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Please help. Queen cell spotted

queen-cell
#21

That link is correct for the colors and which year to use them but to simply mark the queen for your own use go to a newspaper shop and tell them you want the ‘white out’ used to paint over a spelling error when you are typing. It is white, has a brush in the cap and very cheap to buy and will do no harm to the queen.
Queen cells sometimes get made and used to make a new queen, some are made but never get used, they are called a ‘play cell’; there is the odd time they are made and then pulled down for some reason.
Cheers .

#22

I remember “white out” being a really strong smell :exploding_head: It doesn’t bother the queen/bees? I assumed with the strong smell it was pretty toxic.

#23

Well, I’m glad my marked queens have the Colour corresponding to the year. It’s so handy to be able to see at first glance how old she is.
Currently very impressed by a couple of three year old. :ok_hand:

#24

That’s good to hear @Webclan. I’ve been starting to wonder about whether I’d have to replace my oldest queen when it came time to do Spring splits. She’s doing a fine job at the moment but they say the older queens are inclined to swarm. I guess if I take a big enough split from her, it will be ok. Then of course, I’ll be selling the young more vigorous queen leaving the older one in one of my only two honey producing hives. If she slows down then I’ll be hoping the bees replace her themselves. It’s still hard for me to think about squashing a laying queen. Especially when she’s done so much for the hive.

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#25

That is slightly inaccurate. :blush: Queens really don’t want to swarm. The hive harasses the queen for at least a week before swarming, making her run around, not lay eggs, and slim down. Not the most pleasant lifestyle! :smile:

What actually seems to happen is that older queens produce less pheromones, and the balance of pheromone production changes. A bit like female humans start to lose (o)estrogen as they age. The difference in bees is that the pheromone production seems to drop off earlier in poorly mated queens (those born too early or too late in the season to mate with plenty of drones). As the hive detects this decrease in pheromones, they make a community decision to send the old queen off with a swarm, and let a new queen have a shot at making the hive vigorous again. Like humans, there is some variability in the age of onset of hormone (pheromone) loss, so some queens are good for 4 or 5 years, but most are peaking by 2 years.

I love biology and bees. :blush:

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#26

I used it for a few years rill I couldn’t work out whives had young queens, there was no effect and it dried fast.