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Author Topic: Single queeen cell?  (Read 1144 times)
Zoot
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« on: May 18, 2006, 10:26:29 AM »

it's interesting that after all the recent dialogue here on the board dealing with this subject that a single peanut shaped cell has definitely formed in the sparse comb near the bottom of the frame on my outer #1 frame in my second hive. The bees came from a 3# package and were hived exactly 15 days ago, a day after the other package I had ordered (italians from Rossman).

While I'm familiar with most of the potential ramifications here I would like to further refine our knowledge of this specific scenario if possible. Here are a few observations:

This hive has appeared to be the "weakest" of the 2. First of all when hiving our first package I managed, in my haste, to uncork the wrong end of the queeen cage (so embarrassing). Fortunately that queen survived and got a head start that she has put to excellent use. That hive has beautifully drawn comb, lots of nicely formed brood, capped honey, pollen, etc. They are well into a second medium now. (8 frame).

The second hive in question was hived normally, the queen apparently making her way out of her cage once the candy was consumed. But subsequently this hive has been handled more for an array of reasons: I had repeated problems with the internal pail feeder and spilled one entire pail of syrup into the hive. I fell into a habit of checking it more frequently though I've only actually handled the frames twice at weekly intervals. Also ,the comb building here has progressed more slowly; the outer 2 frames still have been barely drawn and while the comb in the central frames is deep and there is pollen and nectar evident there are no capped cells yet. I have not seen the queen.

Could the increased level of disruption be a potential cause that would motivate  bees to construct a swarm/queen cell? Interestingly, this is the hive from which I've recieved all of my stings this year (5).
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2006, 12:03:42 AM »

>Could the increased level of disruption be a potential cause that would motivate bees to construct a swarm/queen cell?

I would not consider a single queen cell a swarm cell.  I've never seen bees that were intent on swarming build only one queen cell.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2006, 12:04:14 AM »

Sorr, I got distracted.  Yes, disruption could lead to a supercedure cell, but not a swarm cell.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2006, 02:38:12 PM »

Jim,
A single or pair of queen cells is almost always a supercedure event.  From the sounds of things the bees are unhappy with an unproductive queen.  
You can augment for the lack of brood in the second hive by putting in just a single frame of brood from the other hive to keep it going until the new queen is productive.
With the new queen you have 2 options: allow the supercedure to continue (a good choice for the interm), or purchase a new queen.  In supercedure a marginal queen may, in turn, produce another marginal queen so re-queening is the best long term solution.
As you may have noticed from the forums; there are as many opinions as there are beekeepers.  
I've only recently started to share my knowledge and have already found that I had drawn several erroneous conclusions, that stuck for years, after my mentor died because I operated in seclusion.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Zoot
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2006, 03:53:57 PM »

Well, I certainly appreciate both of you guys weighing in on this. Your observation, Brian, about being exposed to numerous viewpoints here is well stated. The gentleman I was taught by 28 years ago (I was too young too really appreciate the magnitude of his stature at the time), George Imirie, used methods that I have seen contradicted here several times. The challenge is going to be evaluating what is most applicable to my particular situations.

As for my lone supercedure cell...the weather has definitely made a turn for the worse here, cold and cloudy with occasional rain. I am loathe to enter that hive again so soon. But..should I? I have also noticed, in relation to my other very vibrant hive, that the activity in this hive - notably foraging - has fallen off over the last few days. The bees seem healthy otherwise. While I recall that being one of behavior changes prior to swarming, is it also typical behavior leading up to supercedure? And, lastly, would it be practical to take a frame of brood from the other hive to help sustain this hive if I re-queen instead of taking my chances with supercedure.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2006, 12:35:02 AM »

From the land of goats milk and honey and the master of the birds and the bees the answer is yes.  I need to add a pear tree, don't you think?  One seems so lonely and may need a pollinator.  I'm adding ducks next.  My grocery store is going to be in my back yard.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Zoot
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2006, 12:51:37 AM »

Thanks again. I am resolved that this is a supercedure scenario and will proceed accoringly.

I would concur on the pear tree. But why stop there?
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