November 10, 2008

Play Cups

The few girls that are left spend most of their time hanging out on the 5th comb where they started construction of at least two queen cups (in the center of the picture). Marty Hardison says honeybees will often create queen cups "just in case"; they can expand them into queen cells later if necessary. It's too late in the year for them to rear one now though, since the drones are mostly all gone.

Next Spring, all they'll need to do is complete the construction of the elongated cell – it'll look like a peanut – and the old queen will deposit a fertilized egg in it. The new queen will emerge in a little over 2 weeks. There will be a delay in egg-laying for about 3 weeks, so they need to time it just right. The bees that are around during those 3 weeks need to be mostly young house bees or they won't be alive anymore by the time the new queen hatches.

Weather Update:
11/13: First Snow
Overnight low tonight: 12°F


Anonymous said...

my hive has been queenless and no brood i bought a queen when i opend the hive to put the cage in there where two play cups.....

HB said...

@Anonymous That makes sense. If that's where they'd make a queen, why not put one there for them? Let us know how your requeening went.

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