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Found three capped supersedure cells


Hi everyone,

Need a little advice here. My new nuc installation looked to be doing very well, lots of pollen and nectar coming in. Upon my first inspection yesterday I found three supersedure cells on the middle of a frame bursting with royal jelly.

I’m sure what to do…advice would be truly appreciated.

UK based here


I have to assume the cells are not yet sealed in which case I would cut them out and destroy them with a firm left foot. I have to wonder if you nuc has outgrown the nuc hive and needing a larger home like an 8 frame hive, I have had nucs outgrow a nuc in less than a week when they have come to me with a frame of brood and another of sealed brood. If the colony is over crowded you know what to do, get a ‘full sized’ hive and move all the frames over and placed into the centre and maintain the same positions as you take the frames out with frames of wired foundation to fill in at the ends. Remember you are moving the queen so be smooth and take care that you don’t loose her. Pt the new hive in the same position and pointing the same direction as the nuc was in.
Don’t forget to pick up the squashed queen cells and keep them till you have enough wax to render down.
Check the hive in a few days and if there is more cells give them the same treatment.


Hi peter thanks for this info.
The nuc was installed into a full sized hive over a week ago when I received them. Could it be that they aren’t happy with the queen? I don’t see much capped brood, lots of drones tho.


@johnjuniorsterling Ok, so did the queen cells have a larvae in them?? Is there new eggs in the brood??Waiting…


This later info is making me think that the hive might not be queen right, she may have been accidentally killed or didn’t make it over to the new hive in which case I would leave the queen cells alone so that the colony will make their own queen. Leave the three cells and let the new queens sort it out as to who will take over the hive.


The three cells have larvae in them. And I spotted the queen in the hive yesterday as she is marked red.


Did you see any cells with newly laid brood and was it in a clumping or scattered.?


I saw some open brood and scattered sealed brood.


Ok, it seems to me the queen might be the issue, although she is a 2018 queen. Maybe she is not laying enough or something like that. In your situation I would find the queen and terminate her, leave the 3 queen cells to mature and one will take over the hive. The reason I am thinking she is faulty in some way is that it is not normal for a colony to replace a first year queen. Terminate her quickly so it is silent, bees do communicate, and the colony not become stressed. Do weekly inspections and look for new brood cells to indicate the queen has successfully mated. Ok…


The scattered laying pattern may be the reason the colony want to replace the queen.


She’s an over wintered queen which I was sceptical about to begin with. So she’s a 2017 queen. Thanks for you’re amazing replies


2018 is red but that can be from Jan 1st so she could be 6 months age. But that doesn’t matter with your issue. Thinking further I think strongly she is being replaced as she is not producing enough eggs/poor laying pattern.
Glad to help, that is what this type of forum is about, getting you confident and the knowledge to manage your hives well.


Leave them and let the bees do what they do better than us; manage the hive.


I would leave the queen cells and see, as the new queens would be daughters of your old queen.
I had a hive once with mother (broken leg) and daughter co existing, sometimes laying on the same frame.
It’s odd, but the daughter took over completely at some time and I took Mum out and put into vodka for swarm bait, guessing she still had plenty pheromone.

On second thoughts, I would only go that way if you had the nuc at least for 2 weeks already.
It could be you got a nuc where the queen was only just introduced, and sometimes suppliers don’t check what the queenless colony got up to before.
So it really all depends on how long ago you got your nuc.
If you only picked it up now and have a new queen, destroy the cells.



This is Sunday 6/3 n have you done anything yet ?! Several good photos would be helpful in diognostics (especially a couple up into cells). A couple of the scattered pattern. Do you actually see eggs on any of the frames or tiny tiny larva ?

If the Queen has died, poor layer, etc you really don’t want to remove cells with egg or larva … can you find her magesty (or are your eyes :eyes: crappy like mine) …

If the do cap those cells there must be a good reason ! Removing the cells gives you “NO” options if she’s poor or gone except requeening. So be careful. Don’t cut your nose off despite your face, as my mom use to say.

I once cut all my replacement queen cells off n then there were no more eggs thus the girls had nothing to requeen with. Then they as well as were “Up a creek without a paddle” n in a panic where to obtain a replacement queen… Get a few good pix’s posted here … I forget … is this your only hive ( options with more than one hive) … several of the guys have wisely said, “Wait !” Nothing to loss waiting a few days to a week … don’t panic !

Watching n waiting here,


Hi Gerald,

Yes I only have the one hive. I’m not comfortable enough yet to do an inspection and use a camera as it’s only my second week with the girls. I have spotted the queen so she is inside the hive. I have someone locally who has carniolan mated queens if needed. I’m starting to think I should maybe just requeen them if they aren’t happy with her?


I reckon, considering your back up, leave them bee for now and check for queen evidence in a couple of weeks.
That’s what I would do. But, if you are in a part of the world where an open mated queen could be Africanized, maybe you need to watch out if your queen gets superseded.
You’ll know soon enough if you need to Requeen.


Hastings is in the UK - site of a famous battle when William the Conqueror brought the Norman invasion to England in the year 1066 AD. :blush: If I were @johnjuniorsterling, I would go ahead and let them supersede with the cells that are already in the hive (no Africanization risk). If the new queen makes especially cranky offspring (always a risk with an unknown cross), I would replace her with a mated queen later.


I knew I shouldn’t have chirped in without knowing anything of background. Just thought I wouldn’t just go in and destroy it all.
And if, one needs a good reason.



You’ll be okay ! At first it might seem like walking :walking_woman: a tight rope but it gets easier n more fun. We all end up with challenges n learning situations. That’s just part of the learning curve.

Have availability to Queens is a good feather in your cap :billed_cap:… just relax n taking your time. I use a frame holder to hang frames on for pix taking … that way you dont drop a frame (that can be an unwelcome adventure :grinning:). Been there done that !

Keep us in the loop . You’re learning n that’s a positive direction.

Heres a couple pix’s I just took for frame holder example … look :eyes:… no hands needed for pix’s. :grinning:

Beekeeping at first is like gardening, welding, sailing, etc. you have to learn the ropes n then it gets easier. You’ll get a lot of ideas n advice here ( we have have our ideas) n often what works for me ain’t for you … There are Bee basics n those are same same world :earth_americas: wide. Keep a good mentor on your phone list is wise (locally) n we’re here too. Just don’t panic … enjoy n take it slow n easy ! :+1:

Cheers n good luck,

Gerald near Seattle