What are we seeing?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by dgrc, Jun 5, 2015.

  1. dgrc

    dgrc New Member

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    My wife and I are first year, first hive beekeepers. The hive seems strong with two hive bodies, lots of drawn comb, eggs, larvae, pollen, nectar. We haven't seen the queen in a while but we think we're queen right. The last hive inspection showed us some things we'd not seen before. This first image shows a pupa. I think when we lifted the frame out, we ripped the cell open exposing the pupa. Is this the right interpretation or is there something else going on?

    IMG_0003.jpg

    The second image shows something else we don't understand. Just a little to the right and below center is a cell we don't recognize - drone? queen? something completely different?

    IMG_0002.jpg

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Photo 1, yes, you damaged a cell, that is a capped larva aka pupa? I call it a capped larva.

    Photo 2, queen cup, not full. They draw cups all over then randomly tear them down, when you see one that is elongated it is occupied.

    To the best of my knowledge. After 4 years I still don't have all the words right so anyone is welcome to chime in here.
     

  3. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

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    #1. Yeah, particularly in a flow, the girls will build burr & brace comb any and every where and the Queen will drop an egg into it. It is unavoidable that you tear them out when working with the hive. No worries.

    #2 I have heard them referred to as "practice cells." Again, as long as they are empty, nothing to worry about. And if they have a young larvae, then the girls are doing their job, and secession process is well under way, still no worries.

    And, look at that nice white bee jacket in photo #2! We gotta fix that!
     
  4. Ray

    Ray Member

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    Here is where you'll get conflicting advice.
    The first picture is a ladder or burr or brace comb. It was probably drone brood.
    The second picture IMO is a queen CELL, it appears to deep for a practice cup.
    Is that the only one? Is there any white paste in it? Is there a larva in it?
    Being that low on the frame it MAY be a swarm cell. There should be a lot of swarm cells not just one.
    Are you seeing a lot of nectar in the brood area? Filling the brood area with nectar is a sign of congestion and a trigger for swarming.
    It may be an emergency cell. If you are seeing eggs there was a laying queen alive three days before the last inspection (Friday?) and she is probably still alive. It's probably not an e-cell.
    It may be a supercedure cell and the bees are raising another queen. Some colonies have mother/daughter queens (I haven't seen any).
    My advice is to make a NUC. You have a strong hive -utilize it. When they cap the queen cell pull it a frame with capped brood and a frame of pollen and honey. Put the three frames and two empty frames in a 5 frame nuc box.
     
  5. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    Queen cell or play cell (dry cup) ?

    A queen cell will have royal jelly (and a larvae) in the bottom. You can gently pull the open end with the end of your hive tool in order to see to the bottom of the cell.

    A play cell will be dry at the bottom and no action is needed.
     
  6. dgrc

    dgrc New Member

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    Thanks to all for your advice.

    As first year beekeepers my wife and I decided to take the most conservative approach and do nothing. Our goal is a nice strong enough to make it through a Minnesota winter. Our conservatism was rewarded when we did a quick inspection yesterday - capped brood, larvae of all sizes and eggs everywhere. We added a third deep body and continued to feed 1:1 syrup and pollen patties.

    It's just about time for the serious nectar flow here. Hoping for the best.
     
  7. camero7

    camero7 Member

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    Sometimes the best cure is to do nothing and let the bees handle it. I often just monitor the landing board when I have supers on.