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Er... have I had a supersedure?

 
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BSJ
Nurse Bee


Joined: 13 Apr 2015
Posts: 38
Location: Norfolk, UK

PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 4:46 pm    Post subject: Er... have I had a supersedure? Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

I'd be grateful for your take on this, please.

In an inspection, two days ago, I could not find the queen but I did find one queen cell (capped!) on the middle of the frame. I assumed supersedure because there was only 1 cell and naturally, I left it alone. It was capped but there has been no reduction in the bee population so it can't have been a swarm, can it?

I just inspected again. They are angry.
Again, I can find no queen, the capped queen cell is no longer there, no eggs either, which is worrying although there is plenty of brood, pollen and honey.

Have I had a supersedure of an old queen? How do I know if it has been successful before it's too late to do anyting if it hasn't? Do I need to do anything?

Thanks

B
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1487
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As noted in another thread, bees are often a bit stroppy at the end of the oil seed rape flow, Lots of people here in Cambridge notice this, though I haven't with my own bees. Don't know your area of Norfolk well enough to know if that is relevant.

I think you are right to be worried about the lack of eggs as my understanding and experience of supercedure is that the old queen will still be present and laying eggs for a while before she dies and the new queen takes over comp[letely.

My suggestion would be to wait long enough for the new queen if present to go on her mating flight before looking again. so maybe two weeks or a little more. My eyesight is not good enough to see eggs, so I don't bother looking for them. Are there any young larvae still?

Be good to get some other views on this from people who inspect their hives more often than I do. I only look in the brood nest if I have reason to think there is a problem.
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BSJ
Nurse Bee


Joined: 13 Apr 2015
Posts: 38
Location: Norfolk, UK

PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

catchercradle wrote:
As noted in another thread, bees are often a bit stroppy at the end of the oil seed rape flow, Lots of people here in Cambridge notice this, though I haven't with my own bees. Don't know your area of Norfolk well enough to know if that is relevant.

I think you are right to be worried about the lack of eggs as my understanding and experience of supercedure is that the old queen will still be present and laying eggs for a while before she dies and the new queen takes over comp[letely.

My suggestion would be to wait long enough for the new queen if present to go on her mating flight before looking again. so maybe two weeks or a little more. My eyesight is not good enough to see eggs, so I don't bother looking for them. Are there any young larvae still?

Be good to get some other views on this from people who inspect their hives more often than I do. I only look in the brood nest if I have reason to think there is a problem.


Thanks for this, Catchercradle. I can do that, certainly. There aare larvae, yes, and plenty of capped brood. If she has gone or died, it must have been only just.
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trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1123
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Same advice as catchercradle, but I'd suggest the old queens production may have dwindled at such a rate that she has almost sopped laying before the bees react with a suspercedure cell.

I've found that bees can be quite tetchy during that "quenlees" spell before the new queen is up to speed, which is where you are.
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DrMartin
House Bee


Joined: 29 Jun 2015
Posts: 19
Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No eggs, no queen and a sealed queen cell sounds like they might have swarmed. Bees can and do swarm on one cell (it's happened to me before). Unless you're doing a full head count each time you won't necessarily notice the decline in bees - most of the swarm are foragers who are mostly out when you usually inspect.
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BSJ
Nurse Bee


Joined: 13 Apr 2015
Posts: 38
Location: Norfolk, UK

PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DrMartin wrote:
No eggs, no queen and a sealed queen cell sounds like they might have swarmed. Bees can and do swarm on one cell (it's happened to me before). Unless you're doing a full head count each time you won't necessarily notice the decline in bees - most of the swarm are foragers who are mostly out when you usually inspect.


Thanks Smile I just feel glad I haven't missed out doing siomething important.
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