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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Holtville, California
    Posts
    56

    Default Mystery Egg or Intercaste Queen.

    So I did a cut out awhile ago and did not get the queen so I put in a frame of eggs and young larvea and they drew about 8-10 queen cells. Well the force looked to be dwindling so about a week ago I put in 2 frames of brood and now today I checked to see if the queen was laying since today would be about 30 days and I didn't find any eggs anywhere except for one queen cell with an egg in it.

    There is no way the brood I put in there would have it because it's been a week since I put it in there so I assume there is a intercaste queen and they are superceding it? But why would it only lay one egg in one queen cell wouldn't they make several and wouldn't she still lay worker brood till the new queen arrived. I checked hard that was the only egg there I am postive. any ideas? I've never seen this before.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Heavener Oklahoma
    Posts
    932

    Default Re: Mystery Egg or Intercaste Queen.

    I have seen eggs in q cell cups when the queen did not turn out

    the egg looked good but the only one that could do this was a worker laid this egg

    and think this could be what is going on in your case

    like you stated if the queen laid it she would continued to lay in the worker combs

    if you will keep check you will fing eggs in the worker cells some will have missed placed eggs in cells,more than 1 egg per cell also the eggs are smaller at one end

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,694

    Default Re: Mystery Egg or Intercaste Queen.

    Every once in a while, queenless bees are reported to have stolen an egg from another hive, and brought it back to their hive to use to make a new queen.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina
    Posts
    1,443

    Default Re: Mystery Egg or Intercaste Queen.

    I'm convinced bees steal eggs. On two occasions a hive that had no eggs had a queen cell.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Holtville, California
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Mystery Egg or Intercaste Queen.

    Well today I went back into it determined to find the problem the results were a ton of single eggs place on two frames and the queen cell has been torn down. This queen cell was not there before as it was comb that I put in there and I am positive it wasn't there. Anyone else find this a tad bit weird? Why would they build that then the queen lay a egg in there and then tear it down? Maybe they thought she wasn't laying good and then when she started laying good they decided to keep her?

    Oh well I am happy that shes there laying good saved me from having to worry about them making another one or me spending 20 on a queen.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cleveland, Texas
    Posts
    1,378

    Default Re: Mystery Egg or Intercaste Queen.

    I do a lot of cutouts. This is pretty typical. I have seen them continue to build emergency cells even after they get a laying queen only for them to be subsequently torn down. I have heard differing explanations on why they are later torn down. Some folks say that a new queen herself is supposed to damage them when she comes across them, others say the workers do it when they decide the queen is acceptable.

    I also have a number of hives that keep a lot of empty queen cups around just to be prepared. I don't know if the queen will lay in them and the workers clean out the eggs or if they just escort her away from them until they are needed. Eventually they tear them down or fill them in with wax if they are never used. All my hives headed by Russian queens do this.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    chilliwack, bc
    Posts
    640

    Default Re: Mystery Egg or Intercaste Queen.

    Something that happened this year much to my chagrin. I Set up my cell builders with frames in order of 1. honey, 2. capped brood, 3. pollen, 4. older larva, 5. pollen, 6. older larva, 7. pollen, 8. capped brood, 9. honey. The single is made very strong and queenless and for the next 7 days I feed pollen in patties and in suryp. I try to make sure there is no eggs in any of the frames but if there is, they close to hatching into larva.

    On day 5 after set up, I cull ALL the queen cells by shaking ALL the bees off on ALL frames so as to see them better, no room for error here. There is usually a few cells in each that i end up culling and that should be it, right? I mean there is nothing left in the hive to draw a queen from. So on day seven I graft and didn't bother to check for more cells because by all reasoning there should be no more cells, Right? Wrong, and it cost me several bars of queen cells. Out of the 8 cell builders I had, 3 of them had destroyed cells from queens that had hatched that they drew out after the first culling.

    Now, I know that some of you will think as I did, that I must of missed a cell or two or or there was larva that was still young enough to rear a queen from, or maybe there was a rogue virgin that might of entered these hives, they would of diffenitly accepted a virgin in this state But I havecome to dismiss all that after seeing what I saw in the next 8 cell builders.

    the second batch of cell builders were preped the same way as above and managed the same way as well. The only difference was that I inspected the hives again on day 7 (grafting day) and lo and behold, there was eggs or small larva in queen cell cups. I let 2 of the hives keep the cells just to see if they would be good and indeed, before they hatched, I took them out and and they had contained a well developed queen pupa already moving and ready to hatch within 24 hours or so. This was intresting to say the least. and I will be altering my my method of setting up cell builders to much like what Jean-marc uses.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

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