This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Supercedure - Trying To Make A Queen

Queenless hive with supercedure cells. The queen cells were removed and a new mated queen was added to the split.
I purchased a divide from a beekeeper. The beekeeper thought she had moved her queen into the split. I checked it after a couple days and noticed that it was queenless. I was planning on replacing the old queen anyway, but this was a good learning moment. The split had a lot of older larvae and capped brood but no eggs or young brood.
 The bees started making queen cells. Supercedure cells are an emergency situation for the bees. They will try to make a queen off any viable larvae they can use.
 For this reason, supercedure queens are not the best for replacement queens. The queen cells are elongated out of the cells and sometimes the room for the new queen to grow properly is not there. This can result in a poorly developed queen.
 Swarm cell queens on the other hand are produced exclusively to make a queen that will replace the queen that leaves with the swarm. The cell itself is usually a large cell with plenty of room to grow.
 Swarm cells produce very nice queens. For this reason, a beekeeper should have a five frame nuc or two available for use. A frame of bees that has undeveloped swarm cells on the frame can be moved into a nuc box. This swarm cell will develop in the nuc. The queen will emerge and if she is properly mated, you will have an extra queen on hand. A true free bee.