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Author Topic: A real puzzle -- help needed  (Read 3416 times)

Offline Kris^

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A real puzzle -- help needed
« on: April 12, 2006, 05:21:16 PM »
My bees drew some comb that I wanted to use to raise some queens, and the queen obligingly filled the cells with eggs.  I was a little concerned that the cells looked too big to be brood comb, but maybe drone comb.  I measured them and they were intermediate between brood and drone, so I put the frame in my queenless split.  By my count I should be transferring cells to nucs on Friday, so I went into the hive to see how many I should prepare.  This is what I found:





I've never let the bees drawn their own comb without foundation before, so I don't know if what I'm looking at is really drone comb, or brood comb with shallower walls.  The mystifying part is the queen cells -- or what appear to be queen cells.  I think I know the answer to this question, but here goes anyway: the bees wouldn't try to make queens from drone eggs, would they???

If you were me, would you be shaking bees for a couple nucs tomorrow?

Any insight or suggestions would be highly appreciated.

-- Kris

Offline Jerrymac

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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2006, 05:32:00 PM »
That sure looks like drone cells to me. If what I think I see is queen cells it could be you have a failing queen and the bees did find some eggs/larva to make supercedure cells from.
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Offline Apis629

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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2006, 05:38:02 PM »
In one of the issues of American Bee Journal last year, they had photos of varous things found in queen cells(healthy queens, workers facing the wrong way and drones).

Offline Kris^

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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2006, 05:43:57 PM »
Out of an abundance of caution, I put 2 frames of eggs and larvae into the split.  Time for me to start again from scratch, I think.

-- Kris

Offline Michael Bush

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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2006, 08:49:44 PM »
Bees will only start a queen cell from drone eggs under one condition I know of and that's when you only have drone eggs.  If you have worker brood in the hive, then I would say the queen cells have queens in them.  If you have a drone laying queen they probably have drones in them.

If they bees have had nothing but worker comb it's normal for them to draw a frame of drones and rear them.  If you put the drone comb on the outside edge of the brood nest they will use it when they need to and fill it with honey the rest of the time.

"It is not surprising, therefore, that such cells are constructed in hives governed by queens laying the eggs of males only. It is no longer extraordinary that these queens deposit in the royal cells, eggs of the only species they can lay, for in general their instinct seems affected. But what I cannot comprehend is, why the bees take exactly the same care of the male eggs deposited in royal cells, as of those that should become queens. They provide them more plentifully with food, they build up the cells as if containing a royal worm; in a word, they labour with such regularity that we have frequently been deceived. More than once, in the firm; persuasion of finding royal nymphs, we have opened the cells after they were sealed, yet the nymph of a drone always appeared. Here the instinct of the workers seemed defective. In the natural state, they can accurately distinguish the male worms from those of common bees, as they never fail giving a particular covering to the cells containing the former. Why then can they no longer distinguish the worms of drones, when deposited in the royal cell? The fact deserves much attention. I am convinced that to investigate the instinct of animals, we must carefully observe where it appears to err." -- François Huber  21 August 1791
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Offline Kris^

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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2006, 11:18:20 PM »
:lol:  :lol:  :lol: !!!

Only *I* could do something like that!

First, let the colony draw its own comb in a frame, which they draw as drone comb because the rest of the hive has worker foundation.  Then, when the queen lays DRONE eggs, I put them in a queenless split so they can RAISE QUEENS!!!

Rare, eh?  Ain't I special?

Well.Okay.Then.   I can always try again, can't I?  Wish me LUCK!

-- Kris

Offline Robo

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« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2006, 10:25:53 AM »
You live and learn :wink:  These are the things the books don't tell you that you only learn first hand.

And it looked like such a good plan on paper.....
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Offline joey33

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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2006, 04:06:47 PM »
:roll:  Having not much experience….
That looks like drone comb to me, like a laying worker of a failing queen with little or no fertile eggs

Offline Finsky

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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2006, 04:46:16 PM »
Sorry Kris but you have a lot of sick brood in your frame: holes and dead larvae.  Difficult to say what is reason.  Perhaps bees have been unhappy and they have feeded larvae poorly.

Offline Kris^

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« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2006, 03:36:16 PM »
This was my unfortunate first attempt to raise queens.  I allowed the breeder hive to draw their own comb from wax foundation triangles, and they drew drone comb.  And the queen laid drone eggs in it.  It didn't become obvious to me until after the frame sat in a queenless finisher box for a week.  (The queenless bees added new comb in the spaces between the triangles, which is why there are large gaps missing brood).  The capped brood did eventually all open up and release drones, and those alleged queen cells disappeared.  Fortunately, when I discovered what happened, I put two frames of worker eggs and brood into the nuc, and they drew out real queen cells that had emerged by last weekend when I inspected.  I'm hoping to see a mated, laying queen in there when I inspect this weekend.  The box is still very populated and bringing in lots of pollen, so I think it's straightening out.

-- Kris

Offline Finsky

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« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2006, 04:51:36 PM »
When I look your trees they have yet even good leaves. It is too early to raise queens. Hives are not at such condition. Queen raising hive must be full of just emerged bees.

If some of your hives try to swarm, that is good chance to raise queens.

Offline Kris^

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« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2006, 10:10:29 PM »
Quote from: Finsky
When I look your trees they have yet even good leaves. It is too early to raise queens.


That's kinda what I discovered . . .   :oops:

They were really ready to raise drones, though!

-- Kris