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Supersedure or Swarm Cells?


Do these look like swarm cells or supersedure cells? And should I do something about it? I installed a five frame nuc colony on May 28 and today (June 26) I noticed the development of these queen cells.Hive check this morning indicated the majority of the brood seems to be capped with some larva and small amount of eggs. Queen was present in lower brood box. Upper brood box contained 2 frames with Queen cells on them. Two cells on the bottom part of the wooden frame and about 6 others towards the bottom front of the comb. I could see1 obvious larva inside one of the cells, but was not able to examine the other cells well enough. I would welcome feedback from experience beekeepers as I am a new beekeeper.

How full of drawn comb are your frames in both boxes? By the description I would say those are supercedure cells yes, and that means your existing queen is getting ready to swarm and take 60% of this colony with her. You will be left with lots of developing brood and capped cells for the new queen to emerge and if you don’t do anything at all will end up with a new queen. Bees have a strong swarming instinct and you can manage them to avoid getting to this stage with more practice. If it were my hive I would start a new hive by taking the existing queen and a few frames of brood out of the lower box and put in a new box and move the frames with queen cells down into the lower box of this hive and wait. This way you will have lots of bees attending to the existing hive, you will start a second hive with a known good laying queen and bees to build out that colony. Its a win win in my opinion.

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I’d say the frames are about 80% fully drawn with comb. I think I will try starting a new hive colony as you suggested. Thank you for your response. It was very helpful!

Supercedure cells created when the existing queen is failing and doesn’t mean the colony will swarm, I think you mean swarm cells. :wink:
As the cells are on the bottom of that horribly drawn comb I’d be inclined to say swarm cells. There also looks to be a lot of drone cells around them judging by the raised caps, also which could also suggests swarm preparation.
But I’m no expert.

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