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  1. #1
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    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
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    Dec 2011
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    Default Re: What kind of cells are these?

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

  3. #3
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    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
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    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
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    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 To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  6. #6
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    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 To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  7. #7
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    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.

  8. #8
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    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.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What kind of cells are these?

    So, it turns out these were queen cells. I found a virgin queen today, probably hatched within the last 24 hours. She was quite small, hardly any bigger than a worker, but definitely a queen. By checking my inspection records on beetight.com, I was able to figure that the old queen died about a week after I did the cutout. Might have pinched her accidentally during an inspection.

    Anyway, I split a different hive, and then newspaper joined the virgin queen cutout hive with the queenless split.
    Zone 8a at 4300ft. Langstroth. 4 Hives. AHB region.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What kind of cells are these?

    I dunno why people said those were drones, obvious 2 queencells to me. Hopefully she turns out ok.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: What kind of cells are these?

    JRG,
    Educate me. What makes them 'obvious' queen cells. I see two reasons to guess drones.
    **The cells are so short that there is no external stuctural ribbing like the peanut.
    **The cappings are rounded like drones and are larger than the smaller, flatish capping at the exit tip of a normal queen cell.

    jd,
    Do we know for a fact that the reported virgin emerged from one of the cells under discussion?

    Walt

  12. #12
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    Default Re: What kind of cells are these?

    They're emergency cells so they're not going to be beautiful it looks to me. The one next to the queen cup is most obvious, i can see the one in the middle of that mass of comb to maybe be drone but the way it's extended downward would make me guess queencell first. The other looks like a nice peanut to me (the one next to the queen cup that's started on the right). They don't need to start drones from pooling the base of a bunch of cells like those were drawn.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: What kind of cells are these?

    Quote Originally Posted by wcubed View Post
    jd,
    Do we know for a fact that the reported virgin emerged from one of the cells under discussion?

    Walt
    There were no other queen-like cells in the hive.

    Also, noticed that the wikipedia page for queen bee has a picture of emergency cells that is very similar.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_bee
    Zone 8a at 4300ft. Langstroth. 4 Hives. AHB region.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: What kind of cells are these?

    Here is the queen. She does not seem to be laying, so I am a bit concerned. Maybe she's just slow off the starting line? She seems bigger than when i saw her freshly hatched, so I am assuming she is mated. Maybe poorly mated? There are also some new-looking queen cells in the hive, so maybe they are not happy with her.


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

  15. #15
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    Default Re: What kind of cells are these?

    The lower photo is of a queen w/ her tail end in a cell, laying an egg.
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  16. #16
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    Default Re: What kind of cells are these?

    takes up to two weeks after emergence for a virgin to get going, be patient.

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