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Possible Queen Cell in New Hive?

 
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Labow
House Bee


Joined: 10 Mar 2016
Posts: 13
Location: San Francisco, CA

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 7:40 pm    Post subject: Possible Queen Cell in New Hive? Reply with quote

Hi,

I put a package in this hive on April 15, and so far it's been looking good. I went and checked on them today, and I saw drone cells on two bars (out of 12), and one of the combs had a larger cell (see pics). From what I understand, queen cells are always built vertically, but since this one cell is bigger than all the others I thought I'd ask if it was a queen cell? If so, should I remove it?

Also, is it bad that there are drone cells? I've read that it's just natural for them to raise drone cells in case something goes wrong with the queen? I'm just nervous that it is signaling a swarm. I've also read that some people scrape these cells to limit the number?

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!

Since you can't insert pictures into posts I created a page on the website for my nonprofit so that people could see what I was talking about. Follow this link https://www.hydratelife.org/queen-cell/
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Labow
House Bee


Joined: 10 Mar 2016
Posts: 13
Location: San Francisco, CA

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, and if this is a problem, is there something I'm doing to cause it?
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not entirely sure what that is, but it doesn't look like a queen cell. Could it be a bit of brace comb that was attached to the adjacent comb.

I have read that it is not unusual for package bees to replace their queen via supercedure. Many package queens are artificially inseminated and not related to or selected by the workers in the package which is far from ideal, so as soon as they can afford to, they replace her. This should be considered a good thing although, if you paid extra money for a particular breed of queen, perhaps a little frustrating.
Drones are part of the spring build up of a colony, which may or may not lead to swarming. The drones carry the queens genes on to the next generation (workers die without reproducing of course) so the drones are the only route of real reproduction. Of course the colony as a super organism reproduces via swarming, but actual genes are only passed down through the drones, so they are probably the most important aspect of the colonies cycle, from their perspective.
There are people who remove drone brood to reduce the number of varroa mites in the colony (varroa prefer to breed in drone cells) but it is also believed that drones perform a number of other functions in the hive and culling them not only reduces the gene pool but may also upset the delicate balance of roles within the hive. Personally I do not think that drone brood culling is beneficial.

Hope that covered all your questions. There is a possibility that your hive will make plans to swarm but at the moment I would say they have not.

Good luck with them

Barbara
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Labow
House Bee


Joined: 10 Mar 2016
Posts: 13
Location: San Francisco, CA

PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all of the info Barbara. I'll keep an eye on it and see what happens.
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