will they change their mind about supercedure?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by pistolpete, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    I had a hive that went queenless on June 1 or 2 when I did a split. (I either removed her or rolled her accidentally). When I checked on them on June 8 I found five queen cells. I removed the queen cells into a Nuc and introduced a mated queen. Today I checked the hive and found 3 queen cells on one of the frames. The queen is still in there, looking good and laying well. So I destroyed the queen cells. I think they got a little impatient with the queen getting into full laying form. I figure if they are really set on superceding her, they have plenty of eggs in there to start over.

    My question is: are they likely to abandon their supercedure attempt now that the queen is performing?
     
  2. Bees In Miami

    Bees In Miami New Member

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    I always figure the bees know better than I do...our idea of performing versus the bees may be different. :dontknow: I think it is Michael Bush that says destroying queen cells is a good way to make a hive go queenless. I am a fan of letting the bees figure it out. How is the nuc doing?
     

  3. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    never destroy queen cells. keep a close eye on the hive you may have created a bigger problem than you had before.
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I on the other hand knock down queen cells all the time. If there is a need they will make more and it should be pointed out that just because a queen cell is started does not necessarily mean it will hatch. I myself suspect a lot of queen cells will get torn down by a properly functioning queen.

    ps... I also tend to think (suspect, know) that at certain times of the year the misplacement of a frame (typically towards the outside walls of a hive) by a beekeeper can generate what appears to be superscedure cells when the queen is functioning quite well.
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    For you and other 50 year experience beeks, I would say it is OK to tear down queen cells.

    For anyone with less than 5 years experience, I would say tearing down queen cells is one of the worst things they could possibly do in a hive. Also the VERY BEST way to become queenless and wind up with a dead hive.
     
  6. dr.buzz

    dr.buzz New Member

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    Jay Smith, in Queen Rearing Simplified, says this about why bees will start and stop supercedure, tear down cells, etc...:

    .....I have noticed many times during supersedure that the advanced cells are destroyed while new ones are still being started. The weather or nectar secretion seems to influence them in this respect.

    This instinct, therefore, explains why, when we gave cells to nuclei, they tore ours down while at the same time they were building cells. They tore ours down because ours were advanced, and not because they were strange cells. If you wait until a nucleus has ripe cells of it's own, you can give it a strange ripe cell, and the bees will accept it without question. Many times when conditions are unfavorable, finishing colonies will tear down the cells they themselves have built. A heavy feeding will stop this destruction.



    Therefore, we can accept as a rule of the bees that they will not tolerate cells when they are hungry; but, if they are lavishly fed either from a natural honey flow or by receiving sugar syrup, they will tolerate and accept cells. Moreover, there are some less important conditions that render cell acceptance certain. There should be capped brood in the nuclei and, if possible, brood in all stages; but, if these conditions are not present, a heavy feed will offset the lack of the former to a high degree. When there is no brood, cell acceptance is more uncertain.


    I know this quote from his book does not apply directly to your situation, but more rather goes to show, in my mind, that they can start and stop creating queen cells for a variety of reasons.....
     
  7. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    I would not have knocked down the cells if I did not see plenty of eggs and a fat active queen. The cells were on the #8 frame, with a blank frame next to it. with the extra room, the cells were sticking straigh out of the comb, instead of drooping down. I would generally agree with riverrat, but with the cells coinciding with a new queen introduction I was skeptical that the bees knew best. Time will tell who's smarter.
     
  8. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    If they was on the 8th frame and had a blank frame between them. There is a good chance when the queen left to the other side of the blank frame and got a few frames away. Her pheremones was no longer present to the frame that had the queen cells. Making the nurse bees believe that had become queenless.
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    They were drone cells, not queen cells. Queen cells don't stick straight out.
     
  10. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    you might be right Indee, but they were textured on the outside like a queen cell would be and quite big.
     
  11. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    And I'm guessing, in burr comb.
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a dr buzz snip..
    Jay Smith, in Queen Rearing Simplified

    tecumseh...
    one of my child hood beekeeping heros Dr Buzz. I would recommend anyone serious about keeping bees read anything and everything Jay Smith wrote.

    riverrat wrote a very nice example of what I previously described as a bee keeper induced superscedure cell. a blank frame (in riverrats example) could also be a frame of capped honey or a solid frame of pollen. quite typically when I have done this it is one frame with one face that is solid pollen and the other side with a small brood patch which includes a few eggs and I have flipped the frame so the small egg/brood patch is pointed towards the outside wall of the box.
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    an iddee snip...
    I would say tearing down queen cells is one of the worst things they could possibly do in a hive. Also the VERY BEST way to become queenless and wind up with a dead hive.

    tecumseh...
    I perhaps should add here that on some occasion I do this because my employer(s) has instructed me that this is what they wanted done. I really think each person should first ask themselves why they should or should not tear down a cell. For myself I first ask myself if does this hive represent stock I wish to maintain and sometimes the very appearance of superscedure cell(s) suggest this may in fact be stock that you do not want to maintain <if not then there is absolutely nothing wrong with tearing down existing cells, tossing in one frame of eggs/larvae from better stock, killing the weak queen outright and allowing the hive to rear something that does represent better stock.

    I would not recomment that anyone randomly approach this question with a one strategy fits all situation. As in a lot of beekeeping context of the situation always needs to be considered.
     
  14. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Tec, I would recommend all new drivers accelerate slowly when taking off. I would not think John Force would think I was talking about him.