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Queen cells in supers.

 
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greengage
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 Jan 2015
Posts: 62
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:57 pm    Post subject: Queen cells in supers. Reply with quote

Why would queen cells appear in the super if queen excluder is in place and if they hatched what would happen as the new queen could not access the brood box.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't understand how a queen cell or any other brood for that matter could be up in a super if there is a queen excluder in place. The queen needs to lay into it for it to hatch, but if she cannot get into the super then there cannot be eggs/brood in there, unless you put it there. Have you transferred a comb of brood from the brood box to the super? Or could you have accidentally dropped the queen into the super during an inspection?
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greengage
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 Jan 2015
Posts: 62
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, The queen was not moved or dropped into a super accidentely, the frames in the super were smaller than the brood box. I saw it when I visited an Apiary and there was queen cells in supers in two hives, Also in both caases the queen was observed in the brood box, the Beekeepers who were on site were mistified as to how this could happen, It was suggested that the bees could move the eggs up, but in anything i have read there is no mention of bees moving eggs out of cells into which they were laid. Im really Curious now as to how this happened.
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
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Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have read on this forum that bees can move eggs but I have not witnessed it myself.
I can imagine if this queen hatched out unnoticed and unable to mate or be killed by any viable queen below, she started laying drone brood which when it hatched also couldn't get through the queen excluder to escape, this could make for a very unhappy hive. I think it perhaps demonstrates one more benefit of top bar hives where queen cells can easily be made and cared for in the correct location on the edge of the brood nest without being hampered by a frame surrounding the comb or a screen preventing the queen getting to where the queen cells have been made.
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the idea of eggs being moved is one generated to explain an observation that couldn't otherwise be explained rather than a proven fact.

Is it possible that:
a) a young queen not yet swollen in size has been able to pass though queen excluder.
b) a young queen got in the supers whilst the hive was open.
c) there is a top entrance through which a mated queen could return.
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


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

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too am inclined to think the queen has been upstairs rather than downstairs as the most probably explanation. As to how it happened, not sure. With the slotted metal type queen excluders if they are not looked after some of the slots can get damaged allowing enough space for the queen to get through. There was also a batch of plastic queen excluders made a few years ago which were faulty and people were able to get them swapped here in UK but I never found out what was wrong with them so don't know if the holes were too big or not.
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greengage
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 Jan 2015
Posts: 62
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All very interesting thanks for the replies, I dont know nor do I have an explanation. i was wondering also after doing a bit more research could either of the following happen, Could one of the workers laid an egg in a cell,
Could the queen have laid two eggs in a cell and could a worker have removed an egg and placed it in another cell in the super.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing is, generally workers designate it a queen cell before the queen lays into it unless it was an emergency queen cell, but if the hive is otherwise queen right then they wouldn't need to make an emergency queen cell unless brood got separated from the brood nest, either by a frame being moved (which you say is not the case in this instance) or the queen excluder was placed in a different place after a previous inspection, causing some brood that had previously been under the excluder to now be above. Was there any other brood in the supers or just one solitary queen cell because that in itself is an extremely odd occurrence. Why would they try to raise a queen away from all the other brood. If there was more brood then it suggests a queen got in there somehow or the beekeeper has caused a split in the brood nest and the nurse bees have attempted to raise an emergency queen. Only one egg in the whole super, just doesn't make sense at all. It was definitely populated, wasn't it?
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greengage
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 Jan 2015
Posts: 62
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HI,
yes there were bees in the super and some stores but only one queen cell,
I googled queen cells in supers and Iam not the only person that has seen it which is a relief. Looks like the bees didnt read the instruction manual Wink
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Jon
Foraging Bee


Joined: 07 Apr 2009
Posts: 172
Location: N Ireland

PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have seen queen cells in the super once of twice. I think the most likely explanation is that they are started from an egg laid by a laying worker and this will be a drone cell started from a drone larva and will not be viable. A laying worker colony often draws out some queen cells from drone larvae.
There are a few laying workers in all queenright colonies but the eggs are 'policed' by the other workers, ie they are eaten.
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greengage
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 Jan 2015
Posts: 62
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the replies very interesting reading.
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