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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,927

    Default Age of e-cell larvae?

    While doing a routine e-cell inspection of a cell builder hive yesterday I found a newly emerged virgin. Our procedure is to make sure all builders are checked inside a 10 day window (this hive was exactly 10 days) and have only ever had rogue virgin problems when a hive is either not checked on schedule or a cell is simply missed during setup. My assumption is that either I missed a new cell when setting up the builder or they used some quite mature larvae to raise this virgin. If it's the latter, it's the first time I have seen this.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Fort Gay, WV, USA
    Posts
    1,688

    Default Re: Age of e-cell larvae?

    I'd guess that it's a rogue virgin, or missed QC. I've had many chances for the bees to make queens of older larvas, not once have they.
    Thomas Bartram - 43 - 8 F langs, 22 Italian & 21 Russian

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,927

    Default Re: Age of e-cell larvae?

    I saw both the empty qc and the virgin. She appeared to have just emerged. It was a real head scratcher for me. I've heard theories that bees will use older larvae but I have been satisfied by my own experience that it just dosent happen.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,653

    Default Re: Age of e-cell larvae?

    lets do some math. an a queen emerges after 16 days she is generally capped for 8 days and spends 4.5 to 5 days in the larva state since bees will make a queen from larva up to 4 days old. It is possible that for whatever reason the bees queened up a 4 day old larva the day you built the cell builder, the next day, or possibly that same day they capped her off 8 days later the queen emerged. your check was 10 days so the scenario would have worked with a 2 or 3 day larva also, and you could have found the queen hours after emerging.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    2,174

    Default Re: Age of e-cell larvae?

    It's reassuring to see the pro's occasionally get a curve ball thrown at them!
    I would have guessed a Latin Queen ( she's a Roman virgin ) but you feel confident you saw the cell she came from and she was fresh.

    This is an area of beekeeping where my experience is more current and as a result and qualifies me to give you advise that you should heed. Drawing on my past experiences of not really knowing what happened, why it happened and how to prevent it in the future ( I seldom even have a good guess) I'm going to suggest you convince yourself it was a fluke its these kinds of issues that can really drive a person crazy!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    hinesville ga usa
    Posts
    522

    Default Re: Age of e-cell larvae?

    That will keep you awake at night for awhile, I would keep the queen and see how she does.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nevada, MO
    Posts
    289

    Default Re: Age of e-cell larvae?

    I see you are from SD. Do you have drones there already?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,927

    Default Re: Age of e-cell larvae?

    Quote Originally Posted by stan.vick View Post
    That will keep you awake at night for awhile, I would keep the queen and see how she does.
    Ha ha. Not losing any sleep over it but it is puzzling. I'm going to assume there were a couple swarm cells in there when I set up the builder and I simply missed them. Btw she is already in the great DCA in the sky. I don't have any patience with virgins found anywhere near a cell builder.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

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