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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Dunn, North Carolina
    Posts
    30

    Post

    Hi all,
    A little over 2.5 wks ago we hived our first package of bees. Brood rearing is coming along nicely; however, we have noticed some brood cells that appear to be queen cells. They are low on the frame and stand about 0.25 in. taller than the other capped brood cells. From what I have read these appear to be located where swarm cells would be.
    Assuming these are queen cells/swarm cells: should we destroy them? If so, what is the "normal" proceedure for doing this?

    Thanks,
    Chris

    B&N Farms

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

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    If they are projecting horizontally out of the frame like bullets, they are Drone brood. If they are more flat, that's the worker brood. if they are pointing down, like a vertical peanut, then that would be queen cells.

    for destroying queen cells, I just cut them with the hive tool. No real science to damaging the queen enough to prevent her from maturing. The real science is in figuring out WHY they are making new queens: are they wanting to swarm- then why? are they trying to replace the current queen- then what's wrong with her?

    On that line, my very productive small-cell hive, has been trying to raise queens for a couple of weeks. There were some "swarm cells" at the bottom edge of the combs and built orientated down. But there were also a half-dozen "superceedure cells" (worker brood cells inside the brood nest altered to rear a queen) with one of them capped. During that time, there were also eggs in every available empty cell and the queen was found.

    Still learning, and curious about their intent (were they replacing her or preping to swarm?), I cut out the queen cells. 4 days later, more swarm-cell cups and 2 capped "superceedure cells." I was checking mostly for their progress on comb production, so wasn't looking for the queen. but I did notice that I didn't see any eggs this time. I know... I should have stuck to my earlier concern and followed up by checking on the state of the queen. But I was over confident in her since there brood nest was so large and the eggs so abundant earlier in the week.

    Now I'm wondering again has she failed, leaving me with these puny replacement cells? Or has she cut back egg-laying to prep for swarming?

    WayaCoyote
    WayaCoyote

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Worthington, Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    1,848

    Post

    Hello B&N Farms--From your description it sounds like drone cells, like wayacoyot stated drone cells look like rounded bullet tips sticking up from the surface of the brood. Queen cells look like a roasted peanut in the shell. Drone cells are normal in colonies. Good observations.
    "Younz" have a great day, I will.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Dunn, North Carolina
    Posts
    30

    Post

    Thanks for the replies.

    I posted some cropped photos of the cells in question at www.parkertechgroup.com/cnighswonger

    Judging from what you all say, it appears that they are drone cells.

    Thanks to wayacoyot for a very informative and interesting reply/commentary!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Post

    I get a page no found looking for your picture.

    I hardly ever destroy a queen cell. If I think they are swarming I do a split. If I think they are superceding, I let them. If I think they might have already swarmed I might destroy all but one, but more likely I'll put each frame containing a queen cell in a two frame nuc with a frame of honey and shake in a frame of bees.

    Destroying a supercedure cell can leave them with a failing queen or no queen. Destroying swarm cells has never worked for me to stop a swarm and sometimes it leaves the hive queenless after the swarm leaves. Destroying swarm cells after a swarm can stop afterswarms but can also leave them queenless.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Norfolk, Nebraska
    Posts
    136

    Post

    The cell at http://www.parkertechgroup.com/cnigh...Cell_Fr_2a.jpg is not a queen cell. Being one by itself among worker brood I would venture to say it is drone resulting from an unfertilized egg in a worker cell. This often occurs when a new queen is first starting to lay.

    I would not be alarmed at it unless you continue to see them. That could then be a sign she was poorly mated and/or is failing.

    Nice pics. Bob Nelson

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    estevan, sask, canada
    Posts
    185

    Post

    To thick on end,sure looks like drone cell,
    B. roger eagles

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Brazil
    Posts
    193

    Post

    I was able to see the pictures and without doubt they're drone cells.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Dunn, North Carolina
    Posts
    30

    Post

    I just wanted to follow up and say Thanks! for all of the responses. It is reassuring to know that there are others who are willing to help when you are just getting started into beekeeping.

    Chris

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