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drex 

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In my first year of beekeeping.

On 19/6/10 I hived a swarm that was given to me, having been built up into a 5 frame nuc. Put it into a standard National BB with OMF. It has been building up nicely. In classes I was told when BB is 75% full to add a super, so that is what I did last week.

Today 9 out of 11 frames contain brood and are all covered, and the other 2 frames have honey on one side. They have just started to draw out 2 frames of foundation in the super ( with QE), but are not really that active in the super.

Today queen was present ( Not clipped, but marked) and the hive was healthy with eggs, brood and plenty of stores.

However in middle of one frame was a sealed queen cell. There were also a few play cups, scattered on bottom bars.

My queen seems to be laying well. I have no spare hive.

I really hope that this was supersedure rather than swarm preparation. As suggested at class I destroyed the cell and larva.

There is plenty of honey in the BB. Would it be an idea to bruise this to get the bees to move it up into super ( do I wait for them to fully draw comb in the super, or would it give them an incentive to draw). I am thinking this would give the queen more space to lay ( if they are thinking of swarming).

If this is supersedure, why? when the queen is laying so well. She may even be in her first year as the swarm was not that big having been in the nuc for a couple of weeks before being given to me.

I am inspecting weekly
 

MuswellMetro 

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In my first year of beekeeping.

On 19/6/10 I hived a swarm that was given to me, having been built up into a 5 frame nuc. Put it into a standard National BB with OMF. It has been building up nicely. In classes I was told when BB is 75% full to add a super, so that is what I did last week.

Today 9 out of 11 frames contain brood and are all covered, and the other 2 frames have honey on one side. They have just started to draw out 2 frames of foundation in the super ( with QE), but are not really that active in the super.

Today queen was present ( Not clipped, but marked) and the hive was healthy with eggs, brood and plenty of stores.

However in middle of one frame was a sealed queen cell. There were also a few play cups, scattered on bottom bars.

My queen seems to be laying well. I have no spare hive.

I really hope that this was supersedure rather than swarm preparation. As suggested at class I destroyed the cell and larva.

There is plenty of honey in the BB. Would it be an idea to bruise this to get the bees to move it up into super ( do I wait for them to fully draw comb in the super, or would it give them an incentive to draw). I am thinking this would give the queen more space to lay ( if they are thinking of swarming).

If this is supersedure, why? when the queen is laying so well. She may even be in her first year as the swarm was not that big having been in the nuc for a couple of weeks before being given to me.

I am inspecting weekly

have you fed them?


lots of honey in brood box, is this arched around brood, wet honey in cells, patches of capped honey in brood

they will not normal put brood in the two ouert frames, but you could turn them so the capped honey faces outward
 
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drex 

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Thank MM.

Honey is arched around brood and is mainly capped, but to me there seems quite a lot ( compared with the class hives)
 

grizzly 

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Hi Drex
Sounds like supercedure, the Bees know something you dont, so i would recommend letting them get on with it.

Ive had some supercede that to me looked and seemed fine, laying well, good brood pattern etc, but the bees thought differently.

If they build another one, let nature take its course.
 

drex 

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Hi Drex
Sounds like supercedure, the Bees know something you dont, so i would recommend letting them get on with it.

Ive had some supercede that to me looked and seemed fine, laying well, good brood pattern etc, but the bees thought differently.

If they build another one, let nature take its course.
Thanks Grizzly. I will follow your advice, but a bit worried that if I do they could swarm.

Any advice about bruising the stores in BB to give queen more laying room?
 

grizzly 

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Hi Drex

Im sure someone will be along shortly to give you some "experienced" advice, so please dont just take my word for it or i might feel personally responsible if they do swarm :redface:

I have had colonies supercede as mentioned and when they did so, there was only 1 QC and again centrally located, rather than a high number located to the bottom or underside of the frames such as swarm cells.
 

Roy S 

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I think this year has been one of those rare years where nectar is flowing fast into hives and we have had to be a little early in our supering.
If you wait until the brood is covering 75% of the BB then that will only leave 25% for stores, and at the rate they are bringing it in, I'm pretty certain they would have been getting the urge to swarm before or as you were putting on the super. You may have delayed them enough by destroying the sealed cell to realise they now have enough room and they'll get on with drawing out the super. I wouldnt hold your breath though, If all else fails and they still decide to make new queen cells I'd go for an AS and reunite later in the season with the new queen at the helm. If they do get on with drawing the super, get ready with the next one though.
 

MuswellMetro 

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I think this year has been one of those rare years where nectar is flowing fast into hives and we have had to be a little early in our supering.
If you wait until the brood is covering 75% of the BB then that will only leave 25% for stores, and at the rate they are bringing it in, I'm pretty certain they would have been getting the urge to swarm before or as you were putting on the super. You may have delayed them enough by destroying the sealed cell to realise they now have enough room and they'll get on with drawing out the super. I wouldnt hold your breath though, If all else fails and they still decide to make new queen cells I'd go for an AS and reunite later in the season with the new queen at the helm. If they do get on with drawing the super, get ready with the next one though.
could just be low pheromone in a new queen
 

Silly Bee 

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9 out of 11 withy brood.

I'd be tempted to take off the QE and turn it inti 1 1/2 brood, and then put on a QE.

You are going to have a lot of bees soon and no honey to feed them with.
 

oliver90owner 

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drex,

However in middle of one frame was a sealed queen cell.

If she was going to go, she would likely have gone before you found that sealed cell!?!

What they do now is a lottery.

This must have been a cast if so small that it needed 'building up' into a 5 frame nuc?

Always a risk that the original swarm was from someone who had scrub queen cells or similar. Often swarms are routinely requeened (by their new owners) as the provenance of the queen is unknown. I think I would be inclined to remove her and introduce another queen, or then wait a week, destroy all queen cells and give them a frame of eggs and brood to develop a queen cell from stock of known provenance. My preferred route as I have enough colonies to get over any little hiccup like that. There are several options open to you, so just take your pick and go with it. There will be a risk of failure whatever you do.

Regardes, RAB
 

Arfermo 

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Hi Drex,
Cell was almost certainly supercedure and you ought to have left it alone as the bees are wisely preparing the way for a queen that is fitter for purpose than the one that is/was there. Supercedure cells are almost invariably towards the middle of the frames, same as emergency ones. Neither type are a problem for the beekeeper who understands what bees might be doing.
Too late now - just hope they repeat the process before too long.

Arfermo
 

drex 

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An update, and further advice needed. I inspected again after a week and this time there were 6 or so swarm cells. 1 was capped ( must have missed it last time) on the bottom of a frame.

Learning by my mistake I did an AS. The problem I had was the only box to put queen in was a nuc. Following Hooper I left this box on the original site. I added 2 frames of brood and frame of stores, plenty of bees, and made up rest with foundation.

After a few hours I had the worrying thought that there might not be room in a nuc for all the returning foragers from a good strong parent colony. Went back to have a look and it was jam packed, with many waiting to get in.

Remembered reading a BBKA leaflet and dug it out, which suggested that the nuc be placed a few meters away, and the parent colony left on original site. So I rearranged them to this configuration, as it seemed sensible in view of my concerns.

On an external look today, there are very few bees coming and going from the nuc, as you might expect, a few taking orientation flights. The original colony still has plenty of coming and going.

I will not inspect the parent hive ( in which I left one good cell) for min of 14 days. Intend to inspect the nuc in another few days, unless you suggest otherwise. My main thought now is whether there will be enough flying bees to bring in forage.

Any advice as to what I should be looking out for?
 

MuswellMetro 

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An update, and further advice needed. I inspected again after a week and this time there were 6 or so swarm cells. 1 was capped ( must have missed it last time) on the bottom of a frame.

Learning by my mistake I did an AS. The problem I had was the only box to put queen in was a nuc. Following Hooper I left this box on the original site. I added 2 frames of brood and frame of stores, plenty of bees, and made up rest with foundation.

After a few hours I had the worrying thought that there might not be room in a nuc for all the returning foragers from a good strong parent colony. Went back to have a look and it was jam packed, with many waiting to get in.

Remembered reading a BBKA leaflet and dug it out, which suggested that the nuc be placed a few meters away, and the parent colony left on original site. So I rearranged them to this configuration, as it seemed sensible in view of my concerns.

On an external look today, there are very few bees coming and going from the nuc, as you might expect, a few taking orientation flights. The original colony still has plenty of coming and going.

I will not inspect the parent hive ( in which I left one good cell) for min of 14 days. Intend to inspect the nuc in another few days, unless you suggest otherwise. My main thought now is whether there will be enough flying bees to bring in forage.

Any advice as to what I should be looking out for?
once the new queen is laying balance them by placing both hives facing 30 degrees towards the centre line of the old hive flight line...both hive will get drifting bees returning..or if the nuc is really small, exchange hatch brood/eggs for sealed brood, and put it one the stand with other hive 30 dergee off flight line
 
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oliver90owner 

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I would check it - just in case they build more queen cells. A strong colony could then send out the new queen as a cast and possibly more to follow.

One normally removes all (or most of) the flying bees by repositioning the 'queen cell' hive to the other side of the old queen colony (''swarmed'' part) just before the first queen emerges, so that there are few flying bees for a secondary swarm.

You could need even more kit if you don't check!!

Regards, RAB
 

drex 

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Thanks for bearing with me, as am in my first year.
Another update. I did an early inspection, partly on RAB's advice and partly due to my own worries. - Second queen cell had been built, which I destroyed. The other cell which I had left was still sealed. Think I will cobble together another BB from a super and eke, and floor and roof from sheet of ply, and put the nuc into that, as I will need to do this in order to unite later, and also to do the swapping around as advised by RAB.

I have just come to see what good teachers the bees are. As detailed above first there was a supersedure cell, which in ignorance I destroyed, then at next inspection swarm cells, which made me panic a bit before I did the A/S.

Anyway, before I saw the swarm cells I had been a bit concerned by the appearance of some of the brood ( sunken caps and pepperpot), but forgot them in my panic. Reading up later - signs of AFB -- the main reason I looked today - thoughts of calling the inspector. Anyway the sunken caps were just pollen ( discovered on prodding with match).

I had wondered why an apparently strong colony was wanting to supercede. Now I believe that what had happened is that the queen was failing, workers put pollen into middle of brood nest ( just to fool me), and went on to supercedure.

I might improve as a pupil with time!

Great fun.

Thanks all
 

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