The nuc then has insufficient bees remaining to survive.
 

mannky 

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I am keen to know what happens now when you find a supercedure cell too. I checked the BB twice today for evidence of queen - she's marked green. I found young larvae but could not see eggs. My last inspection was 6th. Supercedure cell is in the inner middle of the last frame before dummy board. Stores same as last inspection. One full capped super , one super 10%. Drone count 20%. Drone and worker capped equally. My thought is to emabrgo for three weeks and fingers crossed I get a new queen out of it. I am thinking that my green queen started laying drone.
 

Black Comb 

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You didn't say if you saw the original queen - was she marked?

This happened to me - the old good laying marked queen disappeared and I've yet to see how good the new one is.

in terms of the original box (with all old frames etc) then I too left it alone (as in the books) and they swarmed 12 says later. I should have checked after 3 or 4 days to see if they had made any more cells - lesson learnt for next time.
 

mannky 

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Yes she was marked. They are producing honey like a train but did make more queen cells. The first one hatched and either swarmed or was not viable I don't know.
 
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