How do bees use/reuse hatched brood cells?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Bigwig, May 29, 2011.

  1. Bigwig

    Bigwig New Member

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    I was wondering about how bees reuse hatched brood cells. I know that the worker bees clean out their own cells after hatching, and the drones get help from the nurse bees, but do they reuse them for egg laying? Does the queen inspect the cells and lays in the ones that have been cleaned out?

    I'm wondering how having hatched drone brood in the brood nest affects the hive long-term, especially going into the winter. Most of the drone brood I have seen has been in the outer frames.

    Thank you
     
  2. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

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    Actually the hatched bee does not immediately clean it's own cell, it takes time for its skelton, wings to dry and harden etc ; a bee is born fully grown in size but not fully developed internally. A combined effort of the workers clean the cells, they are reused many times, some have said they have frames 20-25 years ??? And yes the Queen does examine each cell before laying { she's a very busy insect }

    The bee's know how many drones are needed for their survival, and they will be sure to have as many as needed. If you cut the drone cell them out for mite control the bees will immediately rebuild them.

    Murrell
     

  3. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    The drone cells will be cleaned and reused for drone brood or if they do not need any more drones they will backfill with honey. Brood cells will be used for everything, brood, honey and bee bread.
     
  4. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    if you watch in a observation hive the queen will stick her head and front legs into the cell to measure the size which will determine if she will lay a drone or a worker bee egg into that particular cell. I believe she does the measuring with her front legs. I have been told that if the queen loses a front leg she cant lay. Someone will chime in if Im wrong on that but that is what I have been taught
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    the process is pretty much like riverrat has suggested. an experiment (don't have a reference here but I think it was likely in Wilson's Honeybee Bioliogy) of removing a front leg leads to a queen laying a random mix of fertilized and unfertilized eggs.
     
  6. indigoeye

    indigoeye New Member

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    I love this website I learn something new and interesting each time I am reading on here. So a question about drone cells. If we put a shorter super frame in the brood box will that encourage the girls to build drone cells on the bottom of that frame and not all over the place?

    :confused:
     
  7. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Yes. Before the advent of drone cell sized foundation (you can now buy green coloured drone cell frames) many folks did exactly what you suggest. It was a good method of Varroa control. I believe that mites prefer reproducing in drone cells (85%) compared to worker sized cells. The larger cell size and the longer maturation time work better for the mites.
    Using the method you describe, once the bees have drawn the drone comb down on the shorter frame and have capped it, simply scrape it off and dispose of it! :thumbsup:
     
  8. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

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    This does work but you may need to be prepared for a lot of cross/burr comb also.

    Murrell
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    ""If we put a shorter super frame in the brood box will that encourage the girls to build drone cells on the bottom of that frame and not all over the place?""

    That is half correct. They will build drone comb at times on the bottom of a short comb, if drone comb is needed. They will build worker comb there if drones aren't needed or wanted by the bees.

    If there are open spaces "all over the place", they will build drone comb there, too. The short frame will not prevent that.
     
  10. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    For what it's worth, I had placed some foundationless shallow frames (in a shallow super), and ended up with a "U" of standard comb, and drone comb in the lower corners. All the deeps below were drawn comb, so I assume Her Highness just needed some drone space.