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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This maybe a goofy question but here it goes, I recently got 10 new packages of bees. Nine out of ten seem to be normal, queen laying, pollen stored, nectar stored and no signs of swarm or superscedure cells. The other hive has queen cells like 15-20. Here's my question, the cells are located in the middle to bottom of frames. In other words they are staggered from middle to bottom....are they swarm cells or superscedure cells or both. What can I expect to happen, most likely? :confused:
 

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If the box or boxes are fully packed, you can expect 2 to 4 swarms if you don't split. If you do split, take the queen with the first split and leave the original hive with cells only.
 

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Swarm cells or superscedure cells? With the reports I am seeing from local bee keepers who have bought packages in the last 5 years it is more than likely superscedure cells.
Reports and talk from club members say that the queens in packages today are not all they should be. In fact it seems that 5 of nine packages of bees will supersced the queen in the first month.
Do as Iddee said and you should be fine.

:mrgreen: Al
 

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Generally speaking superceedure cells are centrally located in frame, swarm cells tend to be on lower 1/3 of frame, mostly along the botton edge of comb, The number of cells would make me almost 100% sure are swarm cells. if the cells are capped, then the bees will swarm. even if you make splits. and the true diseaster is that afeter the primary swarm taking approc 50% - 60% of the existing population with it, each sucessive swarm will do likewise until the parent colony will be so weakened by all the after swarms, as to actually be in danger of not surviving the summer let alone the winter. Also even though you capture the after swarm assuming thats possible, inless you combine the swarms they have almost no possibility of surviving without extensive feeding and frames ot brood, robbed from other colonies. Of course the real answer is to prevent the swarming to begin with. Thats another subject, and according to who you ask, you will get answers ranging from--allow the bees to do whats natural- to extensive manipulation of the brood chamber and adequite supering to ensure brood rearing space--remembering that brood chamber congestion and lack of space for a active queen to lay eggs is a primary cause for true swarming.
Barry
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to everyone that responded. I was just suprised to see so many ss/swarm cells staggered from mid frame to bottom on such a new colony. (new meaning packaged installed april 17) I thought that maybe they were just susperscedure cells until I read the respones. I think I will see what happens, it is too late to try to prevent swarming. Plus I have other colonies that are doing well to worry about. If they do swarm, I can't see that they would have much of a population to make anything happen so that they would be strong enough to winter. I'll just chalk it up as a good learning experience and see what they do! :p
 

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Barry writes:
remembering that brood chamber congestion and lack of space for a active queen to lay eggs is a primary cause for true swarming.

tecumseh:
if you answer this question in regards to the hive in question then you generally have a good idea if the cells are superscedure or swarm cells.

and as Barry also suggest... if you can limit congestion of the brood nest then you also limit swarming.
 
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