Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 47
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Two larvae in one queen cup?

    Ok so after a split, nearly a month later, I'm seeing supersedure cells with larvae in them. This is a first for me (only new to being a beek), so I saw at the bottom of one cell two larvae, I didn't get a photo as the nurse bees were VERY busy feeding them, but this sketch is what I saw:
    http://i1339.photobucket.com/albums/...ps8e496749.jpg Clearly two larvae, but how? The larvae were ~1.5mm in length at the time.

    http://i1339.photobucket.com/albums/...ps375e0467.jpg this cell is on another frame and is WAY more developed and as you'd expect singularly occupied.

    Anyway later today after the clouds break up some more I'll try to get a photo to confirm what is going on......

    http://i1339.photobucket.com/albums/...ps91f54532.jpg This was taken an hour or so ago, really hard to tell, but I'm sure this is the double occupancy queen cell, pity the photo doesn't show much of anything at all.
    Last edited by praxis178; 04-05-2013 at 11:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,577

    Default Re: Two larvae in one queen cell?

    Clearly two larvae, but how?

    Yes, what you sketch is a cell with 2 larvae. Sometimes the queen will lay 2 just in case.
    But once they develop the worker bees will choose one to work with. They will not allow 2 queens to develop in a single cell.
    Even the worker cells will sometimes have 2 eggs. But they will not allow 2 workers to occupy a single cell either. So
    don't worry about that. Hopefully they will sort that out for you later on. Keep an eye on that cell at day 4 to see if only
    one remaining.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Two larvae in one queen cell?

    Just had a look and while I found that cell, I'm unsure of just what I saw now, I added a bad iPhone pic of it to the original post, but its not going to tell you much. I do know I have a capped queen cell now (different frame) so I think this colony will be queen right again soon.

    Interesting to see the process of supersedure though. I was sure that after I split the colony and didn't see any capped brood it was time to order a queen then I found the QC a couple of days later, but still no capped brood, so Im guessing they didn't take to the new emergency queen and told her as much......

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,577

    Default Re: Two larvae in one queen cell?

    Make sure that the old queen and the newly hatched virgin queen do not mix inside the same hive.
    Otherwise you might loss both if they fight. Or if the old queen swarmed then you will loss your bees
    as well.
    Or you can transfer this capped queen cell into a nuc if the original queen is still inside this hive. That
    way they are separated and not fight. Is the original queen still inside this hive or she is gone now?
    If not then you can let this virgin queen to become a laying queen within a month to head up this hive.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Two larvae in one queen cell?

    The original old queen went with a split near a month back, then I left this hive well alone for about two weeks came back to check on progress (hoping to see my first virgin queen really), but could see or find her and there was an ever dwindling number of capped brood cells. So I figured I just didn't find her, so come back in a couple of days to have another look. That was when I started to see new queencups being built. I figured that was really odd so I started inspecting more often (about 2-3days apart) and then I see the cells with larvae in them. All told about 7 cells are with larvae now, one is capped.

    http://i1339.photobucket.com/albums/...ps9d6bc863.jpg

    So I figure I wait out the next 14 or so days and see if I start to see eggs, if not it's newspaper time and back in with the old queen I guess.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,577

    Default Re: Two larvae in one queen cell?

    I see, very clear to me now. Why can't you put a new laying queen with this hive then? You cannot
    get a hold of a new one? Because the intention is to split this hive in the beginning, you might as
    well get a new queen to continue with it. Or better yet, don't newspaper combine them. Use a frame of eggs from the old
    queen so they can make more queen cells. But this will slow you down another month or so before you see
    any laying queen. If pic 863.jpg is now inside this hive then in 2 weeks you should have a new virgin queen.
    Maybe sooner if it was capped before your last hive check. If you have more than 2 queen cells in this hive
    then put in mini queen cages so they will not fight after hatching. This will same all your virgin queens as well.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Belfast, Ireland
    Posts
    393

    Default Re: Two larvae in one queen cell?

    You sure you don't have laying workers?
    If you split a month ago where are they getting eggs from?
    It's common to see multiple larvae in a cell with laying workers and they do make queen cells out of desperation even though the larvae are all drone.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Two larvae in one queen cell?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    You sure you don't have laying workers?
    If you split a month ago where are they getting eggs from?
    It's common to see multiple larvae in a cell with laying workers and they do make queen cells out of desperation even though the larvae are all drone.
    Jonathan, That's what I'm afraid of. Though there are no other larvae ANYWHERE else in the hive to be seen than in the 5 or so queen cells I found (there was another but it's old brown wax, so probably from last season). So if there was a laying worker I'd expect to see some larvae scattered at random about the place. Really wishing I'd had the time to inspect more in the first two weeks post splitting!

    Might just cut my losses and order a queen Monday.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Belfast, Ireland
    Posts
    393

    Default Re: Two larvae in one queen cell?

    Hi praxis
    If you look at this pic from one of my apideas with laying workers you can see several cells with two larvae.
    Some of the cells have up to 15 eggs.
    When laying workers are starting up I think some of them are laying and other workers are removing eggs from cells so it takes a while to notice the classic pepperpot pattern.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Two larvae in one queen cell?

    I've had this happen as well. Checked to see if the new virgin was laying and found no eggs except for one queen cell. Thy remained broodless for a few more weeks. It's now couple of months later and there is a laying queen.

    My guess is the first queen started laying and then got killed or lost on a mating flight. So they made a new queen cell. I've noticed when doing splits, that eggs and young larvae disappear when emergency queen cells are being made. So that would be why you didn't see any worker brood cells.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Two larvae in one queen cell?

    Well now I'm not sure what I should do, I could leave the capped one to emerge and see what comes out (if laying worker I'm expecting a drone), or I could just order a new one Monday and be sure it's all good..... :-/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Two larvae in one queen cell?

    I would let them raise another queen. If you have another hive you can take some brood from, give them a frame with some young larvae or eggs. This will stop laying workers from developing.

    If you buy a queen, there could be a Virgin coming and going on mating flights and you miss her when installing the bought queen. Then your bought queen could be killed off.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Two larvae in one queen cell?

    My other hive is not very big (nor old), but is growing at a prodigious rate, so I'll see what it can donate to the cause. If I go with this should I remove the existing queen cells at this point or wait and see what happens?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Belfast, Ireland
    Posts
    393

    Default Re: Two larvae in one queen cell?

    Quote Originally Posted by MattDavey View Post
    My guess is the first queen started laying and then got killed or lost on a mating flight. So they made a new queen cell.
    Queens don't take more mating flights after they have started to lay.
    If she had mated and started to lay there would be at least a small amount of sealed brood and there does not appear to be any in this case.
    If the queen had laid a bit and then been superseded there would be some brood present, even a small amount.
    From the information given so far, and the timings, I think laying workers is the most likely explanation.
    Putting in a frame of eggs or small larvae from another colony will do no harm and should help to keep numbers up.
    Bear in mind that laying worker colonies can be hard to requeen successfully.
    Michael Bush goes through all the options and probabilities on his site.
    Last edited by jonathan; 04-06-2013 at 01:03 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,577

    Default Re: Two larvae in one queen cell?

    You can wait to see what will happen with this queen cell. Just put a frame of young larvae or eggs in there.
    In 3-5 days you should see they make some qcs on this frame. Make sure you note which frame it is you put in.
    In 14 days you should see some virgin queens. If not work out then order a laying queen to introduce to this hive.
    Other options are available but this one is the most simple to do.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Two larvae in one queen cell?

    Moved a frame of mostly eggs and young larvae, now to wait and see.....

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,682

    Default Re: Two larvae in one queen cell?

    You need to re-title this thread....

    Two Larvae....one cup.......

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Two larvae in one queen cell?

    I had thought about that, but I didn't want to run afoul of the moderators!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,577

    Default Re: Two larvae in one queen cell?

    I tried to change the title on my other thread. Too bad they don't allow that flexibility to change it here.
    More fun to see what will develop out of this hive. If there is laying worker then harder for them to build
    out the qc. Why would they build another queen cell if they have queens already (laying workers)?
    That is why so hard to correct this situation if there is laying workers. Even a new queen bee they will
    try to kill when she smells different by the laying workers or other worker bees. Not that easy to correct this.
    Others would just do a shake out instead to get rid of the laying workers. Now I know not to do a walk away
    split. Too much issues if not work out. I like the easy OTS notching method better where I can monitor the
    progress from start to finish until the queen is marked.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Two larvae in one queen cell?

    Last split I did (last year) I purchased a laying queen and had her in there within a week of doing the split. I figured there was enough eggs and young larvae in this one to make it a near sure bet that they could re-queen themselves. LOL live and learn! If this doesn't work then I'll need to find another solution....

    I could order a queen in the morning and have her on hand by Wednesday morning at the latest, but how to introduce her into a now obviously hostile hive? I left the sugar plug in last time and it worked great, but that was a recently queenless hive, not a laying worker hive.... Guess I have some reading to do!

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads