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Discussion Starter #1
My weak hive built a couple of supercedure cells. I saw them about ten days ago when I inspected the hives.

I got to thinking.... a hive will create swarm cells when the hive gets crowded, to relieve the stress of overpopulation. The swarm cells hang off the bottom of the frame and the queen "knows" when she lays an egg in there that it is going to be a queen.

Supercedure cells, though, begin as normal worker bee cells and then the cell is expanded and the egg fed a special diet.

Correct me if I'm wrong so far.

Do worker bees ever build swarm cells in a hive with plenty of space? Or does their programming keep them from doing that?

IF workers created swarm cells in an uncrowded hive, would the queen lay eggs in them, thereby "knowingly" creating her own replacement? I know bees don't really think, they just have instinctive reflexive behaviors, but I hope my meaning is clear.

I'm thinking that workers are programmed to NOT lay swarm cells in an uncrowded hive and that even if they did the queen would NOT lay eggs in those cells.

That would explain why workers who find the queen lacking would create supercedure cells out of normal worker cells. The queen unwittingly lays an egg in a normal cell and then her replacement is created behind her back, so to speak.

Does anyone have any experiences to the contrary?
Workers making swarm cells in hives with plenty of space?
Queens laying eggs in swarm cells when there is lots of space in the hive?

Bees sure get a person to thinking.
 

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All of the above, at times, is right.
All of the above, at times, is wrong.
Bees will never allow you to make a firm statement.
They will, at some time, do exactly what our books say they will never do.

I know it doesn't answer your question, but they just don't go by "OUR" written rules.

I do believe, tho, that she lays in many supercedure cells just because they are built and the nurse bees guide her to it. "Not a fact, just my belief."
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Iddee, thanks for the response. It clears everything up perfectly :D

Seriously, I do appreciate your experience and knowledge. Guess this is one of those "sometimes maybe" things.
 
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