Swarmed or superceeded?

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House Bee
Jul 21, 2009
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Pocklington, Yorks, UK
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Any ideas on what has happened here?

3 weeks ago I used the Demaree method on one of my hives (Carnolian, with a marked queen bought late last summer).

The exsisting Brood box went on the top on the hive, above a super. One frame of NS brood with the Queen on it went into a new 14x12 brood box full of frames/foundation, the bottom of the hive, with a QE on top. After a week I cut out all the Queen cells that had been formed in the top brood box (found 8 - 9 QC's)

Last weekend I removed the queen from the single NS brood frame (that had been originally placed in the new 14x12 BB) and placed her onto one of the new half-drawn 14x12 frames and then moved the NS brood frame back into the top BB. This left the Queen on the newly drawn 14x12 frames.

Over the last few weeks the bees have been very agressive. For the first time ever they have annoyed my neighbours several times by chasing (something I just can't have due to garden hive location).

On inspecting yesterday I found;

Top BB - all Brood has hatched (except the single NS brood frame I moved up last week) and most of the frames are nearly full of honey. The BB, now acting as a super weighs a lot ;-)

Super - all frames partially drawn with some honey

14x12 BB - A couple of sides of 14x12 are drawn and one frame has approx 50% sealed brood, 10% unsealed brood...and 2 large Queen cells (sealed with orangey tips) and 2 smaller ones just under the top of the frame.

...There now is no sign of the Queen anywhere...??

I'm guessing;

1) She has swarmed. Puzzled why she would do this when she had recently been put in a empty 14x12 and had started laying eggs/brood ok. Also there seems to still be plenty of worker bees/drones still in the hive (ie. it doesn't look like half the bees have gone).

2) They have superceeded her?

3) I injured/killed her accidently. However, I was very careful in moving her and she was walking accross the frame ok when I sealed the hive back up.

4) She's still there but I didn't see her ( She is marked and I have always seen her on every single inspection until now)

I'm heading off for a a few weeks hols shortly, so am going to have to let nature to take it's course to some extent.

Should I leave all the Queen Cells and let them decide who rules? Should I leave just 2 cells? Or should I destroy all but one QC?

I want to avoid doing another inspection if possible, as yesterday's inspection (as normal, with smoke) resulted in the bees 'hunting' over a radius of 100 yards for 2 - 3 hours after the inspection and chasing anythone they could find... Something they have never done before.


Queen Bee
Jul 15, 2009
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It seems that your bees need relocating.

Brood 'up top', as expected will all have hatched after a brood cycle is completed.

Are they emergency cells or supercedure/'planned swarm' cells?

You moved brood to a distant part of the hive, last week?

No queen = no queen. She has gone. If she is still there, she will be superceded shortly. You will have no idea of the temperament of the new queen.

Your bees need relocating.

Regards, RAB

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