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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,570

    Post

    On another thread in the Queen breeding forum the subject of cannibalism came up and it occured to me to post this. I watched a queen emerge in my observation hive this summer. She promptly ran to a capped drone cell which either she, or the workers following her, opened up. In the melee I couldn't tell for sure who did the work, but shee seemed to be trying to uncap it. She obviously ate either the jelly inside or some of the drone pupae itself for some time. Then she went looking for other queen cells to kill.

    I was wondering if anyone else has ever seen this? It was interesting. She acted quite hungry and this seem to satiate her, but I'd never heard of this behavior nor seen it before.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Lima, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    710

    Post

    I haven't seen them eat a drone, but they are pretty hungry when they emerge. Both in an incubator and in a hive when in a separate cage from the workers, they will usually finish off any royal jelley left in the cell and sometimes will chew up quite a bit of the cell itself. It may be that they prefer the jelly over the honey.

    -Tim

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,525

    Post

    Hey Michael, isn't there a double recessive alleled drone that they are supposed to eat. Maybe he was one of those. Maybe that's why they were raising a new queen. Maybe the pheromone from those are interpreted as "food" instead of "couch potato".

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,570

    Post

    >Hey Michael, isn't there a double recessive alleled drone that they are supposed to eat.

    But they do that long before it's capped.

    >Maybe that's why they were raising a new queen.

    I took their old one and a frame of honey and brood to head off swarming. Queenlessness was they motivation for raising the queen.

    >Maybe the pheromone from those are interpreted as "food" instead of "couch potato".

    [img]smile.gif[/img] Maybe couch potatoes are tastey. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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