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Queen supercedure cells coming on Winter


@JeffH Hi Jeff, I did a weekly inspection a week back on one of the hives and found 2 supercedure cells, saw brood but not the queen. I gave them a frame of new eggs just in case. Had another check today, new brood and 2 more cells that are sealed and also saw the queen so made up a nuc with the frame with the cells.
Are the bees thinking with this weather it is Spring time?
Thinking I will take them home and out of any wind for warmth and feed as needed.
If this was September (Spring) I would think a prep to swarm but this is May, 3 weeks to the start of Winter.
Hive was not crowded and some stores, everything looked right.
Thoughts anyone…


Hi Peter, they could be thinking it’s spring, even though the days are still getting shorter. I picked up two swarms only a week or two before the start of winter a couple of years ago. It’s lucky you’re doing those weekly inspections.


That was all could think of. The other hives are similar in ever way but that hives seems to intent on swarming. I will bring that nuc home from the Men’s Shed and build them up.


Hi Peter, is there still a queen in that hive. If so, I wonder if there is a reason why they are superseding her. They might not be thinking about swarming.

I set up another trap-out yesterday. It’s going a lot better than the last one. The good thing is the lady isn’t pushing me to poison them. She will be happy when they’re gone though.

This time there was enough bees to put a good covering over the brood, plus a few more, before I put it into the box. Last time, there just wasn’t enough bees to care for the brood.

Also this time I grabbed a frame with only half the amount of brood.


I will check tomorrow Jeff, if it is warm enough. I hope to find all the queens and mark them, rather than just look for eggs. Gave the nuc sugar water today but had a bad nights sleep last night so that is all I did.
I should have answers after I do the inspection tomorrow.


Peter, it looks like winter has arrived, I lit my fire an hour ago. It would be hard to imagine any colony actually swarming at the moment.


The cooler weather came in with a rush, got my jeans and sweat shirt out of moth balls. Had a look for the queen but not seen, will have another look on Tuesday if it is warmer. All the hives were foraging bringing in nectar but little pollen, all the hives are quiet.
The large yellow flower shrub that withered off a few weeks ago in back in bloom up here again, a bigger flush than it has been. I need to get a book on local flora.
Cheers mate.


A balmy day so went queen hunting, think I have a job for you when you get a spare couple of hours free. With the queen marked in hive1 I instantly see her but looking at a frame of bees it all gets confused with what I am seeing.
Dan2 got his hives flooded in the Tassie storms and flooding, so I guess we can accept a drop of a few degrees in the night temps. Today was good at 25c and lots of nectar coming in, the bees are busy and very placid.
I see someone on the forum is having massive hive robbing issues among his own hives, he has a few strains of bees. I was told not to have a mixture of strains for that reason, what are your thoughts on that subject Jeff? I always stuck with the Italian strain, although some have said they do robbing I have never had that problem down South or with what I have up here.
Cheers mate


Hi Peter, we can do that on a good day. Is there brood in that hive?

I haven’t had any trouble with robbing, as far as I know. Well, not normal strength hives anyway. A very weak, vulnerable hive will get robbed out. I try to avoid colonies from getting that weak, if I can.

Having said that, my observation hive is basically only around 2 frames (average) of bees, it never gets robbed out. Maybe the size of the entrance helps, I don’t know.

My bees are Italian cross-bred, over & over. At last count I had 56 colonies, I’m pleased to report that at this point in time, there are no angry ones. Touch wood.


I can’t see any young larvae, I will get a pair of magnifying glasses, that might be a help.
My bees don’t seem to have the instinct to do robbing, they are too busy foraging and comb building. As you say a weakened hive is vulnerable so I guess the local conditions and a lacking of stores might be the problem. I have to say that with my experience Italians, or that strain, are hard working and always calm.
I don’t want to take you away from other things you have on the go but maybe Tuesday would be good but I will give you a call Monday evening.
Cheers mate


Yes, no worries Peter. cheers


Change of plans to Thursday but will call you Wednesday evening Jeff. I forgot an appointment tomorrow.


Hi Peter, that works better for me also, cheers Pete.


Hi Peter, I went down to the Headland Golf Club to pick up a swarm yesterday afternoon. As it turned out, it was an external hive that got too heavy for a branch & crashed to the ground. A worker dragged it away from the foot traffic. By the time I got there, the bees had left the hive & swarmed onto a nearby branch. I couldn’t see it at first. The groundsman was pointing to the tree that the hive was on, when all of a sudden I spotted the swarm on another nearby tree.

During the process, I heard some distant shouting “fore, fore”. Then got struck by a golf ball :slight_smile: This morning I wondered if the hive got struck by a golf ball, which could have made it drop.

You know, that tree was not a big paperbark tree, out in the open kind of, with quite a sizeable beehive attached to the branches & not one person knew it was there until it dropped. I’m still shaking my head about that. That hive/nest would have stood out like DBs.

Anyway I got the colony hived & a little bruise on my leg to show & tell.


That brought a smile Jeff. Golfers have very tunnel vision on a golf course, all they can see is their ball and the flag on the green. After all, they are are playing like their life was on the line. There is no such thing as a social game till the ball is putted on the 18th green.