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Swarm cells or supersedure cells?

 
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Gaillardia
New Bee


Joined: 02 Apr 2015
Posts: 4
Location: Larkspur, CO

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 3:28 am    Post subject: Swarm cells or supersedure cells? Reply with quote

I have a TBH and during today's inspection found 5 or 6 queen cups in the middle of several combs. They are not capped yet. I did not see my queen, but I did find single eggs in some cells, so I don't think they are replacing a lost queen. There were many drones on the combs, and lots of capped drone cells. Her laying pattern isn't very good, and there were so many empty cells that I initially thought she might be dead, but maybe she is just a poor layer. She isn't more than 8 months old. The hive is only about 1/2 full of comb, so I don't think they are crowded. They still have honey from last season, and are active and seem queen right to me.

They have been bringing in pollen for weeks, but in my high altitude yard there aren't many flowers blooming. My crab-apple tree just started blooming this week, and my trees are just starting to show some leaves, so it seems early to be swarming.

I am still new at this (1 year and 1 week of experience), but since I lost 1 hive to a swarm last July while I was out of town, I am worried about missing the signs again. Can I be confident that, even though the drone cell counts are high, queen cells in the middle of combs are replacing a queen and not swarming? Should I try to find the queen and split just to be safe?

After reading through all of my books, my gut says they are superseding a poorly producing queen, but I would love advice from you experienced folk.
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Smorning
Foraging Bee


Joined: 20 Aug 2013
Posts: 150
Location: Faversham Kent UK

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the position on the comb they would be supersedure cells so wait and see the bees know best would be my advice, finding the queen is not always easy but it's clear she in there or was present recently. Good luck.
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ingo50
Scout Bee


Joined: 30 May 2014
Posts: 311
Location: Newport, Gwent, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Smorning, bees usually know best. Wait and see, they will be ok. Very Happy
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