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Grafts mysteriously toredown on day 2

1404 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  burns375
Hi all,

I added 20 grafts to queenless hive. After day 1 about 80% took so 16 active cells, had the typical 1/6th-1/4 JZBZ cup full of jelly and drawn out a bit. All looked good. I checked today, day 2 and all but one is left. The rest are bone dry no signs of larva or jelly.

Any ideas what may have caused this. If a rogue virgin or newly mated virgin was in the hive would that cause them to teardown cells? Were all those larva no good, im confused, we are on a big flow lots of nectar coming in.
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I would put money on there being a queen in there.
Yup, no other reason that I know of.
Not just any queen, but most likely a virgin queen. I've watched as a virgin pulled the young larva out of their royal jelly, as she worked her way down the line.
Normally the act of a Virgin Queen as others have said. When you made up your grafting cell i'd bet money that it was set up hopelessly queenless (gets the best grafting results). When a queen was on a mating flight she probably found it, and came aboard. Some put queen excluders on the bottom of the cell starters for that reason. To keep out rouge queens.
I try to keep a piece of queen excluder across the top end of my queen cell builder colonies (my entrances are on the top ends) -vs- bottom ends. It helps to keep out wandering virgins.

I also use many mating nuc condos, and it is not uncommon for virgins to enter nearby nuc compartments and kill the resident queen - virgin or other, and take her place. This leaves at least one compartment vacant of a queen.
THank you. Its totally possible there is a virgin running around. Thats okay I can move to a new hive and pull the queen for cell builder and graft more. I just want to make sure there is somekind of queen in the hive. I thought she would just destroy the capped cells not mess with the larva. Very interesting.

I've added additional brood the to cell builder to keep it strong. Is it possible a laying worker developed....Would a laying worker do this too?

If there was a mated queen, the cells would most likely not be started. So I can rule-out a mated queen inside, either virgin or laying worker??

Eric - Did you have open brood in the Cell Builder of any kind? If so there could have been a queen cell you didn't know about. It is best practice to have NO milk brood at all in the cell builder. In fact having NO brood at all is even better.

A virgin queen will tear down the cells completely if she's good.
The possiblility of a laying worker isn't totally out of the question, but normally if the bees have come from a queenright hive in the beginning, the laying workers have been under control there. Not going to be a problem since there is open brood in the queen cells you introduced. The pharamones from the open brood keep the laying workers at bay.
Well I found the queen. Shes mated and laying. LOL, i guess she slipped thru or flew in. The cells left are still going strong and look beatufiful. I didn't have a queen excluder in my car but will move them up tommorow.

Its amazing how fast a queenless/broodless hive can forage.

One of the mating nucs swarmed out today, nobody home, all that was left was honey and eggs, no larva yet, apparantly I made them a bit strong. Oopsy.
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