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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Deming, NM
    Posts
    105

    Default What kind of cells are these?

    Can't find a queen in my cutout that I hived 2 weeks ago. I had seen her about 5 days after the cutout, but now I can't see eggs, and this is what I am seeing. Are these emergency cells?
    They seem quite small.



    Zone 8a at 4300ft. Langstroth. 4 Hives. AHB region.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    657

    Default Re: What kind of cells are these?

    Yes they are small, but they do look like emergency queen cells.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,242

    Default Re: What kind of cells are these?

    My guess is that they are drones. When a colony has a need to rear drones and drone sized cells are not available within the cluster, they sometimes build what we call "clunkers". That's a lump of old wax with random drone cells. The drone cells generated can be pointed in almost any direction. Two clunkers are shown in the pics. The cells in question are in the vacinity of the clunkers. Makes me think drones.

    Walt

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    657

    Default Re: What kind of cells are these?

    To clarify, there are definitely drone cells in the clunkers, but to me one of them looks like it could possibly be a queen cell. The one that looks most like a queen cell.

    The middle photo looks to me like a queen cell being constructed, near the lower center of the photo.

    And no eggs, but only time will tell...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    24,485

    Default Re: What kind of cells are these?

    Quote Originally Posted by MattDavey View Post
    To clarify, there are definitely drone cells in the clunkers, but to me one of them looks like it could possibly be a queen cell.

    The middle photo looks to me like a queen cell being constructed, near the lower center of the photo.

    And no eggs, only time will tell...
    If you are refering to the cell w/ the bee looking into it, that looks like a drone cell which the beekeeper may have torn open w/ a hive tool or when manipulating the frames. The jagged edge of the cell makes me think that it has been torn by a human and not under construction by bees.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenbrae, CA, USA
    Posts
    280

    Default Re: What kind of cells are these?

    There is uncapped brood, so your queen has been there sometime between 3 and 9 days ago (workers hatch at 3, capped at 9). So your queen was active after you'd first seen her. I'd just wait another week or so and check back then. Most likely everything is fine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Deming, NM
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: What kind of cells are these?

    Thanks everyone, really appreciate the feedback.

    I had thought the "clunkers" might be drone cells, after another local beekeeper mentioned she had seen "huge" drone cells in her hive and thought they were queens until a couple of local gurus assured her they weren't. This hive for sure had a laying queen in it ~10-12 days ago, and I did see some very small larvae last time I looked, so I am hoping she is still in there. I think she might be one of those queens that runs down into a corner of the deep when you pull the frames. I only caught a glimpse of her on the bottom of a frame when I did see her.

    And yes, this cut out is fairly weak (due to losing bees and comb in the cutout- it was actually a really large 1 year hive pre-cutout), so I am going to split my Italians with their old queen and a couple of frames of brood going into a nuc, and then newspaper combine this one with the remaining queenless frames. I really want to keep this hive's genetics- a gentle, productive colony that survived last years drought and built up a strong hive is worth preserving!
    Zone 8a at 4300ft. Langstroth. 4 Hives. AHB region.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    24,485

    Default Re: What kind of cells are these?

    Top photo has some newly made queen cups and capped worker brood. Middle photo is worker brood. Bottom photo is worker brood w/ a capped drone cell every now and then. It also looks like it might be incorrectly oriented in the frame.

    Do you see larvae, young stage larvae? If you do you have a queen. If you don't think you do, are you going to combine this w/ a viable colony?
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

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