Supercedure cells immediately after new queen started laying

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Bungle

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Hi,

I missed an inspection a few weeks back and unfortunately found my hive had swarmed. There were still lots of bees and about 14 capped queen cells, so I decided to do a split with what was left.

All seemed to go ok and the two new queens emerged. The weather has not been great so i allowed a little extra time before checking to see if the new queens were laying.

Unfortunately it started raining heavy during the first inspection so i abandoned it for today.

However the queen in the 'new' hive has indeed started laying (probably 1.5 frames of larvae); but i could not see any capped brood yet. However i was totally surprised to find there are 4 queen cells with larvae in them, and two capped QC's!

I have no idea how to deal with this scenario (i'm in my second year).

Why are they building a new queen within days of the current one starting to lay?
 

enrico

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I would suggest you could knock them down or let the bees do it. They were hedging their bets. They had a queen who was only laying a few days ago if no capped brood so they were unsure of what was happening. Now you have a nice laying queen they should take things into their own hands and get rid of the new queen's but I would do the job for them!
E
 
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I'm wondering if the new hive queen isn't quite up to standard and they are superseding her because maybe she hasn't mated very well.
I think I would let the bees choose there's still plenty of time for new queens to mate.
You could help the situation by leaving the best two qcs (capped) if they look viable.
 

GuyNir

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I would suggest you could knock them down or let the bees do it. They were hedging their bets. They had a queen who was only laying a few days ago if no capped brood so they were unsure of what was happening. Now you have a nice laying queen they should take things into their own hands and get rid of the new queen's but I would do the job for them!
E
+1
 

jenkinsbrynmair

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I'm wondering if the new hive queen isn't quite up to standard and they are superseding her because maybe she hasn't mated very well.
I think I would let the bees choose there's still plenty of time for new queens to mate.
I wouldn't - this happens often with new queens, got one this year which made a load of QCs, I tore the first lot down as usual (if they are insistent amd make more, then I look deeper) since then she's filled one, and starting on another super - the hive is busting with bees.
Better take no chances and tear them all down
 
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I wouldn't - this happens often with new queens, got one this year which made a load of QCs, I tore the first lot down as usual (if they are insistent amd make more, then I look deeper) since then she's filled one, and starting on another super - the hive is busting with bees.

Better take no chances and tear them all down
Cheers emyr, if there superseding wouldn't it be best to let them get on with it then.

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you get it often with nucs with new queens. They shouldn't need to with a straightforward supersedure as they have the old queen as a fallback
Even if the old queen is failing?
Two of my queen's are laying well and the third is starting to be patchy but all three are still superseding and only last years queen's.

We've made over 20 nucs this season and as far as I'm aware it's not happened in any of them.
It's something I will try and be more observant of.
Thanks jbm you learn something new every day

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Bungle

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many thanks for the replies.
The weather improved and I inspected the original hive and unfortunately i couldn't see any larvae or eggs - so i decided to move the queen cells from the split back to the original hive, leaving the new queen in the split (although i probably set the hive back because some of the brood moved with the QC's.

I inspected again today and found that bees in the old hive have built more queen cells - albeit small ones and i'm not entirely sure if the queen has emerged from the cells i moved there and/or they have been torn down, but ill wait to see now.

The new queen in the split isn't laying as well as i thought so though id take a closer look - using my other half's 'ear' camera. I've uploaded a video link here.... you can see 2-3 eggs in many of the cells?! When viewing the video later on - i noticed a varroa mite on one of the larvae too!

Its only been a couple of weeks i know, and this hive is not very strong yet - i bought a oxalic acid vaporizer which i've not used yet - can i treat the bees at this early stage?

Just to top it off - I've just noticed swarm cells in my third hive - which is all of a sudden a lot more aggressive than before!!

Year 1 was great - lots of honey - year 2 pff!! forget the honey
 

jenkinsbrynmair

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The capping on the brood is dome shaped, and in a very spotted pattern- there are 2/3 eggs in lots of the cells too. And yet they built QC's soon after the laying started - which i moved back to the original hive :/
Give it a week and check again - she may just be clearing her throat. I had a similar experience this year. I checked a nuc to see if the queen had mated but only saw patchy drone brood on a single frame, I was in a rush and with people working nearby so I just shut them up for dealing the next week.
Ten days later, three frames with a perfect brood pattern
 

Cuckmere couple

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I had this on a few hives this year...Jenkins and Enrico etc gave sound advice
i treated some as continued swarm preps, believing that the swarm instinct hadnt been eradicated...a couple worked ok and others i had to reunite
one, i left the new queen and the 2-3 apparent supercedure cells and a week later, the capped cells had gone and the new queen (marked) was and has remained fine
 
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