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Found a supercedure cell? Need experienced direction/opinions please

Opened a hive this AM to give my father a look at my bees and when I pulled a brood frame, I was surprised to see a capped supercedure cell along with about three other uncapped queen cups that had jelly in the bottoms.

I later did a full inspection and even though I did not find the queen, there was brood in all stages present. Swimming larvae, standing eggs, fat larvae etc. so it is evident the queen is in there and still laying.
Here are some pics of what I found:
The capped QC (top brood box)

Swimming larvae and eggs (top brood box)

Brood (top brood box)

Brood (bottom brood box)

The queen has been laying as recently as today from what I saw so my quandary is what to do?
It is apparent the bees aren’t happy with something about this queen although it isn’t apparent to me.

It is really too late in the season to hope for successful open mating but I could let nature take its course and see what happens, If that fails, I do have two nucs with laying queens so I could always do a combine in a few weeks.

I could remove the cups and capped queen but that may not change the bees minds. They may try again.

I could remove the QC and cups, pinch the queen they don’t seem to think is up to speed now and do a combine as well.

I have no idea what course of action to take or what others may exist.

Any ideas or advise?

Hi Bobby,
If supercedure cell then leave them to it, you can remove all other queen cells or cups but this may be detrimental to your hive, they are replacing her for a reason and from the sounds of it, its not something that you can detect but the bees can.

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How do you know it is supercedure?

Sorry that I don’t have any good advice because I have been watching your videos and learning from you. I am curious if this is one of the hives that made the new queen earlier in the year?

I am doing my check today. We went from 90+ degree Temps last week to 60 degrees and rain forcasted for later this week here in Seattle. Felt the first signs of fall this morning when I went to retrieve the newspaper.

I’ll be watching to see what the group has to say about your supercedure cells so late in the season, just as they are kicking out the drones too!

The basis for this colony was my first captured swarm which was cast from my non-flow hive. That means the queen “should” be the same one that came with the original nuc I got in March.

I’ve had a couple of suggestions from local beeks I liked:

  1. Cage the queen being superceded and a queen from one of my nucs and swap them. Remove supercedure cells.
  2. Let nature take its course and see what happens - worst case scenario is that I have to combine one of my nucs into the colony if a queen hatches, she kills her mother and she does not mate.

Switching the Queen’s sounds interesting. I wonder if that might also work
next spring around swarm season? Thanks for your reply. I’ll be watching to
see what you end up doing.

I would never remove a supersedure cell. I have on occasion removed the queen during a supersedure because I liked her genetics, but she promptly failed anyway.

What you wouldn’t do is good to know @Michael_Bush . What would be super-helpful is to know what you would do. :wink:

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Follow these instructions very closely:


LOL @Red_Hot_Chilipepper

I did say that was option two :wink:



Here’s what I would do. Never interfere with a supersedure.



I really screwed up in May with a colony I started from a advanced super Nuc ! The hive got ahead of me a case a weird combo
of QC n Supercedural cells. Being a back to beekeeping Newbee I knew I needed to DO something … I choose to remove the cells to maybe rid the hive of this desire (a BIG WRONG looking back) !!

Short story … They weren’t changing n I
Only made the MESS messier ! :sunglasses:… I’m totally with Michael here. Let stuff along n see what flies. If you glean any tid-bits off this Bro … Wipe a vid out n share !

Ta ta,

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You could take the queen out and put her in a temporary nuc, made up from the same hive. Wait to see if the virgin gets mated and a) if not: put the old queen back, b) if so: pinch the old queen and reunite the nuc to parent hive.

Not sure that the old queen will make it through the winter though.

Good luck, Paul

Hello Bobby
What happened in the end?

I let nature take its course. Ultimately, it did not turn out well. I wound up combining this colony with another. That colony did not survive the winter.


That’s a shame. Thanks for letting me know

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