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Monday, September 7, 2015

Update on Those Swarm Cells & Top Entrances

Austeja and her swarm cells have been my chief focus lately. I briefly considered building a nuc today in order to split the capped queen cells out to 1) prevent afterswarming and 2) just in case I needed a back-up queen. However, I've been feeling terribly worn out. My DH has been away from home since last Wednesday, and I have trouble sleeping when he's not home. The house feels empty without him. Also, I was up caring for my eldest child while he puked all night. In my bleary-eyed state, cutting out the cells seemed like a simpler solution for dealing with potential afterswarms.

Imagine my surprise when I cut into the first queen cell, and it was empty! A few had what looked like dried out eggs or tiny dried larvae, but nothing that even looked like a pupa. The bees weren't interested in removing them either, which was even more curious. What gives here? I have no clue!

In any case, my problem of what to do has been solved for me.

Three queen cells that I removed. I was going to film them like a wrapping video,
 but two of them got opened as they got jostled around on their way into the house. 

See? Nuthin'

Today was another 90+ degree day. However, with top entrances, both Peach and Hippolyte look much, much cooler.

No more bearding

3 comments:

  1. Hey Julie, I had a peeping queen during by August 15 inspection. I saw larva and some drone (just not a lot), and they acted queen right. Thought they might be replacing their queen. Left them till the 30th and came across a queen cell in the middle of the frame on end of brood nest. More larva, than before everything seemed fine. Sept 6th, no more queen cell. Don't believe they swarmed either. Thank you for all your pictures and details it really helps me. Only in my 2nd season, and feeling much wiser.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the compliment, and thanks for sharing your story, too! That's a real puzzler! Isn't it funny how the books make everything seem so straightforward, but then when you actually work with bees in real-life, they always throw a curveball at you? But it's a good way to learn, I suppose. :-)

      So did you ever figure out why they built the queen cell you found on the 30th? Are you queenright with worker brood now?

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  2. I was lazy this weekend, I let you know once I go back in.

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