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Thread: headless larva

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    burbank,oklahoma,usa
    Posts
    45

    Default headless larva

    i keep finding near grown larva with their heads ate off. Anyone know why

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,035

    Default Re: headless larva

    Are you sure they aren't pupae or prepupae? I have seen this happen to prepupae rarely, and to pupae most often, but I don't recall it ever happening to larvae.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Franklin Co, PA, USA
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: headless larva

    Like Joseph mentions - think you mean pupae- would be difficult to distinguish head end of a larva.

    What does it mean? Likely hygenic behavior - bees removing infected or deformed developing bees. Some bees will uncap and remove the developing bee within 24 hours - while others require a couple days until the cell is cleared. One test for hygenic behavior in a colony is to kill purple-eye stage pupae and see how long it takes bees to recognize and clean the cells.

    You might see 'grown larva with their heads ate off' with removal of chilled brood or shortage of protein, but unlikley this time of year.

    Good luck and keep us informed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    burbank,oklahoma,usa
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: headless larva

    lol .i did mean pupae when i done hive inspection i noticed the pupae, its nt the first time i see one every now and then. Ididnt know if it was bees doing this or maybe ants. I took pics of my queens and my boy was lookinb at queen pics and noticed the larva in background and mentioned it so i looked and sure enough so while i was typing i guess larva was on my mind thanks for input

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,150

    Default Re: headless larva

    You often see the heads removed on pupae when the bees are removing pupae that have varroa developing in their cells.

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