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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Newton, NC, USA
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    14

    Default Uncapped worker pupae

    During a quick inspection of a hive late yesterday evening I noticed several uncapped worker pupae. Rain was threatening so I didn't have a lot of time to take a close look but I saw at least 5-10 uncapped pupae in a small area of a single frame. The pupae looked pearlescent white and healthy with their eyes just starting to darken. Anyone else saw this before or know why the bees would do this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Uncapped worker pupae

    Not too uncommon and not really a problem. The condition is called Bald Brood.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Uncapped worker pupae

    We had 1 of these last weekend, glad to know its not a problem

  4. #4
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Uncapped worker pupae

    I went to The Encyclopdeia of Beekeeping and it says that this uncapping of pupae by the bees is an inherited characteristic which seems to be inherited by only some of the bees in a colony. It's caused by genetic factors. The uncapped cells are usually in a clump or nearby each other.

    If the uncapping seems to be in a straight line of cells this is because of a wax moth larvae burroughing thru cells under the cappings and the bees opening cells attempting to get to the wax moth.

    Both cases not usually detrimental to the colony.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Michigan
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    137

    Default Re: Uncapped worker pupae

    I just read the same in various places with the addition of varoa.. Apparently overly hygenic bees will kill the entire colony is some cases trying to remove infected brood... My brood pattern looked pretty good other than the 1 bald brood so im not overly concerned.. Its much easier to find information now that i have a name for the occurence

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Whitmell, Virginia, USA
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    95

    Default Re: Uncapped worker pupae

    A pupae doesn't have to be capped to mature either.

    There's a fantastic video on youtube showing artificial feeding of larvae in an uncapped cell to maturity.

    see if i can find it...
    Don't laugh it's paid for. -- Manure draws more flies than honey.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Uncapped worker pupae

    That was an interesting video to watch. I don't understand German, so I didn't listen to it.

    I am also slow at understanding some things, like, what this video has to do w/ the bald brood condition being discussed.
    Last edited by sqkcrk; 06-27-2013 at 03:16 PM.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
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    1,134

    Default Re: Uncapped worker pupae

    Thanks for the video Ralph

    Was the point of posting the video to show that the uncapped pupa can live on just fine...? That is how I took it anyway.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Whitmell, Virginia, USA
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    95

    Default Re: Uncapped worker pupae

    Quote Originally Posted by Lburou View Post
    Thanks for the video Ralph

    Was the point of posting the video to show that the uncapped pupa can live on just fine...? That is how I took it anyway.
    Yea that was the point. It may be that the bees can take a varroa mite out of the cell. Off the pupae while it is still alive and not affect it's development.

    Yet the wax moth tracks sound likely too because last summer i had some split too thin and it seemed that, that was the case. they tore out the tracks and repaired everything later.
    Don't laugh it's paid for. -- Manure draws more flies than honey.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
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    1,134

    Thumbs Up Re: Uncapped worker pupae

    Quote Originally Posted by ralph3 View Post
    Yea that was the point -snip- It may be that the bees can take a varroa mite out of the cell. Off the pupae while it is still alive and not affect it's development.
    From what I've read, the bees sometimes uncap the cell for a look see, (looking for brood disease or mites), and cap it back if they are satisfied. If they find diseased pupa or mites, they might go ahead and clean everything out of the cell. This study shows a picture of a female mite escaping from a cell after its been opened.....Personally, I haven't seen them leave a cell uncapped indefinitely without cleaning the cell. Researchers report that some (probably most) of those empty cells in an otherwise good brood pattern are from hygienic bee behavior. HTH
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Uncapped worker pupae

    Quote Originally Posted by ralph3 View Post
    Yea that was the point. It may be that the bees can take a varroa mite out of the cell. Off the pupae while it is still alive and not affect it's development.

    Yet the wax moth tracks sound likely too because last summer i had some split too thin and it seemed that, that was the case. they tore out the tracks and repaired everything later.
    Cells are capped before the pupal stage. So, you won't find bees taking varroa off of pupae.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



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