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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Port Townsend, Washington
    Posts
    25

    Default Laying worker(s) and capped larvae

    New guy question here. If a queenless hive has laying workers and these larvae are capped do they have the same look as regular drone capped cells or are they flatter like regular worker caps?

    Thanks fellers..

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Redmond, WA
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: Laying worker(s) and capped larvae

    Laying workers lay only drones; they would be indistinguishable from drone capped cells. If they are flat like worker cells then you may not be queenless.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Port Townsend, Washington
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Laying worker(s) and capped larvae

    Yeah that's what I was thinking. It would also explain why this hive wouldn't work with any of the grafts I gave it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,212

    Default Re: Laying worker(s) and capped larvae

    All cells with drone larvae in them have domed caps, even if they are laid in worker cells. This rule is so fixed that they put domed caps on them even if the drone eggs are laid in queen cells.

    Huber says:

    "Note: I have ascertained through new observations, that bees recognize the larvae of drones, as well when the eggs producing them have been laid in royal cells, by queens whose fecundations has been retarded, as when they have been deposited in common cells."

    "It has not been forgotten that the royal cells are shaped like a pear, the large end of which is at the top; or in the shape of an inverted pyramid, the axis of which is about vertical, and the length of 15 or 16 lines (about 1 in. or 32 mm). It is known also that queens lay in those cells when they are but outlined, when they fairly resemble the cup of an acorn."

    "The bees give the same shape and dimensions, at first, to the cells which serve as cradles for males; but when their larvae are about to be transformed, it is easy to perceive that they have not taken them for royal worms; for instead of closing their cells in pointed form, as they invariably do when containing larvae of the latter sort, they widen them at the end, and after adding a cylindrical tube, they close them with a convex capping, differing in nothing from those which they are accustomed to put on the cells of males; but as this tube is of the same capacity as the hexagon cells of the smallest diameter, the larvae which the bees thus cause to descend into this part of the cell, and which are to undergo there their last metamorphosis, become drones of the smaller size. The total length of these extraordinary cells is 20 to 22 lines (1 2/3 to 1 5/6 in. 42 to 47 mm)."

    "Yet, the bees do not always add a cylinder to a pyramidal cell; they are then content with enlarging a little their lower part, and the larvae which make their growth there may become large drones. I am ignorant of the cause of the differences sometimes observed in the shape of these cells; but it appears very certain to me that the bees never are deceived in them, giving us in this occasion a great proof of the instinct with which they are endowed. Nature, which has entrusted the bees with the rearing of their young, and with the care of providing them with aliments proper to their age, or even to their sex, must have taught them how to recognize them. There is so little resemblance between adult males and workers, that some difference must also exist between the larvae of both kinds; doubtless the workers distinguish it, though it has escaped our notice."--Francis Huber, Huber's New Observations Upon Bees, Volume I, Letter 12 note 1
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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