I had my first bee dream last night. I was on some island somewhere, trying to build a hive in the water, I had some slug looking thing that was a queen and I
So today I open up the hive and what do I find. a frame, dark in colour and slightly warped, some emerging brood on it, but mostly empty. Some drone cells obviously. On this frame was a horizontal cell, built ontop of the drawn cells, approx one inch long, about half the size of your little finger, I scrape it off, and there is a white slug type thing in it, obviously larvae of some sort, perhaps a drone, perhaps a queen. There is no reason for it to be a queen cell, lots of emerging brood, lots of room, the bottom of the three supers is making so much noise its crazy, so I definately still have an active queen.
Its just so spooky.
I just had a look for what I scraped off, of couorse I cant find it in the long grass. grr!
Mick, the only way that I think you can tell if you have an active queen is if you see eggs. That means that she was present within 3 days. If you are thinking that you have a queenright hive because you see emerging brood is not correct.
If you see that you have emerging brood, you know that you had a queen lay an egg 21 days (or so) ago. To know that you have an active queen, there must be eggs present. I do not think that I am wrong on this. Maybe more answers will come.
You saw a queen cell, that is no doubt in my mind. Why it is horizontal I don't get that, the queen cells are usually hanging down off the face of the comb or the bottombar. But if the cell was the size of the baby finger, it must be queen cell.
You must know what a queen cell looks like. If you don't know, go on Michael Bush's site and look at one. I am sure that you do know though.
My best advice to you Mick, is that you go and look in your hive to see if you can see eggs. If you don't see eggs, then your colony is probably queenless.
About the noise in the colony being really loud. You said that it was so loud it was crazy. That is another absolute sign of a queenless colony. The colony makes a very different sound when the queen is not there. It has been described as a roaring sound.
You must check for eggs Mick. This is critical. That is my best advice that I can give to you. When you do your inspection, you do not need to look for the queen. Eggs, and eggs and eggs, that is your quest. If you see eggs, the colony is probably queenright. Hope this may have clarified something for you. Great day. Cindi