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Author Topic: Swarm or Supercede or Queenless in Wisconsin  (Read 1186 times)
GJP
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« on: May 13, 2009, 09:55:42 AM »

I purchased and hived two five frame nucs with plenty of brood and new hygenic queens on May 2nd.  I did a quick check about 4 days later and found swarm cells in one of the hives.  I knocked the swarm cells down figuring they had been cramped in the nuc and that they would adjust to the extra frames soon.  I did another inspection tonight and again found swarm cells (bottoms of the frames) which were capped.  I also found several supercede cells on the next frame (mid frame or a little higher) which were also capped.  I didn't see eggs or much for larve and there is still a good amount of capped brood.  They have moved to a couple of the empty drawn frames and are using the honey from my hive that died this past winter.  I did put syrup on both hives and this one isn't taking much while the other one has just about finished off their gallon in a little more than a week.  Dandelions are doing well now so the syrup was coming off this weekend anyway.  I didn't knock the cells down tonight for fear of being queenless already!

So the question is: Are my girls getting ready to swarm or supercede or are they already queenless?  and Why? 

Thanks,

Greg
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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2009, 11:05:32 AM »

My guess is superceding. I would just leave them as is for 10 days or so and then look for eggs. Many introduced queens will be replaced within the first 45 days.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2009, 03:59:45 PM »

We are going to continue to have problems with queen supercedure as long as miticides are used in hives where the queens are produced.  The use of miticides, anywhere in the development process, in a hive that contains stock (including drones) used in rearing and mating queens seems to give the queen a "signature" within their pheromones that the worker bees find objectionable.

It is imperative that we get rid of miticides and return to rearing queens from resistant survivor stocks.

The queens the bees are staying with are those developed on new combs, in hives that have not had any miticide or other chemical exposure, and are, therefore, free of that "signature" alteration to their pheromones.  That ususally means the 1st or 2nd attempt at supercedure in packaged queens.  Introduction of queens into hives that already have been treated with miticides and other chemicals seems to have an on going pattern with queen replacement almost monthly, not a good way to get a honey crop or successfully overwinter a hive because the hive is "genetically" weak and stunted in growth due to repeated queen replacements.
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GJP
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2009, 04:24:47 PM »

Brian,

I understand and agree and have not used chemicals in my hives but of course can't say the same for the nucs I purchased.  My question is, what do I do now?  I'm guessing from your answer you think they are superceding the introduced queen.  I can't imagine there are a lot of drones flying in my area as there aren't many other bees.  Introduciing another queen will lead to the same problem if you're correct.  And wiping out the swarm and supercede cells while my bees don't like the present queen means they will just keep trying to get rid of her anyway, right? 

So what can I do with what I've got?  The other nuc is doing fine!

Greg
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2009, 04:44:27 PM »

Brian,

I understand and agree and have not used chemicals in my hives but of course can't say the same for the nucs I purchased.  My question is, what do I do now?  I'm guessing from your answer you think they are superceding the introduced queen.  I can't imagine there are a lot of drones flying in my area as there aren't many other bees.  Introduciing another queen will lead to the same problem if you're correct.  And wiping out the swarm and supercede cells while my bees don't like the present queen means they will just keep trying to get rid of her anyway, right? 

So what can I do with what I've got?  The other nuc is doing fine!

Greg

I was explaining why what is happening is happening.  What you do to your hive is your decission.  As I see it you have 2 options:  1. let the supercedure take place, and 2. take the existing queen, place her into another nuc, using another frame from your other hive, and see what develops.
You will either end up with 3 hives or if the supercedure is successful and the temporary nuc with the queen begins supercedure again then off the queen and combine to make a stronger hive.
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GJP
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2009, 05:00:46 PM »

Brian,

Thanks!  I plan to do another inspection (more time this time) on Saturday morning.  If I can find the queen, I'll pull her out and start another nuc. 

Greg
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2009, 09:26:03 PM »

>I didn't knock the cells down tonight for fear of being queenless already!

You did the right thing.  Never destroy queen cells.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfallacies.htm#queencellsbad
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charlotte
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2009, 12:31:16 PM »

I am in WI too. Got a package from Dadant 2nd week in April...brand new hives, never had any meds at this point, and I have already had my bees supercede the queen that came with them.  She was laying great, guess the bees thought otherwise.  Anyway, I saw the cells, and left them. Figure that maybe the superceded queen will be even better than the first one, as she may mate with local bees and breed some survivor stock into my package.  So far, the superceded queen is laying well too...my only problem is when I was in there last I didn't have anything with me to mark her. Sad  I am going to inspect them today, pending the weather...if I come across her I'll mark her today.  It's not overly warm here (near LaCrosse) so I don't want to spend a ton of time looking for her.  I guess the supercedure thing isn't that big of a deal, so long as they don't turn hot on me, she lays well & I get her marked (I'm a little anal about that!)  Anyway good luck!! cool
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GJP
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« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2009, 02:10:01 PM »

Charlotte,

I'm headed into the hive on Saturday with hopes of finding the packaged queen before the queen cells open.  If I do, I hope to start a new nuc with her and a frame of brood from my other hive.  I'll let this one set up its own queen and see how it does.  If she's not there, I'll just let it go and figure I somehow pinched her between frames and let a new queen emerge.  This is year two for me and I was hoping it would go a little easier than last year.  Unfortunately, my problems just started earlier this time around!

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GJP
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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2009, 10:22:22 AM »

I got into the hives on Sunday afternoon.  The hive I was worried about with the swarm and supercede cells now only had a couple of swarm cells which had been opened and were empty.  I did not find eggs or larve which all leads me to believe the girls superceded the old queen and I now have a new queen who will hoepfully start laying eggs soon.  The hive had spread out into the rest of the frames in the first hive body (they started as a nuc) and there were plenty of bees, and a little brood left.  They were packing away stores and seemed in relatively good shape.  I dusted with powdered sugar. and added a second hive body.  If there aren't new eggs by next weekend I'll grab a frame of brood from the other hive.  The second hive had also moved out to all ten frames of the first hive body so they got a second also.  Saw lots of brood in this one so I can swipe one if necessary for the other hive. 

Does my diagnosis sound reasonable?

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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2009, 10:41:32 PM »

I got into the hives on Sunday afternoon.  The hive I was worried about with the swarm and supercede cells now only had a couple of swarm cells which had been opened and were empty.  I did not find eggs or larve which all leads me to believe the girls superceded the old queen and I now have a new queen who will hoepfully start laying eggs soon.  The hive had spread out into the rest of the frames in the first hive body (they started as a nuc) and there were plenty of bees, and a little brood left.  They were packing away stores and seemed in relatively good shape.  I dusted with powdered sugar. and added a second hive body.  If there aren't new eggs by next weekend I'll grab a frame of brood from the other hive.  The second hive had also moved out to all ten frames of the first hive body so they got a second also.  Saw lots of brood in this one so I can swipe one if necessary for the other hive. 

Does my diagnosis sound reasonable?



Yes.
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