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Thread: Hollow Queen?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Hookstown PA USA
    Posts
    581

    Question

    The history is. I set up my KTBH this spring with a feral swarm from Lisbon OH. They were doing very well and drawing comb without much interference from me. Queen was laying well and so forth. Last week I decided to put some syrup into them. While poking around I noticed a swarm cell on the last drawn frame from the entrance. I decided to think about what to do about it for a day and forgot altogether. I opend the hive yesterday and the cell was still capped and I saw larva so I cut the cell out. Now they were a little more agressive than my others but that might have been the weather. I disected the swarm cell and found a fully formed (dead) queen. I went to squish her and she was empty, no gooey filling. What gives? Do I have a disease? Help please. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Columbia, South Carolina USA
    Posts
    2,598

    Post

    She was prolly dead in cell and just not yet removed by the mortuary crew. As to her being hollow: Most dessicated insects turn out this way. They innards are mostly water, and when they dry up, the chitin exoskeleton will appear as a hollow shell.

    Is there disease in your hive? Maybe, the above is not diagnostic for a particular one per se. The presence of larvae, and therefore a laying queen suggests things are OK.

    Keith

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Hookstown PA USA
    Posts
    581

    Post

    Just an update. Yesterday I came to the conclusion that my KTBH has been queenless for a good bit. I went to my brothers and got a frame of larva and eggs and put them in my hive. Is there anything else I can do to help this hive. There are true feral survivors. The eggs I got are from the same line and I want to maintain this heritage. Thanks

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