Thursday, June 17, 2010

PLEASE TELL ME THIS ISN'T A QUEEN CELL



Although every beekeeper probably deals with this from time to time and knows exactly what it means and how to handle it, for me it means only one thing... MY BEES ARE GOING TO SWARM!

Everything looks great in the hive. I have capped brood, larva, the bees are coming and going with pollen (hopefully nectar too since I stole their syrup jar) and only 5frames in my 10 frame deep have been filled out (including one whole frame of honey).

Brood tells me that the queen is alive so I don't think this is a queen cell because they are queenless. What else could it mean but swarm time. I was reading that when you have long periods of wet and cold where the bees are unable to forage they tend to want to swarm. On top of that, I have carniolans and they are the swarmers of all swarmers.

I'm not 100% sure this is a queen cell as of yet since this would be my first viewing of anything remotely close but if it is, the next order of business is to find out what the heck I'm going to do to stop this swarming madness.

For those are are seeing this picture, I thought it was just comb. All along the bottom of the frames in the 2nd deep there is comb connecting itself to the frames on in the first deep. The difference with this, as you can kind of tell, is that it isn't on the very bottom of the frame but instead is on the side of it.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

True queen cells on the bottom of the frame, where you have all the brace comb.
That more like a supercedure cell, undrawn as yet, probably just a play cup

Cindy said...

Michelle, we have several of those. I don't think they are swarm cells. We found a real swarm cell last night and it looked nothing like that.

Michelle said...

So I guess with the supercedure cell I just leave it in case they need it?

Michelle said...

Cindy, did you scrape that swarm cell? I forget what we are suppose to do in this situation.

Jared said...

Sorry to join the party late, That is a queen cup. They keep several around just in case the queen has issues and they can grab an egg quickly and make a queen cell. If nothing in it, you can tear it or leave it. It does not matter.

Just check it for an egg/larva in the cup and if there is one, tear the cell open and the bees will take it out. You will then have to check for more as the bees are going to swarm or are superseeding. Make SURE your queen is good and laying still before you kill the cells off.

Robertson Family said...

I don't think it is a supercedure cell as it is on the bottom of the frame. Supercedure cells are usually higher up in the frame. If they are thinking of swarming they will usually make a bunch of swarm cells. Since this is just one it is probably just a queen cup and not much to worry about. You could scrape it out to put your mind at rest- it wouldn't hurt anything.

Jones Tyler said...

Jared hit the nail on the head. It is normal for healthy bees to have several of these in the hive. If you look into them, they will be empty.

Called a 'queen cup' (as opposed to a queen CELL), it's there in case of emergency.

Removing them is futile, as they will only rebuild them.

Michelle said...

Thanks for the help everyone! I'll just leave it alone then and stop worrying so much.

Is that a drone cell next to the queen cup?

Anonymous said...

Yes, that's a drone cell next to the cup. You are going to see drone cells frequently - it's normal. With regard to the q.cell, you only have to worry when it is filling with milky-white liquid (royal jelly), that means a new queen is being formed.

Sam Smith said...

Yup you have a cup and what looks like a capped queen cell. Woope! Maby you will get to see a swarm, I already had 2 from just one hive this year. First was the laying queen, second was today, I think a virgin decided to swarm after emerging, maby she thought the hive was to full. As long as you give them enough space (they don't get crowded) they shouldn't swarm to the point of not being able to produce honey, my swarms were small, this last one was about the size of a football. Most of the new colonies produced by swarming I have retrieved have been from small swarms, then again I keep feral survivor bees.