Beekeepers are sometimes compelled to decide about what to do with queen cells found within the hive. These massive peanut formed cells sign that the honey bee colony is making a brand new queen. However, beekeepers are usually not at all times blissful to seek out this substitute in progress. Your determination of what to do with any queen cell relies on the wants of the colony and your targets for the hive.
Honey Bee Queen Cells within the Hive – Now What?
Once we discover something “uncommon to us” within the hive, it’s common to assume – now what are these bees doing? Whereas honey bees at all times have a plan – it’s not essentially at all times of their greatest curiosity.
Typically the beekeeper must intervene to assist the colony keep productive. And sure, typically we have to go away them alone and simply allow them to be bees! Studying when to do one thing and when not – that’s the ability of beekeeping.
The way to Establish a Queen Cell
A queen honey bee is bigger than employee bees. So naturally, she requires a bigger wax cell for growth. Despite the fact that the measurement of a queen bee varies, she can’t develop to her true measurement in odd brood cells.
Her massive uncommon cell is for much longer than different brood cells and hangs down the entrance of the comb. Beekeepers describe it as “peanut formed” and it may be fairly thrilling to the brand new beekeeper upon discovering the primary one.
Distinction between Queen Cups and Queen Cells
There are numerous levels of queen cell growth in any colony. Like all bugs they undergo full metamorphosis from egg to grownup.
At first, the cell being made prepared for queen larvae appears like a small acorn. We name this a “queen cup”. It’s regular for a colony to have some cups in place. Lots of them are by no means used.
And a few colonies are likely to maintain extra of them available – its a genetic factor. A little bit of pre-preparation “simply in case” for the bees.
Don’t be alarmed once you see a number of cups throughout hive inspections. However, should you see many newly constructed cups in a hive that didn’t beforehand have them – take heed.
When you see an egg or larva in a cup – the race is on – your colony is making a brand new queen. When the cup has a creating larva inside -it is a charged queen cell.
Ought to I Destroy Queen Cells?
Don’t destroy queen cells you discover in your hive. At the least not at first, you’ve some pondering to do. Many cells typically point out swarm preparations.
Nevertheless, chopping out all of the queen cells doesn’t cease the swarming impulse. The method is simply delayed. It’s laborious to cease bees from swarming.
You’ll be able to at all times minimize out cells later however you possibly can’t put them again as soon as they’re destroyed. Search for and discover the prevailing queen bee . Then, attempt to perceive what the bees are telling you.
Why Bees Make A number of Queen Cells
Bees have a miraculous system for making a brand new queen . Nevertheless, it’s fraught with threat. The queen larva might perish earlier than hatching (or a beekeeper might squish the cell).
A colony that’s in want of a queen has solely a restricted period of time to get the job accomplished. With out her fixed egg laying, inhabitants begins to drop.
The hive might not have sufficient time or the assets to strive a second time. If one thing occurs to the substitute, there is probably not any younger larva within the hive to start once more!
Once we consider what number of issues can go improper, it’s a miracle that it really works more often than not.
Sorts of Reproductive Cells within the Hive
As mentioned in – Queen Cells: What do they Imply, there are 2 various kinds of reproductive cells present in a honey bee colony.
The precise cells themselves are alike however the causes for constructing them are completely different. Every one tells a narrative about what is going on contained in the hive.
When deciding what to do with queen cells, you possibly can keep away from waste and massive errors along with your colony by attempting to know the explanation behind cell development.
What to do with Supersedure Cells
For those who discover a number of massive peanut shapes cells increased up on the face of the frames. These are doubtless supersedure queen cells reasonably than an indication of swarming.
If the current queen bee is failing in egg laying or pheromone manufacturing, the colony will substitute her. Typically, belief the bees and allow them to substitute her in the event that they need to.
Verify again in a few weeks to insure that substitute was profitable and the colony has recent brood.
Letting the bees rear a brand new queen does introduce native genetics into the hive. Nevertheless, you run the chance of an inferior queen being produced.
If you wish to strive new genetics, this can be a good time to purchase a brand new queen for the hive. Tear down any queen cells and kill the outdated queen earlier than introducing a brand new one.
That is particularly good recommendation within the case of emergency queen cells. Discovering simply a few these cells right here and there on the comb might point out that the colony in in disaster.
That is very true if the cells are very small or appear or poor high quality. They’re working with what they’ve however might not have the very best larvae to work with. Giving them a mated queen is an efficient selection as a result of they are going to have new employee bees sooner.
Ought to You Minimize Out Swarm Cells?
Is the honey bee colony crowded? Do you see a variety of bees crowded on the frames? Are there so many bees on the frames that it’s laborious to see the cells?
Quite a few queen cells on the underside of frames are doubtless swarm cells. It’s previous time to place swarm administration methods into play. The colony is already in swarm mode, you might want to separate the colony into 2 smaller hives-at least for a time.
What to do should you discover swarm cells in your hive and don’t need to make a cut up? Sure, you possibly can minimize out the swarm cells – so long as you recognize the outdated queen remains to be current.
Nevertheless, that is solely a stopgap measure and is labor intensive. For those who miss even 1 cell, the colony can nonetheless swarm. Chopping them out can work however it’s not the best technique to work with a colony in swarm mode.
The excellent news is that your colony is robust sufficient to plan a swarm. The unhealthy information is – should you fail to catch the swarm, you’ve misplaced useful bees. This is the reason most beekeepers put swarm prevention methods into follow early within the season.
The way to Use Further Queen Cells
If in case you have sufficient bee inhabitants to work with or a number of hives, there are a number of methods to make use of further queen cells.
Splitting the Colony
Splitting a big robust hive into smaller elements is one technique to handle overcrowding and decelerate the pure swarm impulse. The assets of the massive colony is split into 2 elements.
If you don’t want extra hives long run, you might be able to mix hives later within the season – as soon as the time of heavy swarming is over. That is another excuse it’s a good suggestion to at all times maintain further beekeeping gear available.
Begin a New Nuc Hive
Extra queen cells can be utilized to start out a new nuc hive. If colony A is robust with many substitute cells and a laying queen, you possibly can transfer the body with a number of the queen cells (or the outdated queen herself) to a brand new field.
Then, add a number of frames of bees (from that hive), brood, honey and pollen from the mom hive or others within the bee yard. Let this new cut up elevate a brand new queen bee.
If in case you have a really massive colony, you might even cut up it into 3 smaller hives. However don’t “unfold your bees too skinny”, or you’ll find yourself with a number of weak colonies.
Bear in mind should you take too many assets out of your important colonies, you might miss the honey move for the season.
As I inform college students in my On-line Beekeeping Class, being a very good beekeeper is about stability – it’s important to work with the pure tendencies of the honey bee.
Assist a Queenless Colony
Seeing queen cells within the hive is usually a good factor. Typically a beekeeper is delighted to seek out them. If wanted, you should use these further cells to assist one other colony.
A queen cell might be given to a colony with out a queen. This provides them a bounce begin as they don’t have to assemble a cell from scratch.
Give the queenless colony loads of employee bees, honey and a cell. In a few weeks, you might have a younger, laying queen.
Discovering a queen cell within the beehive is actually a motive for pleasure. Nevertheless, it is very important take the time to think about what it means earlier than you’re taking motion. If the colony feels a necessity to switch the queen, possibly you need to allow them to.
Does it appear like a swarm is on the way in which? Put out your swarm traps, or cut up the colony earlier than it splits itself. The beekeeper can use queen cells to assist develop the apiary so long as the wants of the bees are the primary precedence.