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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Jamesville, NY
    Posts
    273

    Default Queen cell opened, what are the bees doing?

    Hello all,

    One of my nucs this year was delivered to me with a queen cell on the side of the frame. I took the approach of, if they let that cell develop into a queen, then the bees should know best. I left it in. Today I went though the hive which is currently queen right and saw them huddling around the queen cup. I gentle moved the bees to the side and there was a huge larva in there, actually it was either moving and coming out, or it looked liked the bees were corralling it out. They didn't appear aggressive towards it. Would they be dispatching their own queen? Or were they feeding it before capping it?

    This larva was larger that the bees tending it, so I assume this will be a capped or dispatched queen shortly. Wish I took a picture. Either way I will still let them decide which queen to keep (I should know in a week or so) even if it will delay the nuc. But was trying to understand the behavior I was seeing and wanted to know your thoughts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Jacksonville, NC
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: Queen cell opened, what are the bees doing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beelosopher View Post
    ... so I assume this will be a capped or dispatched queen shortly. Wish I took a picture. Either way I will still let them decide which queen to keep (I should know in a week or so) even if it will delay the nuc. But was trying to understand the behavior I was seeing and wanted to know your thoughts.
    It could go either way...For sure, once capped, you can check and see. You'll know for sure, if they kept it or if they got rid of it.

    For what is worth, I made quite a few nucs this spring, and in some, with the original queen, I also left 1-2 capped queen cells, just to see which way the bees will go. On some, they dispatched the cells. On some, they did not, and they allowed the virgin to emerge. On some, the virgin took over and the original moma was gone...but on some, the virgin got matted, and I found both, mama and daughter happily and peacefully sharing the crib...both laying.
    Now, these Q cells I am talking about, were already capped ( 6-7 days maybe)...If the bees decided to take them out, I would just find the cells pretty much gone...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Jamesville, NY
    Posts
    273

    Default Re: Queen cell opened, what are the bees doing?

    Looks like the new queen won!

    Could not locate the old queen, but found a new one and marked her. From my guess, that queen cell I saw was probably capped June 27,28. So by my math it looks like she probably hatched ~ July5th and hopefully has completed her mating flights this past week. If that is the case she might be laying by my next inspection.

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