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  1. #1
    Toobock Guest

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    I started an observation hive in the hope I could watch the bees make a queen. The frame had some eggs and larva and some sealed brood. The bees started queen cells between the frame and the wall of the observation hive, there were no eggs or any thing there. Can worker bees move and egg or larva from the cell it was to a new cell? Has any one out there seen this before? Are my bees crazy?
    Thank

    ------------------
    Donna

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
    Posts
    397

    Post

    I started an observation hive in the hope I could watch the bees make a queen. The frame had some eggs and larva and some sealed brood. The bees started queen cells between the frame and the wall of the observation hive, there were no eggs or any thing there.

    Reply:
    You say the bees started queen cells between the frame and the wall of the observation hive. I assume you are talking about the observation window and the queens cells are here with window and eggs, larva and sealed brood on other side.

    Sounds great! Is it a little grape-like cluster of cells hanging there?

    You further wrote:
    Can worker bees move and egg or larva from the cell it was to a new cell? Has any one out there seen this before? Are my bees crazy?

    Reply:
    No your bees are not crazy. Not moving eggs, but not crazy.

    Sit down and look at the observation hive and see if you see any bees with their abdomens in the cells and heads and wings out and folded like little birds laying in a nest.

    Some will do this for a few seconds, but other special ones will do it for minutes on end. Clock the ones doing it for minutes and report back if you can.

    Also report back if any of the cells get sealed over and closed up.

    Also, you are sure no queen in the observation hive? But probably so, or you wouldn't be writing your question.

    Anyway, it's good what you are seeing.ONe further thought. Are you seeing any bees on the frame with no hairs and shiny all over the thorax and abdomen? Watch these bees as candidates for laying in cells (prime targets to look for). Then look in cells and count number of eggs in them (looking for more then one egg now, or even one egg and report back).

    Interesting!

    Regards,

    Dee A. Lusby


  3. #3
    Toobock Guest

    Post

    Hi Dee;
    Yes the cells look like a grape-like cluster, starting at the very top of the frame on the wood and the frame of the observation hive above the glass, and coming done to the glass. The bees are not putting their abdomens in just their heads. I have tried to look up inside the cell with a dentist mirror and flash light, but the bees seem to be in line to put their heads in, (must be a good pip show in there.) any way they will not get out of the way long enough for me to get a look. I have no eggs now just some larva that looks to be 3 to 4 days old. No shiny thorax, and no queen that I or three other people can see and I look all the time. This is the 5th day the bees have been in the Observation hive and they have not sealed any of the three cells that look like queen cells. I will let you know if they do seal them up. Charles my master beekeeper that helps me out said they would not seal an empty cell.
    Thanks
    Donna


    ------------------
    Donna

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
    Posts
    397

    Post

    Hi Donna,

    You wrote:
    Yes the cells look like a grape-like cluster, starting at the very top of the frame on the wood and the frame of the observation hive above the glass, and coming done to the glass. The bees are not putting their abdomens in just their heads.

    Reply:
    Question:
    Were they queenless when you put the frame of brood into the observation hive? Also, you say the cells start of the very top of the frame on the wood. Is this actually on the wooden frame or on the comb drawn butting right up against the top bar? It makes a difference as to what is going on.

    Are the queen cells you are seeing drawn out from the row of comb cells butting to the top bar? Then built out as bees sometimes do and with the top of the observation hive there, end up touching the wooden casing of the observation hive and hang down along side the glass window?

    Heat in the observation hive would be hottest here.

    You further wrote:
    I have tried to look up inside the cell with a dentist mirror and flash light, but the bees seem to be in line to put their heads in, (must be a good pip show in there.) any way they will not get out of the way long enough for me to get a look. I have no eggs now just some larva that looks to be 3 to 4 days old. No shiny thorax, and no queen that I or three other people can see and I look all the time. This is the 5th day the bees have been in the Observation hive and they have not sealed any of the three cells that look like queen cells.

    Reply:
    Many times queen cells are not sealed until the 5th or later day depending upon when started and the heat for gestation available.

    You wrote:
    I will let you know if they do seal them up. Charles my master beekeeper that helps me out said they would not seal an empty cell.

    Reply:
    Yes, please do, they also could just be odd placed emergency cells. But you say you are seeing no queen.

    Are any of the bees fighting and pulling on each other by the way? Are you seeing any of the workerbees grasping each other with their mouths?

    You say it has been about 5 days. This would be too soon for laying worker traits with eggs being layed yet. You still need to get all the larva beyond feasible usage age. Therefore you could still possibly have your observation hive raise a queen if they are queenless.

    Now Donna when you hit the 13-14 day stage and no queen has developed, things shall start to get interesting, if you want to watch and see.

    Keep looking for a queen or try to start noticing workers grasping and fighting each other (to see who is dominant).If you see this, then start to look for workers laying eggs. If you see this, then we will talk more.But if you do see them laying eggs, look and see if their hairs are gone and they are shiny all over (thorax and abdomen).

    Sounds facinating what you are looking at.Bees trying to right a bad situation.
    Some do and some don't.

    I will keep checking back here to see how your bees do. At the most you will either lose the observation and have to start over, or they will right themselves.

    Regards,

    Dee



  5. #5
    Toobock Guest

    Post

    Dee,
    Day 7, Things are getting interesting here, they have sealed one of the three the queen cells, one looks like they are taking it down, and one they are still working on. The cells are on the wood of the frame not on the foundation, and the wood of the observation hive. I still can not find a queen. The temperature on the glass at the queen cells is 85 degrees, 83 anywhere else. No eggs anywhere, still larva and they are getting big. I cannot see any mites on the larva. The bees seem happy and busy. Why do some get into an empty cell and stay there? Are they sleeping? I painted some of the bees that go outside and watch what they do inside. I painted a drone, he does nothing but stay on the comb and wait to be feed, (like my husband when he comes in). Are you sure that the worker bees can not move an egg in to another cell? What can be going on if they make a queen with no queen to lay an egg in the queen cells? I will try to take a photo of the cells how can I email it to you? I want you to see that the cells where not there when I put the frame of bees and brood in the observation hive they where built on to the side after I put them in. there could not be an egg in them.

    Thanks for you help and time.
    Donna


    ------------------
    Donna

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
    Posts
    397

    Post

    Hi Donna

    You wrote:
    Day 7, Things are getting interesting here, they have sealed one of the three the queen cells, one looks like they are taking it down, and one they are still working on. The cells are on the wood of the frame not on the foundation, and the wood of the observation hive. I still can not find a queen.

    Reply:
    Well Donna you wanted to watch the bees raise a queen. Isn't it interesting they are doing it differently? I don't think they are laying workers because the traits for that are not being seen.

    But it sounds like you have emergency cells built for a queen in an unanticipated spot.

    You wrote:
    The temperature on the glass at the queen cells is 85 degrees, 83 anywhere else.

    Reply:
    I assume this is the outside glass temperature and the inside is closer to normal hive inside temp.

    You wrote:
    No eggs anywhere, still larva and they are getting big. I cannot see any mites on the larva. The bees seem happy and busy.


    Reply:
    Well this is good. Sounds like normal happenings.

    You wrote:
    Why do some get into an empty cell and stay there? Are they sleeping?

    Reply:
    This makes me ask a question Donna, Do the bees have adequate honey and pollen stores. They are not staying inside the cells and dying I hope? Can you explain this more what you are seeing here?

    You wrote:
    Are you sure that the worker bees can not move an egg in to another cell? What can be going on if they make a queen with no queen to lay an egg in the queen cells?

    Reply:
    I feel you do not have laying workers for the timing is wrong and the charcteristics you are seeing do not fit the picture for that scenario. But moving an egg!

    Bees are known to move much around within a colony. They move wax, they move pollen and honey stores, and theny carry debree outside.

    Could they move an egg or young larva? Yes it is possible as by the shape of their mouth parts they do have the capability.

    But is this documented as actually having been seen?

    Well I hope you are taking pictures of how frame looked originally when placed into the observation hive. Then the queen cells built in various stages until the one you describe has gotten capped.

    You write:
    I will try to take a photo of the cells how can I email it to you?

    Reply:
    My email is DeeALusby1@aol.com or deelusbybeekeeper@yahoo.com

    YOu wrote:
    I want you to see that the cells where not there when I put the frame of bees and brood in the observation hive they where built on to the side after I put them in. there could not be an egg in them.

    Reply:
    Like I said Donna photograph the progression and have your friends continue to watch and help you verify.

    Should you get a queen out and then successfully mated and have pictures to show the event in actual sequence, I would make copies of the pictures and forward them to either Kim Flottum at Bee Culture or Joe Graham at American Bee Journal.

    Now if the queen cell doesn't hatch 5-7 days after capping don't stop watching!!! For other interesting things will start to happen if your bees really want to survive and raise a queen.

    YOu sure have an interesting project going on.

    Will talk to you in a few more days to see how you are coming with the bees trying to raise a queen.

    Chow

    Dee A. Lusby

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    I've seen it alleged several times that bees move eggs, but never come across an actual observation. the closest it's ever come was a case where eggs were found an inch above a queen excluder, but no further. The idea of a queen squeezing through, laying no more than an inch above the excluder, then squeezing back is, at least to me, even more mind-boggling than moving eggs.

    That being said, some queens at least can get through an excluder if they want to enough. Last year I was smoking a hive (through the screen bottom) when a kestrel appeared and dropped on something just the other side of th hedge, not twenty feet away. It's the closest I've ever been. It wasn't till I'd watched it fly off with a small mammal in its claws that I realised I was still smoking the hive! The bees must have been almost suffocated. When I opened it up, there was the queen crawling around on top of the excluder. There were eggs below, and none in the supers, and since I hadn't been in that hive for a couple of weeks I had to conclude that I'd forced her up through the excluder.

    ------------------
    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com
    Birmingham UK

  8. #8
    Toobock Guest

    Post

    Hi Dee;
    First I want to apologize about all the confusion on my part. The three queen cells, or what I though were queen cells were in fact decoy cells to keep me form looking in the right place. I cannot believe the bees built and even sealed up the cells like they did. I found a real queen cell somewhere near the top of the frame on the other side of the Hive. After I found the real queen cell and they had it sealed they started to take down all the decoy cells even the one that they had sealed. The real queen cell is not very big and not what the books show but it is a real queen cell. Some of the question you asked where good, and got me to looking at other things. The bees with there head in the cells are not dead, they will move every so often, I have been feeding them until they will not take any more, so I donÂ’t think that they are hungry. It is getting hard to see any thing on the frame for all the bees that have hatched; this thing is full of bees. I timed them hatching, I think that every one should have an observation hive.
    Thanks again
    Donna


    ------------------
    Donna

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