Supercedure?

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Beelosser 

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Hi I would value some advice. Last week I found a capped queen cell on the face of a frame. It was the only one and I am sure they hadn’t swarmed. I assumed superceedure even though it is a first year queen and laying well, but not prolific. The QC was very small and as there were eggs I knocked it back. Today I inspected and found another better cell in the face of a frame with larvae. However there were two other QC’s both empty. Should I treat it as swarm potential? I am in double brood and as I can never find the Q I am considering putting UBB on floor with roof and knocking back all QCs. the idea being that the Q- will
make emergency cells and if there is something wrong with the Q the Q+ will make another superceedure cell . Isthat asking for trouble.
 

hemo 

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I would treat it as a potential swarm, if the resident Q is clipped then you could allow nature to take it's course.

It is times like this when a marked or clipped queen can be useful.
 

oliver90owner 

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Double brood with a non-prlific queen? Bad news.

Weak colonies making emergency cells is not a good idea, either (assuming’non-prolific’ queen is a true assessment).

Supercedure cells are normally good ones, so are you really sure it was one? Sure it wasn’t a large drone cell? Supercedure cells ar usually on the face of the frame, not in it.

I think your plan needs re-thinking.
 

Beelosser 

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When I say non prolific I mean not jam packed. She lays nicely but at each inspection there seems to be as much brood hatched as new layers. Went to double brood when she had about 6 full frames of brood because we had had a terrible spring and there was a week of great weather on the way and I wasn’t going to be able to inspect for at least 10 days. Attached is a picture of QC
 

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hemo 

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Double brooding on 6F of brood is a too soon, as long as she has room to lay then why not just give space above if anticipating good weather and possibly a flow.

At best an unimpressive looking cell.
 

Beelosser 

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I knew it was early but I only added 6 frames on the top box. Last year (my first) I had swarm cells despite there being only about 5 frames of brood and plenty of space. I am not impressed with the QC either but there was larvae getting fed in it
 

ericbeaumont 

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At best an unimpressive looking cell.
I agree, not a real attempt at a QC, supersedure or otherwise.

It's also next to drone cells rather than worker, which usually makes me suspicious.

Consider where we are in the season: close to the solstice and the main flow when bees usually change focus from swarming to gathering.

I think I'd call their bluff and knock them down.

If both boxes have only enough brood to fill one, consider putting the queen and brood in the bottom box, add a QX, then the other BB and supers. Bees will use the top BB as a super once any brood has emerged.

PS: it's supersedure and bees emerge.
 
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hemo 

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I knew it was early but I only added 6 frames on the top box. Last year (my first) I had swarm cells despite there being only about 5 frames of brood and plenty of space. I am not impressed with the QC either but there was larvae getting fed in it
If QC with so little brood then they aren't happy with her so best to let them replace her, one has to either clip one wing to prevent a swarm or remove the Q altogether. Whether you bump her off or make up a nuc with her is dependant on your ability and enough bees to do so.

For whatever reason they aren't keen on her, once they make up their mind it is time to act. I have had similar but with much greater brood laid down and with Q's barely 3 months old, these Q's I have placed in a nuc and they happily build up without issues for another season or two. Bees can be fickle but once set there is a need to act, they may be sensing the laying is poor/ mating was poor or even weak pheromones.
 
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Beelosser 

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Source of bees & queen?
Private sourced through the Edinburgh and Midlothian bee association after I finished the beginnings course. Don’t know much about it’s pedigree but it was 2 years old
 

Beelosser 

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I agree, not a real attempt at a QC, supersedure or otherwise.

It's also next to drone cells rather than worker, which usually makes me suspicious.

Consider where we are in the season: close to the solstice and the main flow when bees usually change focus from swarming to gathering.

I think I'd call their bluff and knock them down.

If both boxes have only enough brood to fill one, consider putting the queen and brood in the bottom box, add a QX, then the other BB and supers. Bees will use the top BB as a super once the brood has emerged.

PS: it's supersedure and bees emerge.
Thanks. I bit the bullet and knocked them down, Yesterday there was definitely larvae in the one I photographed didn’t appear to be any when I knocked it down.
 

robmort 

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You keep saying larvae in the QC; do you mean one larva or several? There shouldn't be several in one QC.
 

Erichalfbee 

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You keep saying larvae in the QC; do you mean one larva or several? There shouldn't be several in one QC.
1 larva 2 larvae.
A lot of people just pick up the wrong spelling because it’s repeated so much.
No Latin in schools anymore 😉
 

Beelosser 

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Larva- sorry. Personally I have done what I could to forget the Latin I was subjected to in school.
 

Beelosser 

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My recollection was
Caesar adsum jam forte
Brutus adsum tu
Caesar sic in omnibus
Brutus sic in at
 

Beelosser 

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But I got her in July 2019. Person o hit her from said she was older than she would usually sell as she was 2.I guess she was marked after overwintering. Born in
2017 marked 2018.
 

Erichalfbee 

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But I got her in July 2019. Person o hit her from said she was older than she would usually sell as she was 2.I guess she was marked after overwintering. Born in
2017 marked 2018.
Tut tut. If they are sticking to the proper colours that’s what they should.
 

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